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NFL Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 5 Most Irreplaceable Players in 2014

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The Kansas City Chiefs' 5 Most Irreplaceable Players in 2014

Kansas City Chiefs
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The Chiefs want to show the rest of the NFL that the nine-win turnaround in 2013 was no fluke. Injuries are a part of football and playing at a high level on a consistent basis is difficult, but if these five irreplaceable players are able to stay off the training tables and can match numbers from the previous season, they would be a primary deterrent to the Broncos repeating as AFC West Division Champions.

5. Justin Houston DE

Justin Houston
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

5. Justin Houston DE

Justin Houston
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

Despite only playing in 11 games in 2013, Houston improved his sack numbers from the previous season. If the Chiefs want to remain a defensive force, Houston must be able to avoid long-term injuries. If he misses significant time in 2014, that will allow opposing offenses to key in on the other linebacker star on the team, Tamba Hali, which will reduce the team's effectiveness.

4. Eric Fisher OT

Eric Fisher
Melina Vastola - USA Today Sports

4. Eric Fisher OT

Eric Fisher
Melina Vastola - USA Today Sports

The overall No.1 selection in the 2012 Fisher has yet to live up to those lofty expectations. With the major overhaul to the Chiefs offensive line there is pressure on the young tackle to step up and play better. The urgency is also higher because Fisher is moving from RT to LT to protect Alex Smith blindside; if he misses time, the Chiefs could be in trouble because there is no depth behind him.

3. Eric Berry CB

Eric Berry
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

3. Eric Berry CB

Eric Berry
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

Coming off a productive 2013 season, Berry will be called on to do more in 2014. The Chiefs defensive backfield currently is a hodgepodge of veterans and young players who have yet to make their mark in the league. Being able to look to Berry for leadership will go a long way in maximizing their potential, but if he is out of the line up, who will the Chiefs be able to rely on?

2. Jamaal Charles RB

Jamaal Charles
Cary Edmondson - USA Today Sports

2. Jamaal Charles RB

Jamaal Charles
Cary Edmondson - USA Today Sports

The past two seasons the focal point of the Chiefs' offense has been Jamaal Charles. That could be a gift or a curse depending on how it's perceived. The fact that he led the team in receptions and the next leading rusher was Alex Smith speaks to his value on the team; and if he can't produce comparable stats in 2015, don't be surprised to see the Chiefs win output take a dip as well -- he is their offense.

1. Alex Smith QB

Alex Smith
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

1. Alex Smith QB

Alex Smith
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

Coming from San Francisco, no one expected Smith to add this much value to the team, and while you will never mistake him for one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, he gets the job done. But outside of Smith, the quarterbacks on the roster leave a lot to be desire, and if for some reason Smith is not under center, the Chiefs could very well find themselves closer to the win production in 2012 instead of 2013.