Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NFL 2013 Preview - Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS                                       

Head Coach: Andy Reid

2012 Record: 2-14-0 (4th in AFC West)

New Players: QB Alex Smith; QB Chase Daniel; WR Donnie Avery; WR A.J. Jenkins; TE Anthony Fasano; DL Mike DeVito; LB Akeem Jordan; CB Sean Smith; CB Dunta Robinson; OL Geoff Schwartz.

Gone Elsewhere: QB Matt Cassel; QB Brady Quinn; TE Kevin Boss; WR Jon Baldwin; RB Peyton Hillis; DL Glenn Dorsey; OL Ryan Lilja; OL Eric Winston.

Offense: Gone are quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn and in their places are Alex Smith (1,737 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions with the 49ers) and backup Chase Daniel, who held the clipboard for the New Orleans Saints the past few seasons while QB Drew Brees was setting new passing records.
The running back is Jamaal Charles, who came back strong from a knee injury in 2011 to gain an AFC best 1,509 yards last season with a 5.3 ypc average and scored five rushing touchdowns. He also caught 35
RB Jamaal Charles
passes for 236 yards and one score. Rookie pick Knile Davis (Arkansas) will be the primary backup now that Peyton Hillis is gone.
Wide receivers include Dwayne Bowe (59 receptions for 801 yards and three TD), Dexter McCluster (52, 452, one TD), Donnie Avery (60, 781, three TD with Indianapolis) and tight end Tony Moeaki, who made 33 receptions for 453 yards and one touchdown. Moeaki was recently injured in pre-season, meaning Anthony Fasano (41, 332, five TD with Miami in 2012) will likely be the starter once the season kicks off. Rookie pick Travis Kelce (Cincinnati) provides depth.
The offensive line has center Rodney Hudson, guards Jeff Allen and Jon Asamoah along with Branden Albert at left tackle and Number-One NFL Draft pick Eric Fisher at right tackle.
The Chiefs have nowhere to go but up after last season's anemic offensive production, particularly in the passing game, where they ranked dead last in the NFL with just 169 passing yards per game. Overall, thanks in large part to the number-five ranked rushing attack (150 yards per game), the Chiefs finished 24th in total offense and were last in the league in scoring with 211 points, which was a paltry 13.2 points per game.

LB Tamba Hali
Defense: Playing the 3-4 defense, Kansas City will have nose tackle Dontari Poe along with ends Tyson Jackson and Mike DeVito up front.
The linebackers are led by outside men Tamba Hali (nine QB sacks) and Justin Houston (ten sacks) while Akeem Jordan and Derrick Johnson are the inside linebackers.
The corners will once again be Brandon Flowers (three interceptions) and Sean Smith while Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are the safties.
The Chiefs were 20th in total defense last year, allowing 357 yards per game (136 rushing and 221 passing yards) while giving up 425 points, including 30-plus points in seven games. The Chiefs totaled only 13 turnovers (six fumble recoveries and seven INT) which led to a woeful minus-24 on the turnover charts, which tied Philadelphia for worst in pro football.

OUTLOOK: Improvement on both sides of the ball is definitely the agenda for new Head Coach Andy Reid as he looks to get the team back into the playoff hunt in the AFC.
The Chiefs were awful in 2012, going 2-14 while being doubled up in points (425-211) for the season and that must change if the team wants to be competitive in the AFC West, let alone talk about getting back to the AFC Playoffs for the first time in three years.
Alex Smith was the starting QB in San Francisco before suffering an injury and then losing the starting spot to Colin Kaepernick as the 49ers went to the Super Bowl.
Smith would love to show what he can do and the Chiefs may be just the tonic for that in 2013. BOTH have points to prove to doubters around the NFL.
As long as Jamaal Charles stays healthy again this season, look for the breakaway back to continue to lead the way on offense.
The defense took a huge step back last season and the key ingredient to their success the previous two seasons was turnovers, which were very far and few between last season. That must improve along with better run defense (KC was 27th against the run last year) and better pressure on opposing quarterbacks as the Chiefs had just 27 sacks last year.
There is a lot of room for improvement in Kansas City in 2013 as they attempt to chase down the division champion Denver Broncos while battling San Diego for second place. The playoffs may be pushing the envelope for this team this season.
Andy Reid had better talent in Philadelphia the past two years and they did poorly, missing the playoffs and costing Reid his job after last season's 4-12 disaster. That being said, Reid does have a proven track record and can turn this team around quickly as long as the offense comes together with Smith running the show.
Look for a 8-8 finish this season from the Chiefs, which would be a six-game improvement from 2012 as they get back to .500 and look to a better future with Reid and Smith leading the way.


Sept. 8- at Jacksonville
Sept. 15- vs. Dallas
Sept. 19- at Philadelphia
Sept. 29- vs. NY Giants
Oct. 6- at Tennessee
Oct. 13- vs. Oakland
Oct. 20- vs. Houston
Oct. 27- vs. Cleveland
Nov. 3- at Buffalo
Nov. 10- BYE WEEK
Nov. 17- at Denver
Nov. 24- vs. San Diego
Dec. 1- vs. Denver
Dec. 8- at Washington
Dec. 15- at Oakland
Dec. 22- vs. Indianapolis
Dec. 29- at San Diego

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