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.
So there is apparently a pretty decent LT available in this year’s supplemental draft. Isaiah Battle is supposedly a second round talent if not for his off field issues that got him kicked out of Clemson. I’m not familiar with his issues, but what are your thoughts?
Dorsey likes taking tackles and moving then around the line. If he really is a second round talent, and Reid can straighten him out, maybe he can play RT or RG? It never hurts to turn over rocks at the position we were the weakest in last year. I’d consider offering a third our Read more…
By Mike Florio
At one point in the life of the franchise tag, the window for negotiating long-term deals with franchise-tagged players reopened on July 15. It now closes then. Which means that, after July 15, the five players on whom the tag was used in 2015 (Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, Giants defensive end Jason-Pierre…
Jack Steadman, the general manager in charge for the only Super Bowl victory in Kansas City Chiefs history, has died at the age of 86. The team announced Steadman’s passing on Sunday with a statement from team CEO Clark Hunt. “My entire family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jack Steadman. Jack…
Yup….ANOTHER Alex Smith thread….
I recently watched this video www.youtube.com/watch?t=90&v=GwxAqvHjIc4 of Alex Smith 2014 highlights but instead of just watching it and enjoying it, I decided to really study the damned thing and see if I could actually learn anything about Alex from it.
The big complaints about Alex have been that he can’t or won’t throw balls more than 5 yards beyond the LOS. I think most will agree that in a West Coast the offense’s bread and butter pretty much comes down to the 5-7 beyond the LOS pass play with yards after catch being crucial. So Read more…
The “Houston Question” is bugging all Chiefs fans. No doubt about that. So I will try to offer some thoughts on the situation…
#1) Nobody knows what Houston is demanding in terms of a long term deal. But it seems to be safe to say that it’s at LEAST somewhere in the range of $16 to $18 million per year (cap hit) with somewhere close to 50% guaranteed.
#2) Can the Chiefs afford that? With the projected salary cap increases over the next few years it seems certain that the Chiefs could pay that kind of money.
#3) But can the Chiefs REALLY Read more…
Gates and Richardson of the Jets suspended 4 games tested positive for performance inhancing drugs
Courtesy of Arrowhead Pride
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been handed a 4-game suspension by the NFL after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
In what will very likely be Antonio Gates’ final season with the San Diego Chargers, if not his last season in the NFL, the San Diego Chargers future Hall of Fame TE will miss a quarter of the team’s games and get marked down as a user of Performance-Enhancing Substances.
Because this offseason couldn’t get any worse for Chargers fans, right?
This is Read more…
- Kansas City Chiefs Capsule - USA TODAY
- Houston Will Repay Chiefs Faith as Perennial All Pro - Bleacher Report
- Kansas City Chiefs preseason capsule - News-Press Now
- Chiefs to Kick Off 2015 Season with Red Thursday Celebration on Day of Home Opener - KCChiefs.com
- Top 5 Headlines 7/27: Jamaal Charles gives a great speech at the Special Olympics - KCChiefs.com
- Chiefs Positional Guide to Training Camp - KCChiefs.com
- Kansas City Chiefs 2015 training-camp roster, with analysis for each position ... - Kansas City Star