Kansas City Chiefs picked to go 9-7 and finish third in AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs are always being doubted by non-locals, so it makes sense that Pro Football Focus pegged them as a 9-7 team in the 2017 season. They also have them finishing third in the AFC West.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t get better over the offseason, so it’s no surprise that national pundits aren’t giving them a lot of thought. Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus, however, predicted the Chiefs to be good, just not great.

Jahnke projected the KC Chiefs to go 9-7 in 2017 and finish third in the division, behind the Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. He said the Raiders would finish 11-5 and the Chargers at 10-6.

Here was Jahnke’s paragraph on the Chiefs,

"Since Andy Reid became the head coach of the Chiefs, they have been a playoff contender every year. 2017 should be no different. The biggest change for them was the loss of Jeremy Maclin. When Maclin has lined up on the outside, he had 1.97 yards per route run. The rest of the receivers on the outside over Reid’s tenure only has had a yards-per-route-run figure of 1.27. Life for Kansas City might be more difficult this year than past due to the quality of the division, but we should still expect more of the same."

All in all, that paragraph was fairly complimentary. It stated the obvious, as Jeremy Maclin is no longer a Chief and the team really doesn’t have a lot of great options at wide receiver. The division is most definitely the toughest in the entire NFL, so the Chiefs will have their work cut out for them for sure.

I believe the Kansas City Chiefs will be a good team this season, but there are logical reasons as to why 9-7 sounds like a realistic record for them.

While a lot of people might scoff at this type of post, I get where Jahnke is coming from. Let’s face it… The Chiefs didn’t get better this offseason and teams like the Raiders are going to be determined to snatch the division away.

Drafting Patrick Mahomes was great, but Mahomes isn’t going to help the Chiefs in 2017. The only draft pick that likely will get considerable playing time is Kareem Hunt and even then, he’ll probably start as a backup.

The Raiders are going to be everyone’s pick to pop in the AFC West and that shouldn’t surprise anyone. They’re the flashy team with the flashy quarterback (who is 1-5 against Kansas City, mind you) with the high-powered offense and the “on the rise” defense. Who wouldn’t pick that team to win the highly competitive AFC West?

As for Jahnke’s Chargers prediction, I don’t hate it. With a quarterback like Philip Rivers and a slew of talented receivers, the Bolts are underrated year in and year out. They’ve had bad luck with injuries over the past few seasons and have been the weakest team in a stacked AFC West. If the Chargers made a run in 2017 in their first season in Los Angeles, I wouldn’t be shocked.

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The Broncos finishing 6-10 also isn’t ridiculous because they have no for sure quarterback at the moment. That defense can defend all it wants, but without points, you can’t win games. That could also be directed at the Chiefs.

I believe the Kansas City Chiefs will be a good team this season, but there are logical reasons as to why 9-7 sounds like a realistic record for them. They’ll be playing an incredibly difficult schedule with six of their 16 games against their three divisional foes as well as a game against the Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, and Giants.

They’ve taken a step back as far as talent goes and didn’t add anyone to make them better in 2017. While I don’t buy the hype as much as everyone else does regarding the Raiders, the Chiefs are going to have to make minimal mistakes if they want to repeat in the AFC West and make it to the playoffs for the third straight season.

If Jahnke’s predictions all pan out, the Chiefs would still be good enough to make it to the playoffs, sitting as a second Wild Card team. With a division as stacked as the AFC West, that might not be too crazy of a scenario honestly.

What do you think, Chiefs fans? Will the Chiefs better than 9-7, worse than 9-7, or right at 9-7?