KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
2013 Record: 11-5-0
Key Additions: DL Vance Walker; LB Joe Mays; OL J'Marcus Webb; DL Cory Grissom; CB Chris Owens; OL Jeffrey Linkenbach.
Key Losses: DL Tyson Jackson; OL Branden Albert; OL Jon Asamoah; S Quintin Demps; DL Jerrell Powe; WR-KR Dexter McCluster.
HEAD COACH: Andy Reid
Offense: The Chiefs will have Alex Smith at quarterback again after the ten-year veteran passed for 3,313 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions last year. Chase Daniel is the backup.
Jamaal Charles (1,287 yards for a 5.0 ypc average and 12 touchdowns) leads the running game with Knile Davis (242 yards and four TD) serving as an adequate reserve. Rookie De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon) is also on hand this season. Charles also led the team with 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven touchdowns ... his 19 total touchdowns led the league.
The receivers have Dwayne Bowe (57 receptions for 673 yards and five touchdowns) and Donnie Avery (40, 596, two TD) as the starters with A.J. Jenkins and Junior Hemingway as backups. The tight ends are Anthony Fasano (23, 200, three TD) and second year man Travis Kelce.
The line consists of center Rodney Hudson, guards Jeff Allen and Jeffrey Linkenbach. The tackles are Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson.
STATS - The Chiefs ranked in the bottom third of the NFL offensively last season, gaining 337 yards per game, including 128 rushing yards (tenth in NFL) and 209 passing per game, which ranked them 24th overall. On the bright side, Kansas City was sixth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 27 points per game. The team gave up 41 QB sacks and was great handling the football with just 18 turnovers, which included eight interceptions and ten fumbles.
Defense: Outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston lead this fierce defense as they each registered 11 quarterback sacks a year ago. The inside linebackers in the 3-4 D are Derrick Johnson and Nico Johnson while Joe Mays is another good backer added to the mix, along with Frank Zombo.
The men up front are nose tackle Dontari Poe (4.5 QB sacks) and ends Allen Bailey and Mike DeVito. Cory Grissom and Vance Walker are free agents who will be in the fold as well.
The secondary will be without starter Brandon Flowers, who bolted to the San Diego Chargers as a free agent this off season, as well as safety Quintin Demps, who led the team with four interceptions in 2013. But the Chiefs do have Sean Smith and either free agent Chris Owens or rookie Phillip Gaines (Rice) at the corners this season.
The safeties are Eric Berry (three interceptions, two brought back for TD) and Husain Abdullah. Backing up in the defensive backfield will be Daniel Sorenson, Malcolm Bronson, Sanders Commings and Jerron McMillian.
STATS - The Chiefs were both good and bad last year as they finished 24th overall on defense, allowing 368 yards per game. The run defense finished 22nd, giving up 120 yards while opponents passed for 248 yards, placing the Chiefs 25th in the NFL. On the bright side, Kansas City was fifth in the NFL in scoring defense, giving up just 19 points per game. They also finished sixth in the league with 47 QB sacks while picking off 21 passes.
OUTLOOK: After a blazing 9-0 start, the Chiefs limped home with a 2-5 finish last season and then blew a huge lead in the Wild Card playoff game and eventually lost it to Indianapolis.
Head Coach Andy Reid knows the team can get back to the post-season again this year, but to go further, they need more consistency on defense.
This season, with Alex Smith leading the offense and Jamaal Charles carrying the ball, look for more of the same as the Chiefs feature Charles while Smith looks to his plethora of wideouts to keep the defense honest.
Defensively, the Chiefs have to avoid giving up the big plays and continue to get the turnovers that made them one of the league leaders in that category.
If things come together once again, Kansas City could be a factor in the tough AFC West division. However, the schedule is much more difficult this season, so they must be ready right from the start with games against Denver, New England, San Francisco and San Diego included in the first six this season.
Figure on a 8-8 finish this year for the Chiefs, but as always, if they get some breaks here and there over the course of the season, the record could be better. One thing for sure, they will not be sneaking up on any opponents this season.
Week 1- vs. Tennessee
Week 2- at Denver
Week 3- at Miami
Week 4- at New England
Week 5- at San Francisco
Week 6- BYE WEEK
Week 7- at San Diego
Week 8- vs. St. Louis
Week 9- vs. NY Jets
Week 10- at Buffalo
Week 11- vs. Seattle
Week 12- at Oakland
Week 13- vs. Denver
Week 14- at Arizona
Week 15- vs. Oakland
Week 16- at Pittsburgh
Week 17- vs. San Diego