Welcome to “This Is Totally Your Year,” our overly optimistic preview of the 2014-15 NFL season for all 32 teams. We’ve broken down why every team — yes, even your team (and yes, even your team, Rams fans) — will win it all this year. We’ll also give some reasons for pessimism and even estimate an actual season prediction. Next up: The Kansas City Chiefs.
There was a time in our nation’s history, sometime between the end of the Civil War and last Tuesday, that the Kansas City Chiefs were the greatest team in the NFL. It was 2013, actually, and KC got off to a 9-0 start, led by ex-San Francisco quarterback
Joe Montana Steve Deberg Steve Bono Elvis Grbac Alex Smith. Although called by some in the media “the worst 9-0 team in the history of the NFL“, statistics seemed to prove otherwise, and there was much cheering and high expectations at Arrowhead Stadium.
But it was not to be. The Chiefs lost five of their last seven games, then dropped their first-round playoff game, 45-44, to the Colts. So, will Kansas City bring back the magic, and this time discover how to finish strong? The answer is hazy, but we’re guessing it’s yes, and it’s due to a solid core of returning veterans, and of course their coach.
The Chiefs haven’t had back-to-back 10-win seasons since 1992-93, but this will be the next one. The main reason: Jamaal Charles. The running back’s total yardage was slightly down from the season before, but Charles had more touchdowns (12 in 2013 to 7 in 2012) and receptions (70 to 30) to go with his 259 carries and 1,287 yards for a 5.0 average. Charles bruised his foot carrying a box during training camp (wait, what?) and missed the final two games of preseason, but says he’s fine now. He also has a freshly-signed two-year extension.
The Chiefs today signed Alex Smith to a four-year extension for about $68 million, according to sources, which means he’s finally found his forever home. Last season was arguably his greatest as a pro — 3,313 yards, 23 TDs in 15 starts. He’s only 30 years old and it’s his second season in Andy Reid’s system, so expect even better things. The Chiefs obviously are. The backups are Chase Daniel (very capable) and Aaron Murray of Georgia (a steal in the fifth round of the draft).
The Chiefs have seven returning Pro Bowlers — Smith, Charles, safety Eric Berry, linebackers Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, and defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
Undrafted Albert Wilson made the WR-needy Chiefs 53-man roster. Name to monitor.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) August 30, 2014
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2014
— Tony (@grownmanballin) August 26, 2014
Reasons for concern: Their schedule. The final seven games of the regular season include the Seahawks, Broncos and Cardinals at home, and Cardinals and Steelers on the road. Also, the offensive line is a question mark without Branden Albert (to Miami) and Geoff Schwartz (Giants), and WR Dwayne Bowe hasn’t had a great preseason.
Prediction: 11-5 again, but this time the Cheeky Chaps win the division and at least one game in the playoffs.