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Five Reasons to Watch the Chiefs in 2013-14
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On August 5, 2013 @ 11:08 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
What is a team to do when they finish 2-14 and share the worst record in the league with Jacksonville? They go out and get winners, of course.
It was a busy offseason in Kansas City — one that was highlighted by the arrival of former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. These two acquisitions (along with draft picks and many minor changes) have given the Chiefs a noticeable “face-lift.” Even if they don’t make the playoffs, at least they look better. Below are five reasons to check out the Chiefs this season:
1) Success breeds success: With no disrespect meant towards Romeo Crennel or Brady Quinn, significant upgrades were made in important positions. Reid rang in the New Year by getting a pink slip, but his .609 career-winning percentage with the Eagles is nonetheless impressive.
He is a former Associated Press Coach of the Year (2002) and gives the Chiefs a little swagger. Smith took a little longer to earn his respect, but when he did his talent helped take the 49ers all the way to the NFC Championship Game in 2011.
The former Ute quarterback actually was having the best season of his career in 2012 (104 QB rating) before injury forced a young man named Colin Kaepernick to take his starting spot. Both Reid and Smith are winners, and both have something to prove. That is a dangerous combination.
2) From mediocre to elite? In some divisions, having a great secondary is more important than others. Such is the case with the AFC West — a division where quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers are consistent Pro Bowlers.
Kansas City countered by adding Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith at cornerback and (at least at a glance) it looks like a potential lethal trio (with Brandon Flowers). These men will have the opportunity to make some exciting man-to-man plays in new defensive coordinator’s Bob Sutton system and hopefully improve on a squad that allowed 29 touchdowns last year.
3) Fans still believe: Chiefs’ fans have always been loyal, but when a team puts just two wins on the board, that will always be tested.
Not a problem here. As training camp opened at Missouri Western State – over 4,000 fans came out to support the team — an all-time, non-stadium attendance record.
Remarkably, Kansas City was able to pack in over 68,000 fans per home game last season — placing them right in the middle of the league. With some buzz now, those numbers should rise. I mean, where else would fans be: a Royals game?
4) McCluster ready to break out: The Chiefs have been known to have versatile backs over the years, including current starter Jamaal Charles, but McCluster is one of the team’s players who will largely determine team success.
McCluster has the ability to be part running back, part receiver depending on where he is needed and Reid always seems to have one player who throws a surprise at the opponent with formation changes.
That guy is McCluster and even if he is not listed as a starter – the expectation is he will have the opportunity for multiple big plays from different positions on the field throughout the season.
5) Raiders revenge…: Last, but not least, the Raiders. To pour salt on an already fresh wound, neither of the Chiefs’ two wins last season came against their longtime rival. The last game, in fact, was a shutout loss. In fact, the Raiders held the Chiefs to just 16 points in two games. However, KC fans will be happy to know, that will not happen this year.
While the Chiefs are talking possible playoffs, the Raiders are (once again) talking first pick of next year’s draft.
Truth be told, the Kansas City Chiefs have a relatively light schedule overall, which could help out their playoff quest.
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