Chiefs Prospects 2015
I have left my analysis of the Chiefs chances until late this year. We have only got down to the 53 man roster. Only now are the pundits beginning to make realistic appraisals of the chances of the various teams.
Interestingly, opinions are divided. Almost everyone, including the neutrals, think the Chiefs will be better this season. The question is – better than what?
It is difficult to see how they could be any worse. Just remember, they lost two very good players to injury almost before the season started. Then they managed to play 16 games and not throw a touchdown to a wide-receiver. Measuring getting better by those standards should result in some kind of improvement – it would be some accomplishment if they actually got worse! Certainly the pundits think so – well quite a few of them do.
I'm sure I said last year that as Alex Smith goes so goes the Chief's season. I was right. Smith was Ok and so was the season, just missing the play-offs. This season the ante is truly upped. The tribe have provided him with some weapons down-field. Jeremy Maclin is a big free-agent signing and is a proven NFL receiver. Travis Kelce is fit and could be the new Tony Gonzales. Rookie Chris Conley looks a good prospect for stretching the field. It's now up to Smith to find them downfield and complete some passes. Couple a real passing threat with Mr Reliable and Mr Do-It-All Jamaal Charles and some points are on the horizon. The play of back-up QB, Chase Daniel, also had the fans taking notice. An excellent pre-season – which saw the Chiefs undefeated – has shown Daniel to be a more than capable replacement. The O-line has been revamped and upgraded. Thin on the ground is true but still upgraded. The defense looks strong with Derek Johnson returning at inside LB and Justin Houston having signed a big contract. Eric Berry returns, but it remains to be seen how well he has recovered from cancer. Disregarding Sean Smith's suspension, the secondary looks strong. The Chiefs have some weapons and what could be an outstanding defense. They just finished 4-0 in the pre-season. The experts have them winning anything from 8 to 12 games.
My prediction: Chiefs to make the play-offs and be one and done.
If so, where are the problems? First, as said, Alex Smith. Then the O-line (unproven, untested and no real back-ups. The coaching is just average in my opinion. Andy Reid is a proven winner, but can he get the best out of the group on hand? Only time will tell. Finally, too many players are coming back from injury. Will they hold up for the season?
My biggest fear? The Chiefs may be at the back end of the cycle and have not got all the personnel in place for a run at the Super Bowl.
Time will tell.