Here we go again!
Instead of my usual shot in the dark kind of prediction for the Chiefs this season I decided to have a look at what the “experts” have to say.
The Chiefs are at 17 in one of the the power rankings and a few pundits have them as Div winners or wild card prospects. A few weeks ago, when I first looked, they were far more favourably assessed.
What's gone wrong?
Pre-season results were poor. In the areas where they were seen to be strong – they were weak. The defence couldn't do anything and the offence scored few points. A sure-fire recipe for dropping in the rankings.
The most quotable quote I saw is “As Matt Cassell goes, so go the Chiefs”. Matt is running out of time. He has to produce or he is gone.
Ignoring the pre-season, simply because it is the pre-season, things do not look so black. The running game is back and back stronger. Both offence and defence line play looks much stronger. The receiving corps looks very good. All positives.
The Chargers seem to be the favourites to win the Div. Nothing new there – they always are and always fail to produce. The pundits love them but they can't win consistently. The Broncos have the Peyton factor, but that's about it. He will bomb in Denver. Believe me, he will not be a factor. The Broncos will sink and sink fast. The Raiders will be the Raiders. They may win some games.
The Chiefs look the strongest in a weak Division. They should win it. I'm going with the positives from:
NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs at 13
The expectations are high in Kansas City after general manager Scott Pioli added a load of talent in the off-season. How well it pays off depends on the incumbents, not the newcomers.
The Chiefs offence will only be as good as Matt Cassel is at quarterback. He struggled in the 2011 campaign minus Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, and the team hopes a shuffling on the offensive line plus the addition of Eric Winston will help Cassel play more consistently.
The defence was a great unit in 2011, but the front three in the 3-4 defence is a major issue. Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson haven't lived up to their draft stock, and even 2012 first-rounder Dontari Poe is on the second team right now.
The Chiefs have stiff competition in the West, but the division is theirs if they play up to their potential.
Summing up: the Tribe are on the up. Cassel will have to play well for them to win. The running game will keep them in a lot of games. The defence will be better (barring injuries). They should win the Division and may win a play-off game. They are still a year or two away from a Super Bowl. But, who knows? As usual, the NFL will be super-competitive and very hard to predict. Everyone has the Packers as Super Bowl favourites. They were last year as well and look what the Giants did!