The NFL odds may very well undervalue the Chiefs this season because of how bad they were in 2012, but their improvements this summer could make them a good value to add to our NFL picks.
Hold on Chiefs fans, this one might get bumpy. Despite a stellar comeback season from Jamaal Charles where he rushed for over 1500 yards, he pretty much had to be their only weapon. KC ranked dead last in the NFL in passing yards under Matt Cassel, only averaging 169 yards passing per game. This was the second straight season that Cassel had been atrocious, and the Chiefs are obviously now rid of him and all the coaches along with him.
Charles was a machine last season, and with the improvements on the offensive line in KC, he could be set for yet another stellar season. His TD numbers were obviously down, but with an offensive guru coming into Kansas City, his touchdown numbers could double this season.
With the addition of Alex Smith as the quarterback, and Andy Reid as the new play caller, there are a lot of questions. With Smith, it’s not that he will be asked to dominate the offense with passing, but he will be asked to throw screens, manage the game, and get the ball to Dwayne Bowe. Will he be able to translate his success with the talented 49ers to the less talented Chiefs? I’m not so sure. However I do think he can give the Chiefs someone they haven’t had in a while, a quarterback who won’t lose them too many games.
Reid translating his offense into Kansas City will be tougher than Smith’s initiation, but I think it is very doable with the talent they have. However related to the first concern, Reid’s offense is dominated with passing, and Smith is simply not the most ideal fit to man that kind of system. Will Reid tweak his offense from the Philadelphia days, or will Smith show us all why he was once the #1 overall pick? I would say the former is much more likely than the latter.
Even though I am remaining slightly skeptical, the Chiefs have all the signs of a team that could go from 2-14 to 8-8 SU easily. Reid coming in as the head coach is crucial for this team. With the additions on the offensive line, this team is not going to be a pushover like a season ago. I expect Reid to utilize Charles as much as possible in order to set up the passing game. Although he doesn’t have the greatest arm, Smith can throw 10-15 yard passes very well, which is also utilized a lot in Reid’s offense. Charles will be used in the screen game a lot, and I also expect anther nice season from Bowe, possibly with a ton of catches.
I’m not expecting a playoff run for the Chiefs this season, but I could see a 7-9 SU season with the possibility of being a good bet in the NFL odds. I think Smith can throw for almost 2700 yards and give the Chiefs a chance to win every game.
My Grade: B
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