Matt Moore remains a free agent and might not have a new home for a few months. The veteran quarterback is considering waiting until after the season begins to sign anywhere, giving him time to survey the “quarterback landscape to see which team needs help,” Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports. That means Moore is waiting [more] Read more…
After a second successive Divisional title, there’s no doubt which team rules in the AFC West. With five wins out of six against their rivals in the West, the Chiefs once again dominated in this section. As one of only three teams in the NFL to have played over 100 games against their divisional rivals and to hold a winning record against all of them, Kansas have worked hard to secure their status as top dogs.
But when the new season gets underway in the fall, the challenge from their divisional rivals will be stronger than ever. So which teams are going to be the toughest opponents?
According to sports betting sites like Stakers.com, the Chargers are the number one contender in the West. They got a nightmare 0-4 start last time round and then went 9-3 for the rest of the season, narrowly missing out on the play-offs. Philip Rivers will have the same wide receiver corps to throw to and if they carry on where they left off last season, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. But the Chiefs beat them twice last time, crushing them 54-23 over the two games, and they will relish the chance to put the Bolts in their place again this fall.
The Chargers are the opening chapter in a tough start to the Chiefs’ schedule. Next up is a trip to the Steelers, followed by a tricky home game against Jimmy Garoppolo and the improving 49ers and the first clash of the season against the Broncos. Match-ups against the Jaguars and the Patriots make up a rough opening half-dozen games.
But there’s a lot to be said for getting the toughest games out the way early on. With such a tricky schedule, there’s no danger of any early season sluggishness and we can expect the Chiefs to come out of the blocks roaring. Get through that opening stretch with a positive win-loss record and Kansas could be set for another play-off charge.
The Chargers might be grabbing the attention of the pundits, but the Broncos can also be expected to put up more of a fight this time round. They’ve made some shrewd moves in the Draft and the combination of Bradley Chubb and Von Miller should be formidable. The addition of Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton will also make Denver more dangerous on offence. But the Chiefs have a few weapons of their own.
Sure, Alex Smith has gone, but anyone writing off Kansas on the back of his departure would be making a big mistake. Patrick Mahomes has all the skills to step up and lead this team and the lightning receivers Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley and Sammy Watkins will give him the tools he needs to pile up the points. With Kareem Hunt and the returning Spencer Ware forming a powerful back duo, the Kansas offence will be looking good in September.
We can also expect more from the defense this time round. Last season they had a terrible run of injuries, but with Eric Berry back and a host of new defensive draft recruits, the Chiefs will be a lot tighter against the rush in 2018-19.
We can’t talk about tough opponents without mentioning the Raiders. Whatever they call themselves, the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders always come strong and the 30-31 game in Oakland last season was an epic. That was the only Divisional defeat the Chiefs suffered all campaign, and they will be keen to reassert their dominance over one of our oldest rivals.
After that tough opening stretch, things get a little easier. The Cardinals will be strong opponents, but nothing the Chiefs can’t handle, and after their bye in week twelve, they have three games out of five against AFC West opponents so if they dominate the division like they did last season, we can expect Kansas to finish the regular season strongly.
As ever, their AFC West rivals will make things tough for the Chiefs, but as they showed last season, they can cope with pretty much anything that the opposition throws at them. And if anyone doubts the Chiefs’ play-off credentials, they should remember the opening two games of last season when Kansas beat eventual Super Bowl contenders the Patriots and the Eagles. Losing to the Titans in the Wild Card game was a huge disappointment last time round, but the Chiefs can put that right in 2018-19 and take another Divisional title on the way to going deep into the play-offs.
