Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs followed up a 2-14 season in 2012 with an 11-5 effort in Andy Reid’s first season as the team’s head coach in 2013. Although the Chiefs ended up with a good record, they fell apart in the second half of the season. After starting the year 9-0, the team lost their next three and five of their last seven before losing in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
QB Alex Smith had a career year in 2013 after being traded by the 49ers, throwing for 3313 yards and 23 touchdowns despite none of his teammates catching more than 70 passes. And his leading pass-catcher wasn’t even a receiver; it was RB Jamaal Charles, who added 70 receptions, 693 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns to his 1287 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. WR Dwayne Bowe was second in receiving numbers with 57 receptions for 673 yards and five touchdowns, his worst season since 2009, when he started just nine games.
Smith has a lot to live up to after signing a four-year contract extension worth $68 million just days before the start of the season. With money like that on the line, the team likely expects another playoff appearance out of the quarterback. Smith won’t be able to throw to Bowe to begin the season; the receiver is suspended for the team’s season opener against the Titans for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Bowe is expected back for the Chiefs’ road game against the Broncos in week two. The rest of the schedule includes tough contests against the Patriots, 49ers and Super Bowl champion Seahawks. The Chiefs look to be, at best, the second-best team in the AFC West again this year which means they’ll need to get one of the conference’s wild-card spots if they want a repeat playoff apearance. i’m not sure if they’ll get that as they may see some regression from last year’s 11-win season.
Source: http:://www.kcchiefs.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com