Last season did not go the way Dwayne Bowe had planned. The Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver predicted he would lead the NFL in both receptions and receiving touchdowns, but he finished with just 57 grabs and five touchdowns. He didn’t even lead his team in either category. Jamaal Charles topped him in both categories, as well as receiving yards.
That paired with Bowe’s ridiculous refusal of accountability for his marijuana possession arrest on Nov. 10 has made 2013 a year to forget. The good news is he’s a good candidate to bounce back in 2014.
With a new quarterback and new head coach, we should have seen growing pains in the offense coming. It was a rough start, but Bowe did start to pick up some chemistry with quarterback Alex Smith as the season went along. Including the playoff loss, he played a total of 16 games. If you stretch the last eight over a season, Bowe would have compiled 78 catches, 1,042 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
If you stretch out his first eight games in the new offense, you get 52 catches, 604 receiving yards and four touchdowns. One factor that added to Bowe’s statistical boost in the second half was the play of the offensive line. It got increasingly better as the season went along, giving Smith more time to find his receivers.
In the first half, Bowe never got double-digit targets, but he had games with 10, 12, 13 and 14 targets in the second half. Though the Chiefs still have some work to do on the offensive line, they are a young, improving bunch with plenty of potential.
If they can perform as well as the 2013 crew did later in the season, it should make things better for Bowe and everyone else involved in the passing game. Even if the line regresses, his chemistry with Smith and comfort in the new offense will not. Bowe is much better than the numbers he put up last season, and he’ll be more than ready to prove it in the upcoming season.