Few NFL teams got bitten as badly by the injury bug last year as the Kansas City Chiefs. With key guys dropping like flies KC had little chance to contend. But still, they did, almost winning the (albeit very mediocre) AFC West and making good on NFL picks by going 9-7 ATS. So what does this season hold for the Chiefs and their recovering stars? Let’s take a look.
KC lost over 50 player starts to injuries last year, most notably with S Eric Berry, a Pro Bowler the previous season as a rookie who tore his ACL in the first quarter of the season opener against Buffalo; RB Jamaal Charles, who after averaging a ridiculous six yards per carry in 2010 went down and out for the season with a knee injury in Week 2; and QB Matt Cassel, who joined those two on the sidelines after hurting his throwing hand in Week 9.
So KC played much of last season without its best defensive back, its most dangerous offensive weapon and its starting QB. It’s almost a wonder the Chiefs managed to go 7-9.
Now, looking ahead to this season, Cassel should be ready to go. But while Berry, Charles and the Chiefs can show all the optimism they want, guys that have to move like running backs and safeties coming back from ACL tears do so with a large degree of uncertainty. We wish them all the best, but we’ll wait and see with our own eyes before declaring those two back to normal.
Through it all last season, the 0-3 start, the numerous injuries and the change in head coaches, the Chiefs still almost won the AFC West. Now, 8-8 probably will not win the West this year like it did last year, but we wouldn’t think KC could possibly suffer the kind of injuries it did last year. So improvement in the W/L columns this season would come as no surprise.
As of early this week Bovada.lv is listing the Chiefs at +350 to win the AFC West this season, 20/1 to win the AFC and 45/1 to win the Super Bowl.