By Mike Florio
As the five players who were slapped with the franchise tag in February arrive at the deadline for doing a long-term deal with their current teams, the circumstances may be different but, in the end, the analysis is the same. For each player, the challenge will be to compare what would be earned under the…
By Mike Florio
With less than a day remaining for working out a long-term deal between teams and franchise-tagged players, the Chiefs and linebacker Justin Houston are working toward a possible deal. Right now, a source with knowledge of the process pegs the chances of a deal at 50-50, not because it’s a coin-flip proposition but because it…
By Mike Florio
For months, there has been no real progress between the Chiefs and franchise-tagged linebacker Justin Houston on a long-term deal. It that’s going to change, it’s going to change soon. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, nothing is currently happening between the Chiefs and Houston. It’s expected that talks will renew on Tuesday,…
By Josh Alper
The Chiefs and linebacker Justin Houston haven’t had any luck finding common ground on a long-term contract since Houston got the franchise tag early in the offseason, leaving both sides with a lot of work to do if they are going to strike an agreement before the July 15 deadline. As a result, Houston didn’t…
Only one player was selected during Thursday’s Supplemental Draft, but Isaiah Battle isn’t the only player eligible for the draft to find himself on an NFL roster. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed Kansas cornerback Kevin Short to a standard three-year undrafted rookie contract. Short left the…
Ken Stabler, who quarterbacked the Oakland Raiders to a win in Super Bowl XI has died at the age of 69, the Raiders confirmed Thursday. The University of Alabama passed along a statement from the family, which says Stabler died of colon cancer.
Stabler, nicknamed “The Snake,” was a four-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. He won two NCAA titles as a backup quarterback at Alabama, and led the 1966 team to an undefeated record.
The Kansas City Chiefs finished the 2014 season with a 9-7 record and missed the playoffs, thanks in large part to a 2-4 stumble down the home stretch of the schedule. The NFL betting lines for their total season wins this upcoming season is over/under 8.5-110 at the majority of offshore sportsbooks.
Despite that disappointing result, Kansas City could be in better position to make the postseason cut this upcoming NFL season. Heck, KC did score wins over both Super Bowl teams – New England and Seattle – last season.
Here are five keys to the Chiefs making the playoffs:
1. Passing game
The Chiefs had one of the most mind-blowing – and embarrassing – stats in 2014, failing to connect with a wide receiver for a single passing touchdown. Kansas City scored just 18 times through the air, with those going to tight ends and running backs.
To remedy that, former Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin was added and WR Chris Conley was drafted out of Georgia. Alex Smith must also be protected after getting sacked 49 times – seventh most. Shoring up the offensive line, more importantly right guard, is a must this offseason.
2. Win on the road
Kansas City has an opportunity to take over the AFC West with Denver and San Diego expected to take steps back. The Chiefs are around 7/2 to win the division, behind the Broncos at 4/9, but must win those divisional games and win on the road.
Arrowhead is still one of the loudest venues in the NFL, helping KC to a 6-2 SU (6-2 ATS) home mark in 2014, but the Chiefs were 3-5 SU (4-4 ATS) when hitting the highway. They have a season win total of 8.5 for 2015, so improvement is expected.
3. Keep Charles healthy
Jamaal Charles is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL, with his ability to blast through the defensive line or reel in a screen pass for yards after the catch. Charles played 15 games last year but wore down toward the end of the schedule. He’s 28 years old now – a year removed from the 27-year-old drop off most RBs suffer – so keeping Charles healthy could be tougher than ever.
4. Defensive stars
The two best defensive players on Kansas City’s depth chart aren’t in pads this summer. NFL sack leader LB Justin Houston has yet to sign off on his franchise tag, skipping OTAs and mini camp while holding out for a long-term deal. Houston, who recorded 22 sacks in 2014, could possibly pass on training camp, preseason and the start of the regular season altogether if he sticks to his guns.
The other standout not in uniform this offseason – or perhaps all season – is star safety Eric Berry, who recently completed cancer treatment. The team hasn’t provided any updates on his 2015 status but it’s no surprise the Chiefs went 2-3 in the final five games without their defensive captain in the secondary. Kansas City will likely need both of its defensive standouts to make the postseason.
5. Special teams
The one thing that saved the Chiefs offense from being a complete wet noodle in 2014 was special teams, namely the return duo of Knile Davis and De’Anthony Thomas giving the scoring attack solid starting field position.
Davis averaged 28.6 yards per kick return (third in the NFL), including a 99-yard return TD in Week 8. Thomas was a flash on punt returns, averaging 11.9 yards per punt return (also third in the NFL), highlighted by an 81-yard punt return TD in Week 13. The offense will still need those extra yards from the return team this season.
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