A breakdown of why you shouldn’t sleep on this team
Jarrod Thurman @JarrodChiefsFCS
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
Ever since all the big trades hit the AFC West, all we’ve heard is about how the Chiefs are going to step back. Some analysts have even had the audacity to say the 6 time defending AFC Champs are going to finish dead last in the division and some have even predicted we’ll miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Huh? Here’s why they are full of a less than friendly word I’m not going to use in this article.
For starters, there’s a man by the name of Patrick Lavon Mahomes II. How anyone can think with number 15 under center that we’re going to struggle blows my mind. This is a man that took us from annual playoff losers to legitimate contenders every year. This is a man who has thrown over 250 yards in 62 of his 73 career games excluding the Broncos game he got injured in. He’s only had 8 career games without a passing touchdown. People are quick to point out he’s had Tyreek all that time. Here are his stats without Tyreek Hill, he had a 4-1 record passed for 1,737 yards (347.4 per game), 8 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Does that sound like someone that needs Tyreek Hill to be successful?
Second, is Andy Reid going to struggle with a star quarterback like Mahomes? No. This man is an offensive mastermind. He is easily a top 5 coach of all time, and you could potentially make a case for top 3. Reid will find a way to make this work with who we have. Is this team going to be the big play offense from the past? Possibly not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we do. Reid has likely spent all offseason watching film of our new receivers figuring ways to make them fit into this offense with Mahomes and Kelce. Losing Tyreek Hill will not change this.
We’ve also brought back Matt Nagy who was a key part of Reid’s staff before he left for Chicago. Him working with Mahomes, who is already a superstar quarterback, will make a difference as well, more so than most people probably realize.
While this team may not have a single superstar running back, we have several running backs that we will be able to rotate in as needed based on the situation. Towards the end of last season, Jerick McKinnon proved to be the best all-around running back on the roster and I don’t see any reason for that to change. If Isiah Pacheco can find a way onto the roster, he is fast and will fit well into this offense.
I feel like I’m missing something about our offense. What is it? Oh yeah, one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history with Travis Kelce. This man is big and has underrated speed at the position. Don’t underestimate his blocking ability either. He can be clutch too as was evident by the two game-winning touchdowns he had last season. I’ve seen people try to claim his age is going to start being a problem, but I don’t see it. He’s shown no decline in play, he’s fixed the attitude issues he had early in his career, and he stays healthy because the only games he’s missed since his rookie year were because of testing positive for COVID-19 and the Chiefs having nothing to play for in week 17.
No for defense, this team has made a massive jump on defense. Losing Tyrann Mathieu and Anthony Hitchens does hurt, but we’ve replaced them with pieces that will fit in well, plus we still have Willie Gay who has something to prove after his criminally low Madden rating. We recently signed Carlos Dunlap who had several good years with the Bengals, we drafted George Karlaftis and Trent McDuffie in the first round as well who should fit into the defense quickly. I’m not necessarily saying this defense is going to be a top 10 defense, but we don’t need it to be. We just need them to force maybe a couple more punts a game and more sacks than last year. The offense will handle the rest.
Don’t sleep on special teams either. We have the second most accurate kicker in NFL history with Harrison Butker who has only missed one clutch field goal in his career, and that was blocked. While we don’t need game-winning or game-tying field goals often, he’s proven he can handle it if we need it, and thankfully he’s under contract through the 2024 season.
I’m not saying this team is guaranteed a Super Bowl this year, but if you seriously think this team is taking a step back, you have another thing coming. This team isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you better get used to the Chiefs not only being in the playoffs but being the AFC West champions.