According to multiple reports, the San Francisco 49ers have traded quarterback, Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers receive a high second round pick for the quarterback, and the Chiefs hope they have found their answer are that position. The question for fans of the Denver Broncos is how does Smith to the Chiefs affect the power balance in the AFC West?
Let’s start with this; the Broncos are still the overwhelming favorites to win their third straight division title. In fact, you will have a hard time finding anyone who does not pick the Broncos to win the west. That being said, Smith does make the Chiefs better.
It is true that the Chiefs finished 2-14 and 11 games behind the Broncos in 2012, but they have more talent than either the San Diego Chargers or the Oakland Raiders. Despite their record, the Chiefs did send six players to the Pro Bowl including running back Jamal Charles, who is one of the best backs in the league.
The Chiefs now have a head coach in Andy Reid who is an established NFL coach with a winning track record. He knows what to do with talent although questions do have to be raised about his final two years as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The guess here is that a change of scenery will be good for Reid. The big thing the Chiefs have been missing is a quarterback, and Smith could be the answer there. He led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game in 2011 and the only reason he lost his job this season was due to injury. Before his concussion, Smith had played the best two games of his professional career.
Smith makes the Chiefs better and possibly the second best team in the division. However even with Smith, the gap between the Broncos and the Chiefs remains as wide as the Grand Canyon. Smith is a huge upgrade at quarterback for the Chiefs but he’s not Peyton Manning. In addition to the gap between Manning and Smith, the Broncos have more talent than the Chiefs.
Chiefs’ fans should be excited and it is possible they could contend for a wild card berth, but they are not winning a division title as long as Manning is in Denver. The AFC West belongs to the Broncos; Smith makes the Chiefs better but not that much better.
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