The Kansas City Chiefs just wrapped up a quick mandatory mini camp last week, meaning it’s still June and way too early to be making predictions. With that in mind, sports books all around the globe have already begun doing their predictions for every NFL team for the 2013 season. Depending upon where you look, most books have the Chiefs at 6.5 or 7, meaning they’re predicting the Chiefs to be right at 6 or 7 wins this upcoming season. Personally, I think that’s pretty fair considering the Chiefs are coming off their worst season in franchise history. It also tells me that Vegas, and others, aren’t quite sure what to expect from the Chiefs this upcoming season. They just completed one of the best off seasons through out the entire NFL. The Chiefs added great depth and talent to an already talented roster and most importantly, got a quarterback.
For the most part, I agree with Vegas about the 7 game mark. However, if I were a gambling man, I would take the over. I believe the Chiefs should win more than 7 games this upcoming season. With a re-vamped coaching staff, a re-tooled roster, and a favorable schedule, the Chiefs could be poised to make a run at the playoffs. Every year in the NFL we see a “worst to first” team emerge. I’m not saying the Chiefs will win the division, but I am saying that they can, and should make a run at this years post season. With all of this in mind, lets break down the schedule and I’ll give my bold predictions
Week 1: Chiefs at Jaguars
Could the Chiefs have asked for a better opponent to start with? Jacksonville is coming off the same record of 2-14 last season. They had the second pick behind the Chiefs in this years draft and honestly, they haven’t got that much better this off season. Their new rookie left tackle, Luke Joeckel, will definitely be tested in week 1 with Hali and Houston pressuring from the edge. The Chiefs have the QB advantage in this game as well with Smith vs. Gabbert. Jacksonville is still a few years away from being a contender and they’ll likely struggle again this season. I say Kansas City gets their first win, 24-14
Week 2: Cowboys at Chiefs
This game is a tricky one to ponder. The last time Dallas came to Kansas City was the 2009 season. A game in which the Chiefs gave a very valiant effort but ultimately fell short on a coming out party for receiver, Miles Austin. The Chiefs lost in over time 26-20. However, I believe the tables will turn in 2013. Head Coach, Andy Reid, posts a career winning record of 14-9 against the Cowboys. New team I know, but Coach Reid knows Dallas well and it’s the Chiefs home opener. I predict a rockin’ Arrowhead and a fired up football team. I say Chiefs win 21-10.
Week 3: Chiefs at Eagles
This is the Chiefs first and only prime time game of the season (subject to flex scheduling) and of course, it’s Andy Reids return to Lincoln Financial. The Eagles had a busy off season themselves by hiring former Oregon Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly. Kelly is known for prolific and fast paced offense but the question still remains of how it will play out at the professional level. This game will tell us a lot about the 2013 Chiefs. This game isn’t a must win for the Chiefs, but it will be one of the toughest opponents they will face this early in the season. Philly is a tough place to play and you have to think the crowd and players will be up for this one in hopes of beating their former coaches new team. I say the Chiefs lose a tough one 20-17.
Week 4: Giants at Chiefs
The Giants make their first return to KC since the 2009 season as well. The Giants are experienced and have a future Hall of Fame QB in Eli Manning. Manning has been inconsistent at times during the regular season but he is usually tough to beat. New York also sports one of the best defensive fronts and best head coaches in the league with Tom Coughlin. Arrowhead will be loud and I believe the Chiefs will give them a game, but I think the Giants will be too much for KC this early in the season. Chiefs lose 24-20.
Week 5: Chiefs at Titans
I see Tennessee as one of the worst teams in the league next year. The Titans are trying to re-tool their roster particularly on the offensive line. KC has too many roster advantages and KC’s coaching is better. I believe the Chiefs should go into Tennessee and get back on the winning track. Chiefs win 21-3.
Week 6: Raiders at Chiefs
This is the start of a three game home stretch for the Chiefs. The Raiders are sporting one of, if not the worst roster of the 2013 season, and I fully expect them to be in contention for the number one pick in next years draft. If the Chiefs want to make a run at this years post season, they will need to sweep the Raiders starting with this one at home. I say the Chiefs win big 28-9.
Week 7: Texans at Chiefs
This, so far, will be the toughest opponent the Chiefs will have faced. Houston is coming off their 2nd consecutive AFC South title and 12-4 record. They have one of the most dominant and feared defensive players in the league right now, J.J. Watt, and will be getting back their best line backer, Brian Cushing. Not to mention they have one of the best offenses in the NFL with players like Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. This will be a tough and very telling game for the Chiefs. I’m going out on a limb and saying KC pulls off the shocker in a very close game. Chiefs win at home 17-14.
