AFC WEST: KANSAS CITY (4-12)
Reason for optimism: The Chiefs added two coordinators (Crennel and Charlie Weis) with Super Bowl pedigrees as well as quality veteran free agents like running back Thomas Jones, center Casey Wiegmann and guard Ryan Lilja.
Cause for concern: The NFL’s 31st-ranked rushing defense still has issues in the front seven.
Potential basement replacement: Oakland is trying to avoid an NFL-record eight consecutive seasons with 11 or more losses.
Forecast: Quarterback Matt Cassel has more talent around him and Todd Haley is better prepared to handle head-coaching responsibilities after a bumpy first season. The Chiefs are my darkhorse contender for a wild-card berth.
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