10 Players That Will Lead Kansas City Chiefs To 2013 Playoffs
10 Players That Will Lead The Kansas City Chiefs To The Playoffs in 2013
The Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t have been any further from the playoffs in 2012, winning just two games and being completely outplayed and outclassed by their opponents on a weekly basis. Between the team’s record and the tragedy that struck the franchise late in the season, it was a year to forget in Kansas City.
But this offseason has brought about a complete overhaul of the franchise. It started with the hiring of new head coach Andy Reid and continued with the trade for quarterback Alex Smith, who is set to replace the inept contingent of quarterbacks the Chiefs played with last year. Kansas City also managed to hang onto wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, and at least for the moment, offensive tackle Branden Albert as well.
With all the changes that have been made in Kansas City, there is renewed hope for one of the most passionate and loyal fan bases in football that a swift turnaround can be made in 2013. Obviously, the Chiefs have a long way to go if they expect to make the playoffs just one year after winning two games, but Kansas City sent six players to the Pro Bowl last year, giving them a strong nucleus in which to build around. If the changes they’ve made pan out as expected, especially with Smith at the quarterback position, the Chiefs reaching the playoffs may not be so far fetched.
Feeling a bit optimistic, we have compiled a list of the 10 players that will lead the Chiefs to the playoffs in 2013 and pull off one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent memory.
10. Dexter McCluster
McCluster didn’t make much of an impact last year, although he did catch 52 passes. Andy Reid seems to have taken a liking to him and will try to get him involved in the offense this season, which will make McCluster a difference maker in 2013.
9. Brandon Flowers
Flowers was the top cornerback in Kansas City last year on a team that was surprisingly good against the pass. He has a lot more help around him this year, which will enable him to be even better.
8. Derrick Johnson
Johnson still needs someone to play beside him at middle linebacker, but he led the Chiefs in tackles last year and will once again be a big-time presence in the center of the Kansas City defense.
7. Justin Houston
Houston led the team with 10 sacks a year ago. He should be able to match, if not exceed that total again this season.
6. Sean Smith
Adding Smith was arguably the Chief’s best free agent acquisition this offseason. He will help turn an already good secondary into one of the best in the league.
5. Dwayne Bowe
Keeping Bowe was big for Kansas City, as he was their only reliable wide receiver last season. If the Chiefs can get better play out of their quarterback and get a couple more receivers around Bowe, he should be able to far eclipse the 800 yards and three touchdowns he had last season.
4. Alex Smith
The Chiefs biggest problem last year was at the quarterback position, and Smith offers a potential solution. He’s taken teams to the playoffs before, and he should have plenty of help around him. So if he plays the way he’s capable of playing, he can help bring Kansas City back to the playoffs.
3. Tamba Hali
Hali went to the Pro-Bowl last year and has emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the league, especially with Justin Houston on the other side. There’s no reason why he won’t continue to be a feared sack specialist again this season.
2. Eric Berry
Berry will anchor one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL. With a trustworthy group of cornerbacks, he’ll be able to make plays all over the field and be the leader of a defense that looks real good heading into the season.
1. Jamaal Charles
If the Chiefs are going to make the playoffs, it’s going to be due to their defense and a solid running game. Charles was their best player a year ago, rushing for over 1,500 yards, and now he’s ready to carry the Chiefs into the playoffs.