Week 8: Browns at Chiefs
Oh those pesky Browns! Cleveland is coming off a pretty good off season themselves, adding free agent line backer Paul Kruger and drafting former LSU Tiger, Barkevious Mingo. The additions of the two pass rushing specialists should definitely help an already talented and up and coming defense. Joe Haden still locks down their top corner spot and defensive tackle Phil Taylor is still emerging. Browns 2nd year QB, Brandon Weeden, is quietly coming off a decent rookie campaign and Trent Richardson, if healthy, is quickly becoming a premier back. I still believe the Chiefs have more talent and better coaching. The Chiefs should be able to take this one at home. Chiefs win 27-20.
Week 9: Chiefs at Bills
Oh those pesky Bills as well! This will be the 4th year in a row that Kansas City will have to play the Bills, and the 2nd year in a row it’s in Buffalo. The Bills spent their first round pick on Florida State Quarterback, E.J. Manuel. Even with so much change to the Bills organization and turn around to their roster, I still get a bad feeling about this game. The Bills always seem to have the Chiefs number and force them into weird and crazy games. While the Chiefs should win this game, I don’t think they do. I say Buffalo forces KC into an ugly game and the Chiefs go into the bye week at 6-3. Chiefs lose 17-14.
Week 10: Bye Week
Week 11: Chiefs at Broncos
Here we go. This is the match-up that every Chiefs fan is waiting to see. At this point in my prediction, I have the chiefs at 6-3 coming off the bye week. The Chiefs will have an extra week to heal and prepare for the Broncos and Quarterback, Peyton Manning. This could potentially be a game for first place in the division at this point in the season. We all know the Broncos wasted no time this off season as well by signing All-Pro WR, Wes Welker. The Chiefs spent their off season devoted to stopping Denver. However, The Broncos are extremely tough at home and the Chiefs hardly play well or win there. Chiefs lose 28-17.
Week 12: Chargers at Chiefs
This is the 2nd AFC West match-up for the Chiefs in a row. If the Chiefs want a shot at the post season, they must win this game at home. The Chargers hired former Broncos offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, to be their new head coach. McCoy has been impressive in Denver the last few seasons, including the playoff run they had with former QB, Tim Tebow. I still feel the Chiefs are more talented than San Diego at this point and should take this game at home. Chiefs win 24-10.
Week 13: Broncos at Chiefs
The 2nd and final regular season game against the Broncos. The Chiefs have to play Denver twice within 3 weeks and I think the Chiefs will be ready for this one. If my predictions are correct at this point, this game could potentially be flexed into a prime time spot on television. This game could, once again, also be played for the top spot in the division. Arrowhead will definitely be up for this one, especially if the Chiefs are posting a winning record. The players and crowd will be fired up and the Chiefs win a very close game, 28-24.
Week 14: Chiefs at Redskins
This is a tricky one to pick. RGIII, (Robert Griffin III) is coming off a sensational rookie season, but is also recovering from an ACL surgery from this past off season. The Redskins also had one of the best rookie players last season with running back, Alfred Morris. If Washington is in contention this will be a very tough game for Kansas City especially if they’re coming off an emotionally charged win against Denver the week before. I say the Chiefs lay an egg and let Washington steal one, 20-14.
Week 15: Chiefs at Raiders
Chiefs should win this game. 21-7
Week 16: Colts at Chiefs
This is the 2nd year in a row that KC will conclude their home schedule against the Indianapolis Colts. I believe last season was a fluke for the Colts and quarterback, Andrew Luck. Look for Lucks numbers to be slightly better but the team take a step back as a whole. Indy’s defense won’t be enough for Jamaal Charles and the rest of KC’s new-look offense. Chiefs win 21-10.
Week 17: Chiefs at Chargers
The final game of the regular season for Kansas City will be in San Diego. If my predictions are right, the Chiefs will be going into San Diego fighting for the last playoff spot or for a higher seed. However, I think the Chargers will be ready to play spoiler against the Chiefs. Kansas City has had a hard time playing in San Diego the last few seasons and the Chargers will be looking to finish strong going into their off season, much like what Kansas City did in Denver the last game of 2009. Chiefs lose a close one 20-17.
Looking at the predictions, I have the Chiefs finishing with a record of 10-6 and potentially grabbing a playoff spot or, Heaven willing, a division title. Some of you may call me crazy, stupid, or ignorant. Either way I don’t think my predictions are too bold or too low for Kansas City this season. The biggest key’s will be whether or not the Chiefs defense takes the next step and how Alex Smith pans out for Kansas City. Coach Reid has been around the league, successfully, for a long time. His experience and fresh start could be enough to help jolt this talented roster and coaching staff. How does the rest of the kingdom feel? Am I crazy? or do you agree?