The Kansas City Chiefs swapped out receivers at the back end of their roster on Wednesday. The Chiefs signed former East Carolina wide receiver Davon Grayson and waived Oklahoma wide receiver Jordan Smallwood. Grayson caught 59 passes for 886 yards and six touchdowns as a senior last season at East Carolina. All three marks were [more] Read more…
Dadi Nicolas isn’t going to Cleveland. He’s instead found a new home in Seattle. The Seahawks signed the linebacker Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Nicolas appeared headed to Cleveland two weeks ago when the Browns and Chiefs agreed to a player-for-player deal with tight end Randall Telfer headed to Kansas City. But the [more] Read more…
The Kansas City Chiefs signalled their intent for change in the 2017 Draft by moving up to the 10th selection to acquire quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Since Andy Reid’s arrival at the club in 2013, Alex Smith had been a safe pair of hands at the position, proving his worth after the Chiefs used a second-round pick to secure his services from the San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City reached the playoffs in four of the five seasons with Smith as their signal-caller, winning the AFC West in back-to-back terms in 2016 and 2017. However, success in the playoffs eluded Reid’s men, winning one game against the Houston Texans in the wildcard round in the 2015 term.
Patience ran thin after their narrow defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round in 2016, resulting in the move for Mahomes. Smith remained the starter and enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his NFL career in 2017. His tenure with the Chiefs ended on a sour note with a second-straight post-season defeat on home soil, losing by a single point to the Tennessee Titans.
Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins in the early stages of the off-season, with the franchise putting their faith in Mahomes to guide them over the hump to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969. Kansas City are backed at 28/1 to win Super Bowl LII in the latest odds provided by Betway, which will be a challenge, given the changes they’ve made in key positions since the end of the 2017 campaign.
Smith was viewed as a game manager by many pundits in the NFL and given his standard of performances during his first four seasons with the Chiefs – it was not an unfair statement. However, the 33-year-old enjoyed a brilliant start to the 2017 campaign, perhaps fuelled by the drafting of Mahomes. His four-touchdown performance against the New England Patriots stunned the defending Super Bowl champions, recording a 42-27 win at Gillette Stadium. He maintained that form in the early stages of the term to be considered a candidate for MVP.
The inconsistencies in his game appeared during the middle stretch of the season, including a two-interception display against the New York Giants. Performances of that ilk would cost the Chiefs a bye in the post-season and may have convinced the club’s hierarchy to move on. Smith’s outing against the Titans in the playoffs was statistically sound, but he lacked the clutch performance needed to guide them to victory.
Reid will be hopeful that Mahomes has those characteristics in abundance. There are fine margins for the quarterback to deal with as the club have been a fixture in the AFC playoff race for the past five seasons. A step back will be deemed as a failure, even if it is his first full term in the NFL. The 22-year-old was outstanding during his time at Texas Tech in the college game and has quality weapons around him with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The pressure is on Mahomes to deliver.
The Chiefs have also made significant moves on the defensive side of the ball. All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters was traded away to the Los Angeles Rams, while veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson was released. Both players were a key part of Bob Sutton’s unit last term, although Peters’ behaviour, particularly in a defeat to the New York Jets, may have hastened his departure. Their exits leave a void on the defense, while Eric Berry may not be the same player at the start of the 2018 term as he works his way back from a torn Achilles.
Kendall Fuller and Anthony Hitchens arrived to replace Peters and Johnson, but face a major baptism of fire in their bid to replace two quality players for the franchise. Justin Houston needs to take ownership of the defense and rediscover his best form rushing passer. He notched 9.5 sacks last term in 15 matches and can raise the bar to once again become one of the truly dominant pass-rushers in the NFL. A healthy Dee Ford could be crucial to easing the pressure, although there’s also a need for Tanoh Kpassagnon, Reggie Ragland and Chris Jones to come to the fore.
The Chiefs signed the most famous sixth-round pick of this year’s draft, Kahlil McKenzie. McKenize, the son of Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie, is converting from the defensive line to the offensive line. He was the second draft choice the Chiefs got under contract Monday, joining Armani Watts. The Chiefs previously signed Tremon Smith, leaving [more] Read more…
The Chiefs signed fourth-round pick Armani Watts to a four-year contract. The Texas A&M safety becomes the second of the team’s six draft picks to sign. Kansas City also has signed sixth-round pick Tremon Smith. Ron Parker‘s departure opens up the free safety spot, and Watts will compete for the job with Leon McQuay III, [more] Read more…
The Colts claimed defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches off waivers from Kansas City. They waived outside linebacker Josh Perry in a corresponding move. Nunez-Roches played in 34 career games with 16 starts in three seasons with the Chiefs. He made 51 tackles, five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also has appeared in one postseason [more] Read more…
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