The Kansas City Chiefs' 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

By Cody Strahm

Kansas City Chiefs: The 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

Andy Reid
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs won 11 games in 2013, drastically improving from the two games they won in 2012. But building off of that turnaround will be difficult, to say the least, in 2014. Here are five red flags to note a little over a month out from the beginning of training camp.

5. Defense Likely to Break More in 2014

Chiefs vs. Broncos
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5. Defense Likely to Break More in 2014

Chiefs vs. Broncos
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs' defense bent but rarely broke in 2013, giving up the ninth-most total yardage in the league, but finishing tied for fifth in scoring defense. Some of that success can be attributed to resiliency, but good fortunate undoubtedly played a role as well. Chances are opponents will turn promising drives into more points this fall.

4. Offensive Line Was Depleted in Free Agency

Branden Albert
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Offensive Line Was Depleted in Free Agency

Branden Albert
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Left tackle Branden Albert, guard Jon Asamoah and guard Geoff Schwartz all left for new teams in free agency. That leaves the Chiefs down three offensive linemen, and one of the returning incumbents is second-year tackle Eric Fisher, who is making a transition to left tackle in 2014. Kansas City's turnover up front is a concern to put in mildly.

3. Chiefs Have Lost Six of Last Eight

Andrew Luck
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

3. Chiefs Have Lost Six of Last Eight

Andrew Luck
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs aren't entering 2014 with a whole of momentum. After losing five of the club's final seven games to round out the regular season, the Chiefs gave up the second-largest comeback in NFL playoff history to the Colts during the Wild Card round to make it six losses in the last eight games for the franchise.

2. Alex Smith Not as Good as Winning Percentage

Alex Smith
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2. Alex Smith Not as Good as Winning Percentage

Alex Smith
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

In a pass-happy league, media members and fans have concluded that winning is a direct result of quarterback play. While the quarterback position is more important than it's ever been, that assumption is far from accurate in most cases, including the Chiefs' rise to success last season. Alex Smith was an efficient quarterback, but not an overly productive one. He'll have trouble carrying the offense if he has to.

1. Schedule Much Tougher

Andy Reid
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Schedule Much Tougher

Andy Reid
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs benefited from the NFL's fifth-easiest schedule in 2013 and project to face the fourth-most difficult schedule in 2014. It's a drastic difference that could expose the Chiefs as something less than a true contender. Of course, it's impossible to say with any certainty how difficult a schedule will be before the fact, but it seems likely that Kansas City's road back to the playoffs will be more challenging.

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