The Kansas City Chiefs make the perfect rebound candidate largely due to their ability to swiftly replace incompetency at the head coach and quarterback positions with proven commodities.While this compels me to give KC a 6-win bump, I’m trying to temper my excitement about new quarterback Alex Smith and Coach Andy Reid. These were more or less deposed from their last jobs for failing to deliver their respective franchises a Super Bowl, before the faith finally ran out.
I respect both Reid and Smith as above-average head coach and starting quarterback, respectively, but have the Chiefs finishing a hair short of an AFC wild-card berth. This obviously isn’t Jim Harbaugh rolling into San Fran or Peyton Manning into Denver, just the difference between terrible and solid. And that typically gets you about 8-8.
Based on Smith’s track record with his former squad, KC will have its work cut out upon falling behind. Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles are excellent weapons yet really the only skill position guys on this team I would deem anywhere near elite playmakers. The line is good but not the type that bullies around the opposition or baffles with misdirection. The offense is a lot of good but boasts one electric playmaker; And if Charles pulls off the Marshall Faulk in the Future type of year I believe he’s capable of, then this squad could swing up to a 10-win mark.
And that’s a lot to ask.
KC’s defense helped spring them as a trendy AFC West title sleeper last offseason but the slew of borderline elite parts — including Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali — never quite translated into a holistically stingy unit. Taking this leap will also play huge part in how high the Chiefs skyrocket up from 2-14.
Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-8 (2nd in AFC West)
Predicted Finish: Miss postseason
More of Thomas Emerick’s 2013-2014 NFL team predictions: NYG | WAS | PHI | DAL | GB | CHI | DET | MIN | TB | ATL | NO | CAR | SEA | SF | STL | ARI | NE | MIA | BUF | NYJ | BAL | CLE | CIN | PIT | HOU | IND | TEN | JAX | DEN | KC | SD | OAK