2017 Season Previews: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs coming off back to back playoff runs and 12-4 records, the retirement of Peyton Manning meant they even added a division title, but lost to Pittsburgh in a 16-18 snoozer.

Offense: The biggest change here is Jamal Charles is gone, but he has been really hit with injuries lately, and only had 3 games last year. Alex Smith just has not made everyone all excited from the QB1 position, and at 13 years in, isn’t expected to be around forever. I have to think that Patrick Mahomes has been brought in to take over in 2019, if not sooner.

Tyreek Hill should be an All-Pro by the time Mahomes takes over, and Travis Kelce is going to be looking at Tony Gonzalez at the all-time lists. Jeremy Maclin needs to rebound from at tough year both personally and injury-wise, but he has the talent and experience to be a solid starter.
Running back is a problem. CJ Spiller has been hurt, but if he can come back, he can be a solid back, if not then the The KC Cheifs are back to using third rounder Kareem Hunt or Spencer Ware. Let’s keep in mind that Alex Smith lead the team with 5 rushing TDs.
The line was much improved over 2015. Mitchell Swartz came over and just stepped into right tackle and made everyone better. Eric Fisher was also able to play all 16 games and not many injuries hit the line, as everyone played 14 games but Zach Fulton who took the starting job in week 4.

Defense: Dontari Poe is gone, and that is really going to hurt all year, and Bennie Logan is going to be able to stop the run, but cannot collapse the pocket as well.
The second line all comes down to health, if 100% then can go with any unit in the league, but they played one game as a unit last season. Derrick Johnson has had 2 ACL injuries in 3 years and Tamba Hall needs to play less on obvious passing downs to give him more 3rd down reps. Dee Ford had his best season ever, and might be able to take a larger role, if his gas tank holds out.
The secondary is the best part of the defense, as Eric Berry does everything well, and Marcus Peters had 6 picks. I will say that of all the teams that should have went out and got a cornerback, it’s the Chiefs. Right Cornerback was the main weak spot, and will be again this year, and the Cheifs didn’t draft a single CB, but did take a safety . . . in the 6th.

Special Teams: The kicking game is good, Cairo Santos made 31 of 35, and punter Dustin Colquitt is solid as well. The return game was spectacular. Tyreek Hill had 3 TDs and lead the league in average.

Overall: I hate to say it, but it comes down to how Andy Reid calls the plays, and how well Alex Smith plays. The defense doesn’t have a major weak spot as a group, and the offense needs to have a guy that can take over the running back position and run the ball. Alex Smith cannot lead a playoff team in rushing TDs.
I have them taking 3 wins in the division, but only 1 win vs the NFC East. I change that with 3 wins vs the AFC East. Bonus games are a loss to Pitt and a win at Texas. 8-8

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