2013 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Team PreviewRegular Season Wins: 2
Super Bowl Odds: +5000
Betting Odds from 5dimes.com
There hasn’t been more promise in a two-win team in quite some time, but the Kansas City Chiefs consider themselves to be major players this year in the NFL, not a rebuilding franchise ambling towards something bigger. The reasons for this stem primarily from an overhaul in the coaching staff, combined with an improvement on their existing pass-first attack offensively.
The Chiefs traded for QB Alex Smith and signed several free agents. Smith is deadly accurate on short pass routes, which is the modification they’re seeking to make in KC. New coach Andy Reid prefers short routes, to keep picks down, and Smith should fit right into the role he has carved out for him this season. WR Donnie Avery was signed for a deep threat, if necessary on drives, and Smith’s arm is good enough to air it out in such situations.
Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn were both no-shows of sorts last year, so the Chiefs went ahead and brought in two new QBs to get rid of both Cassel and Quinn. The aforementioned Smith is an improvement, but the even better part is that his backup Chase Daniel should be more efficient than both Chiefs QBs last season.
Daniel is just a backup, with no controversy here at all; he threw just nine passes in four seasons as Drew Brees’ backup in New Orleans. He’s an accurate passer; he proved that in practice, but don’t expect Daniel to step in that often.
Jamaal Charles will carry the majority of the running plays, and indications are that he should be able to have a good season in Reid’s offense. He’ll run a number of pass plays in the new offense, which should challenge Charles to expand his game as a RB and though he was 7th in carries in the NFL last season, the new role should help Charles take his game to the next level. The Chiefs are a dangerous offensive team, potentially, but the potential lies in how well the players adapt and integrate into Reid’s new offense.
Defensively, the Chiefs have retained their 3-4 system. They’re going to be more aggressive on pass rush and will read-and-react more, since they didn’t put much of a scare into opposing QBs last season. They were tied for last in turnovers forced, and that’s a difficult dilemma to overcome with other NFL Teams generating closer scoring opportunities. They’re going to depend on Smith keeping his picks down, with the hopes they can generate some fumbles to ignite the offense.
The Chiefs have a lot of talent, overall, and some are predicting a worst-to-first turnaround. That’s setting the bar a bit high, but it’s done in the NFL more than the other major sports, and teams have done it with less talent than this KC squad. Smith is the primary factor in the equation: the team has a new QB and a new offensive system.
It could backfire (if such were possible given last year’s disaster), but there’s not much that could be worse than winning just two games like last season. Even if the team only wins half their games, that’s four times as many wins. Chiefs fans count on Reid delivering more, but he’s stepping into a tough situation. His experience should speak volumes, and KC management has the utmost trust in he and Smith turning the club around in Year 1, year one of what they are not going to call a rebuild.
Be sure to check out Maddux’s picks for this NFL season, as we line our bettors pockets once again in big fashion.