There’s certainly been a lot of chatter out there on how good the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be this year. It seems like a bunch of premature rhetoric with training camp still two months away. The Chiefs did little in the off season to improve this team and their draft didn’t blow anyone away. The media is guilty of over hyping the local teams they cover. It’s been that way for years. I recall the days when the media was basically an extension of the teams PR department. There’s nothing wrong with a little “home cookin” but let’s keep it in perspective.
While the Chiefs have had 3 straight winning seasons under Andy Reid, they’ve failed to win the division 11 of the last 12 years – that’s inexcusable! Under John Elway, the Denver Broncos have the best record in the NFL since 2012. Over the last 4 years, Elway’s teams have won 50 games while losing only 14. The Broncos have won 5 straight division titles. The Chiefs have NEVER won back-to-back division titles in the history of the franchise dating back to 1960. This appears to be their best chance to overtake Denver.
The Broncos don’t have a quarterback. They do have a favorable schedule facing only 3 playoff teams before their bye in week 11. In Denver, it’s all about defense and their best player is not happy. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller wants $22 million dollars a year. The Broncos are offering around $18 million. The two sides have until July 15th to reach a deal and reportedly aren’t even close. An unhappy Von Miller would be music to the ears of Andy Reid and his new offensive coordinators.
The Chiefs have their own problem with the status of Justin Houston. They went 5 – 0 last year without him but with aging linebackers, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson, it’s of paramount importance that Houston gets healthy in a hurry.
I still think the Chiefs greatest competition in the division will come from the Oakland Raiders. They’ve improved significantly with QB Derek Carr. The Raiders haven’t had a winning season since 2002 but that’s about to change.
The No. 1 reason that optimism runs high for the Chiefs is because of their strong finish a year ago. They had 11 straight wins including their first playoff win in 22 years. The Chiefs record was 11 – 2 without Jamaal Charles. This is the year that Alex Smith must make things happen. A cushy home schedule should be good for 7 wins. The Chiefs play 3 home games in December. Bottom line, are they good enough to take control in this division where they went 5 – 1 last year? Dorsey and Reid have 3 straight second place finishes in AFC West. For the record, the Chiefs have won only 8 division championships in their history. Denver, Oakland and San Diego have each won 15. That lopsided result needs to change and judging by all the hype, it will.
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