In two of the last three years, coach Andy Reid has gotten the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) to the playoffs and last season they hammered Houston 30-0 in round one. Reid has proven he knows how to win. Once again, the Chiefs will put a fine defense on the field, a highly rated QB in Alex Smith, and an excellent rush attack. In our Kansas City Chiefs 2016 NFL preview we note that this club could take the AFC West in 2016.
Chiefs Offense: B+
QB Alex Smith (3,486 YD, 20 TD, 7 INT) is not flashy, but he is good. He’s a solid passer and can run. Last year, he gained 498 yards on the ground, averaging 5.2 YPC and scoring two TDs. In 2015, the ground attack took a hit when Jamal Charles (364 YD, 5.1 AVG, 4 TD) went down. He’s back and healthy and will join Charcandrick West (634 YD, 4.0 AVG, 4 TD) on the rushing unit. The Chiefs possess capable receivers in the likes of WR Jeremy Maclin (1,088 YD, 12.5 AVG, 8 TD) and Pro Bowl selection TE Travis Kelce (875 YD, 12.2 AVG, 5 TD). The O-line, having lost two starters, is a concern.
Chiefs Defense: B+
The Kansas City defense is often underrated. With one of the best lines in the NFL and a fine linebacking unit, plus a stealth secondary, these guys can win games. They were second in interceptions (22) and turnover differential (+14), third in points allowed (17.9), and fourth in sacks (47). Plus, the top performers are back, including team leaders in tackles, ILB Derrick Johnson (116), sacks OLB Justin Houston (7.5), and picks, CB Marcus Peters (8).
Chiefs Special Teams: B
The punt and kick returns units were below average in 2015. They need to upgrade both. Punter Dustin Colquitt was amazingly exacting. Kicker Cairo Santos (39/41 XP, 30/37 FG) started off shaky but had a fine second half.
Chiefs Coaching and Management: A-
In 2015, Andy Reid did an amazing job adjusting to injuries and getting his team to run off 10 straight wins. In three years with the Chiefs, he is 32-19. GM john Dorsey found some quality in the draft, including DT Chris Jones (Mississippi State) and CB KelVarae Russell (Notre Dame). Two free agents join the team, with one, RT Mitchell Schwartz (Cleveland), being a major contributor.
Last Word: Kansas City Chiefs 2016 NFL Preview
The Chiefs have a team that proved last season they could win when things got tough. The defense is exceptionally strong, and the offense is versatile. Coach Reid is as solid as a coach can get. Our Kansas City Chiefs 2016 NFL preview concludes that this club has a good chance of winning the AFC West.
For our overview of the AFC and to link to other AFC teams, please click here.