After a less-than-stellar offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves entering the 2014 season without several starters from an 11-5 football team that made the playoffs in year one under coach Andy Reid. There are many questions along the offensive line as well as in the secondary. The Chiefs recently locked up their “game managing” quarterback; Alex Smith, and are looking to rely heavily on Jamaal Charles once again in 2014.
This season, the schedule looks daunting on paper as the Chiefs will play seven games against teams that made the playoffs a year ago, including the defending Superbowl champion Seattle Seahawks in week 11 and will likely not have the luxury of feasting on a plethora of second-string quarterbacks like they did in 2013. Head coach Andy Reid certainly has his work cut out for him with this roster, and the Chiefs are going to have to find a way to be opportunistic on defense once again to win games. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali will once again be called upon to be a destructive pass-rushing force and will need to consistently wreak havoc in opposing backfields. The team did little to bolster key positions of need such as wide receiver and corner, and the running game could also suffer behind this patchwork offensive line. As you take a look at the 2014 schedule, it becomes increasingly difficult to see this team heading back to the playoffs and if it occurs, there is no doubt that Andy Reid will once again be receiving the award for “AFC Coach of the Year.”
9-7 Tennessee (WIN). This is the home-opener and a game the Chiefs should win. Unfortunately, this game is not a gimme considering the fact that starting WR Dwayne Bowe is out for the game along with RT Donald Stephenson.
9-14 @Denver (LOSS). It does not appear likely that the Chiefs will defeat the Broncos until Peyton Manning moves on. Denver wins this game in a rout.
9-21 @Miami (LOSS). This is a complete toss-up, however the Chiefs historically play terrible in the state of Florida and will likely be coming off a bludgeoning at the hand of the Broncos the week before. Chiefs lose a close one here.
9-29 New England (WIN). The Chiefs could be desperate at this point and in need of a big victory. They get it on Monday Night Football in front of a raucous Arrowhead crowd.
10-5 @San Francisco (LOSS). The Niners looked poised to give the Seahaws a run for their money in the NFC West. Going to be extremely difficult to go out to the west coast and get a win.
10-19 @San Diego (LOSS). KC has not found a way to beat Rivers and the Bolts since the infamous Monday Night “fumbled snap” of 2011. The Chargers could easily factor in to the AFC playoff picture once again. Chiefs lose a close one here.
10-26 St. Louis (WIN). The Rams offense will struggle mightily without Sam Bradford in the picture. Chiefs beat the Rams by two touchdowns as they try to gain momentum for the rest of the season.
11-2 New York Jets (WIN). A lot of uncertainty about this Jets offense, although if starting QB Geno Smith continues to grow, they could be a dangerous team. The Chiefs win a defensive battle in this game, however.
11-9 @Buffalo (WIN). Buffalo is typically a house of horrors for Kansas City, but with the Bills QB situation in flux and a team that remains in the NFL’s witness protection program, the Chiefs win their third straight game.
11-16 Seattle (LOSS). The defending Superbowl champs take it to the Chiefs on their home field in a game where the Chiefs offense will struggle to produce…well…anything.
11-20 @Oakland (WIN). The Raiders are improved, however, it is likely that they will still finish last in the AFC West unless rookie quarterback Derek Carr proves to be the real deal. Chiefs win in the black hole.
11-30 Denver (LOSS). Nope, don’t even think about it. Not happening. Again, if Peyton Manning is upright, the Chiefs will not be scoring more points than the Broncos on any field on planet earth.
12-7 @Arizona (LOSS). Things begin to spiral out of control at this point. Arizona’s defense holds KC in check in route to a single-digit victory.
12-14 Oakland (WIN). Chiefs show they still have some fight left as they sweep the Raiders for the second season in a row.
12-21 @Pittsburgh (LOSS). Dreams of a playoff season come crashing down as the Chiefs get hammered in the cold in the steel city.
12-28 San Deigo (LOSS). A demoralized KC squad forgets to show up for this one as Rivers and the Chargers stamp their ticket to the playoffs.
Final Record: 7-9 (third place AFC West)
Alex Smith Stats: 2,878 yards, 17 touchdowns 10 INT’s
Jamaal Charles Stats: 250 carries, 1,245 yards rushing, 43 catches, 456 yards receiving