Jun 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks to media after the mini camp at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
I’m going to predict one team that will make the playoffs. Not three could be, or have the opportunity, but one definitely will be in the playoffs of 2013. Last year it was the Seahawks that came out of nowhere, this year it’s an AFC team. The Kansas City Chiefs will be a 9 or 10 win team this year. I also think they will either take the division from the Broncos or get a wild card birth. The hot names when it comes to playoffs are always New England, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and Denver. This year we might have to include Kansas City. Here’s why:
Andy Reid has come to town, and with him a new philosophy. Out with the old, and in with the new. Andy Reid’s teams have always featured some great passing attacks, and schemes that maximize spacing and lanes. He took career 60% QB’s in McNabb and later Michael Vick and turned them into pass happy QB’s that found ways to get yardage. He will do the same in Kansas City.
Also within the weak division, the Chargers fired their head coach and are starting anew. The Raiders are always sub-par, and are now turning to a new QB in Matt Flynn. I count those as 3 ½ wins out of 4. Maybe 4 for 4, maybe 3 for 4, but they will beat the Raiders and Chargers.
Also consider the roster on offense. Andy Reid used athletic lineman to utilize stretch and zone blocking running plays in Philadelphia. He now has two bookend gifted tackles in Eric Fisher and Brandon Albert to move the offensive line around on running and passing plays. This will create opportunities for Jamaal Charles that McCoy was able to maximize in Philadelphia at running back. If the offensive line plays at a dominant level all season, the Chiefs will be the team to beat. If the line takes a while to gel, it will mean wins and losses for them.
The receivers in Philly like Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson were able to get some large chunk yardage plays. I think the receivers in Kansas City are better. If you consider Dwayne Bowe and Baldwin on the outside, you already have one superstar receiver. Where the Chiefs will do damage is with the slot receivers. They currently have Dexter McCluster, Donnie Avery, and Devon Willie. All three of those guys are short, quick, slot guys that if used properly can eat up chunks of yards. So if used properly these 5 receivers together can spell trouble for just about everyone. It will also be the best receiving corps that Alex Smith has ever had.
Alex Smith is also replacing Matt Cassel. Enough said.
Defensively they are returning injured starters like Eric Berry. They have edge rushers that generate double digit sacks in Justin Houston (10 Sacks) andTambi Hali (9 sacks). They have a great middle linebacker in Derick Johnson. They have solid, but not spectacular cornerbacks The defensive line has also improved with the additions of Mike Devito to play alongside DT Dontari Poe and Tyson Jackson. Those two are fairly young, and Devito has a chance to be a leader and mentor on the d-line.
Add it all up, the injured players coming back, the infusion of talent from the draft and free agency, the coaching changes, the weak division. The Kansas City Chiefs will be the dominant team, and dominant offense of 2013. It’s only June, but the writing’s already on the wall.