In continuing with our preview of each NFL team, we’ll now look at the Kansas City Chiefs who have established themselves as arguably one of the most consistent teams over the last several seasons.
The Chiefs strengths far and away lie with their defense. This team is built amazingly well on the defensive side of the ball. The front seven, led by sack master Justin Houston, can blitz the quarterback in many unique ways. The Chiefs added defensive tackle Bennie Logan in free agency, someone who has a good familiarity playing in a 3-4 system. Logan will be counted on to plug up the running lanes in the middle of the defense. Last season, outside linebacker Dee Ford had a breakout season and established himself as a reliable pass rusher for the team. Assuming he can continue to build on that, the Chiefs pass rush is in good hands. What really makes this defense click, is their secondary. Cornerback Marcus Peters is arguably one of the top five cover guys in the league and safety Eric Berry is an All-Pro in his own regard.
I would argue quarterback, as I am not the biggest fan of Alex Smith, but I think rookie Patrick Mahomes will develop into a star caliber quarterback for the Chiefs in the future. Head coach Andy Reid does a great job with quarterbacks and Mahomes not having to start right away plays in his favor. The Chiefs parted ways with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin unexpectedly which leaves them vulnerable to not having any consistent targets for the offense. Tight end Travis Kelce is a budding superstar, but without Maclin, it makes doubling him that much easier. Last year’s sensation Tyreek Hill showcased his blazing speed and big play ability, but I’m not sure he’s a formidable number one receiver. For a team that struggled mightily with the wide receiver position before Maclin’s arrival, it was surprising to see the team part ways with him. It will also be interesting to see who becomes the leader of the backfield with Jamaal Charles gone to Denver. Spencer Ware? Charcandrick West? rookie Kareem Hunt? It’s anyone’s guess.
Players To Look Out For:
First and foremost it will be Tyreek Hill. Let’s see if the speedy receiver can develop into a reliable number one guy for the Chiefs. If he can’t this offense is in a lot of trouble. Another guy will absolutely be Patrick Mahomes. If Alex Smith is inconsistent or gets hurt, Mahomes gets the call. Remember, the Chiefs moved up a ton of spots in the draft to get him. They’re high on him and are relying on him to eventually be their franchise guy.
The Chiefs are as consistent as they get; they play fundamentally sound defense and don’t need to score a ton of points to beat teams. This year might be different. With some of their defensive pieces getting up there in age and the lack of firepower at wide receiver, the Chiefs have a huge task ahead of them to find younger, reliable guys in a division that is loaded with young talent. Could this be the year the Chiefs finally fall out of that consistency? It just might be.
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