NFL Preview- Kansas City Chiefs
We move to Kansas City now and the second-best team in the AFC West. After a dismal year two years ago the Chiefs hired Andy Reid as their new head coach, signed Alex Smith as their new quarterback, and started 9-0 on their to an 11-5 season and playoff berth. This year, KC is looking to improve this year and get further in the playoffs.
Smith is cemented as the top QB in Kansas City. Even though he doesn't necessarily have flashy numbers, Smith does what is needed for the team to find a way to win. Chase Daniel backs up Smith for the second year, after beginning his career backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans. Rookies Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray round out the depth at QB, but only one may be kept on the roster.
At running back, there is no doubt the Chiefs have one of the premier play-makers in the NFL in Jamaal Charles. Cyrus Gray and Knile Davis are the backs behind Charles to add depth and the occasional breath for Charles.
Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery are the top two wide receivers, with the hope that A.J. Jenkins is able to become that reliable third option. They also have hopes for the development of Junior Hemingway. Anthony Fasano returns for a second year as the top tight end. Kansas City needs to development a second TE option they can count on to give Smith more options to throw to.
At defense, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston return to bookend the excellent pass rush of the Chiefs. Derrick Johnson is also back as the leader in the middle of the field. Dontari Poe returns to clog up the middle of the line of scrimmage. Eric Berry returns to lead the secondary for Kansas City at safety.
Here is how their 2014 season looks:
Week 1- Kansas City opens home at Arrowhead Stadium against the Tennessee Titans. The defense harasses Jake Locker all day for the win. They open up 1-0.
Week 2- The Chiefs to the Mile High City to face the Broncos. An exciting back-and-forth ensues before Peyton Manning uses his home-field advantage to get the win. Chiefs now 1-1.
Week 3- They head to Miami and give themselves a nice bounce back win. KC improves to 2-1.
Week 4- They get back home for a tough Monday Night tilt with New England. While Tom Brady gives the defense fits, the Chiefs find a way to win at home. They improve to 3-1.
Week 5- KC heads to new Levi's Stadium to visit the 49ers. Alex Smith finds a way to thank the team for replacing him with Coin Kaepernick. Chiefs are now 4-1.
Week 6- A nice week off for the Chiefs.
Week 7- They head to San Diego for another tough division rivalry game. After a close one, they keep Phillip Rivers from getting the late win. Kansas City gets to 5-1.
Week 8- They play another tough defense at home against St. Louis. The escapability of Smith makes the difference in this game. KC improves to 6-1.
Week 9- The Chiefs makes six wins in a row versus the New York Jets. They're now 7-1.
Week 10- Kansas City travels Northeast to Buffalo to face the Bills. A young E.J. Manuel has a long day against this ferocious pass rush. Chiefs now 8-1.
Week 11- They host the Seahawks and the defending Super Bowl Champs prove the difference between playoff team and Super Bowl Contender. Winning streaks ends at seven games as they drop to 8-2.
Week 12- They head to Oakland and bounce back from the Seattle loss. They get to 9-2.
Week 13- Another exciting back-and-forth chess match with Denver visiting. Like the first game home-field advantage makes the difference. Chiefs are now 10-2.
Week 14- KC heads to University of Phoenix Stadium and drops a tough match-up against the Arizona Cardinals. KC drops to 10-3.
Week 15- Charles has a huge game against the Raiders and helps the Chiefs get the sweep. They improve to 11-3.
Week 16- They win another game by beating Pittsburgh in Heinz Field. Kansas City adds another win to get to 12-3.
Week 17- With a chance to win the division, the Chiefs find a way to give the game away to a San Diego team fighting for a playoff spot. The Chiefs finish their regular season at 12-4.
While 12-4 seems like the most likely outcome for Kansas City, tough games with New England and San Francisco could make the record either 11-5 or 10-6. There is no doubt the Chiefs have a strong defense, a great running attack, and an excellent game manager at QB. They also have a great coach. Smith needs to step up a few more times this season and trust his receivers to make the big play downfield. If that happens, the Chiefs could go a long way.