NFL - AFC WEST
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs News and Picks
The Chiefs had offensive line issues at the end of 2020, and that became a big focal point in the 2021 draft. The Chiefs drafted their new starting center in Creed Humphrey, and their new starting right guard in Trey Smith. Two-time First-Team All-SEC linebacker Nick Bolton is the newest high profile member of the Chiefs defense.
The Chiefs finished with their most wins in team history and made it two straight Super Bowl appearances. The final game didn’t go as hoped, but overall it was the best season in Chiefs history that didn’t end with a Super Bowl victory parade. Kansas City won its fifth consecutive AFC West championship and hosted the AFC Championship Game for a third straight season.
Patrick Mahomes has never started a season that didn’t end with a trip to the AFC Championship Game. He’s a former league MVP and Super Bowl MVP, and he is the most important player in the history of the Chiefs. Tyreek Hill is one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL, but tight end Travis Kelce is the top weapon for Mahomes. On defense Tyrann Mathieu is the heart and soul. He gives the Chiefs a leader on the secondary that can play multiple positions. His versatility has been key in taking the Chiefs defense from a liability to an asset. The other superstar on defense is lineman Chris Jones. For the last three years he has been the best NFL defensive tackle not named Aaron Donald. This year Jones will play more at defensive end, and that could see his already gaudy pass rushing stats grow even more
An underappreciated addition is defensive tackle Jarran Reed. It’s his presence in the middle that allows Chris Jones to move to defensive end. The Chiefs also added cornerback Mike Hughes. The former first round pick of the Vikings only cost Kansas City a sixth round pick. Along with the three rookies on the right side of the offensive line, the biggest offseason moves in Kansas City was about the left side of the line. The Chiefs gave big money to new left guard Joe Thuney, and then traded their first round pick for left tackle Orlando Brown, Jr.
The biggest loss for Kansas City is wide receiver Sammy Watkins. He was often hurt, which is why the Chiefs let him walk in free agency and sign with the Ravens. But when the Chiefs won Super LIV, Watkins was huge in the postseason. He had the game-clinching catch in the AFC Championship Game and was huge in the Super Bowl comeback. Also missing is Bashuad Breeland at cornerback. He was also a Super Bowl hero, picking up an interception against the 49ers. But the emergence of younger corners like L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton made Breeland expendable. Still, the team will miss his veteran presence. While the Chiefs offensive line was abused in the Super Bowl, tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz were hurt and not playing. Now neither is playing for the Chiefs for the first time since 2015.
The Chiefs have won the division every season since 2016, and that isn’t likely to change in 2021. If Justin Herbert continues to improve with the Chargers, they will be competitive. If Teddy Bridgewater improves the quarterback play in Denver, the Broncos could get into the playoffs. But neither of them is going to provide serious division competition, as long as the Chiefs stay healthy. Look for Kansas City to win its sixth consecutive AFC title, which would be the most back-to-back titles in the 52-season history of the division.
Kansas City Chiefs Team Offense
As voted on by the players, Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the NFL. Andy Reid is also great at creating offensive football, which makes the Chiefs one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL. Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, are all dynamic playmakers at the top of their positions. To go along with its much improved offensive line, if Kansas City can develop a quality WR2, this offense could be one of the best in NFL history.
Kansas City Chiefs Team Defense
A really good defensive line is anchored by Chris Jones, a two-time All-Pro. He’s joined by quality tackles in Jarran Reed, Tershawn Wharton, and Derrick Nnadi. You’ve got a great secondary in safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill, and cornerbacks Charvarious Ward, L’Jarius Sneed, Mike Hughes, and Rasard Fenton. The weak link is the linebackers. Anthony Hitchens is hit or miss, and Willie Gay struggled with assignments last year as a rookie. If he can improve, this linebacking group will be good. If not, they will continue to struggle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Only twice before has a team played in the Super Bowl three straight seasons – Miami (1971-73) and New England (2016-18). So while it has happened, and it is possible, it will be a challenge for the Chiefs.
Getting to play against the NFC East makes the Chiefs schedule look easier on paper. Based on 2020 records, Kansas City is tied for the 11th hardest schedule in the NFL, the second hardest in the division behind the Raiders.
Good luck on the injury front. The Chiefs have all the talent needed to win the Super Bowl. But as with all really good teams, you can’t actually win the Super Bowl without key players staying healthy. Only injuries could cost this team another outstanding season.
Not yet. His 91 regular season wins in Kansas City trails Marty Schottenheimer with 101 wins. Even with playoffs wins added in, he still trails Schottenheimer by six.
The Chiefs play in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas CIty, Missouri. It seats 77,000 fans, and built in 1972 it is the third oldest stadium in the NFL.