With the Kansas City Chiefs‘ 2014 season coming up, I perused predictions for the upcoming year from major sports sites. Much to my surprise I noticed that USA TODAY projected the Chiefs to go 4-12 this season.
The moron writer with the magic 8-ball who made the prediction is Nate Davis, and he could only spare about 30 seconds of his time writing one sentence explaining each of his picks. Davis’ rationale is that the Chiefs suffered “crippling” free-agent defections and didn’t sufficiently reload in the draft.
Where is this guy getting his player info? Scott Pioli?
He didn’t even have the excuse of being swayed by the recent suspensions of WR Dwayne Bowe (1 game) and RT Donald Stephenson (4 games) to use the meme that Andy Reid has lost control of the roster. Nor did he have the benefit of two pre-season games to panic over the struggles of KC’s youngest-in-the-NFL offensive line.
Former GM Bill Polian, the architect of Buffalo’s 4-consecutive Super Bowl appearances, and the Indianapolis Colts’ success of the early ’00’s that culminated in winning the 2006 Super Bowl, liked what the Chiefs did. Polian’s take on GM John Dorsey‘s offseason was that he replaced over-priced players with better talent at more reasonable cap numbers (ESPN Insider access required).
The preseason, though rough in many places, has pretty much borne out Polian’s assessment.
De’Anthony Thomas looks like a more-than-capable replacement for McCluster as a kick returner, while TE Travis Kelce seems like he can replace much of McCluster’s production as a pass receiver with a bigger, more explosive, threat. Tyson Jackson was a run stuffing role player that will not be missed due to signing under-rated Vance Walker. Walker had more QB pressures than any interior lineman in the league last season according to Pro Football Focus. Rookie 6th round pick Zach Fulton from Tennessee has been a pleasant surprise at guard during training camp.
Don’t let the recent bad news around the team get you down, Chiefs fans. There’s one, rather large reason why such an implosion isn’t going to happen: Head Coach Andy Reid.
Reid has only suffered one season as bad as 4-12, and that came after he found his son dead of a drug overdose during training camp in 2012. It was his only losing season as a head coach in the NFL in 15 years (14 in Philadelphia, 1 in Kansas City).
Barring season-ending injuries to multiple key players like Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles, I just don’t see something like 4-12 happening. Remember, this is a team whose backups came within one Ryan Succop miss of beating a playoff team in 2013’s final game. This is a coaching staff, and front office, that knows what it’s doing.
This isn’t Scott Pioli’s Chiefs.