Now that the rush of re-signings, cuts and free agency has subsided, the draft is still 4 weeks away and March Madness is upon us, I’ve decided to host my own little tournament. The only entry fee is that you must be an Addict.
Our tournament begins with the Elite Eight, to determine which Chiefs unit will rise above the others to be consistently dominant against the opposition in 2013. I’ve set up the bracket alphabetically. Here’s Round 1:
- Game 1: Cornerbacks/Safeties vs. Defensive Line
- Game 2: Linebackers vs. Offensive Line
- Game 3: Quarterback vs. Running Backs
- Game 4: Special Teams vs. Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Opposing the Cornerbacks and Safeties is the underdog – our quickly improving defensive line, with Dontari Poe, an improved Tyson Jackson and new run stopper Mike DeVito. If you’re filling out your bracket, this one’s gotta go to the Corners and Safeties. Berry will return to his pre-injury form, Flowers will be recognized as one of the top three corners in the league and Smith and Robinson will be strong upgrades over Arenas and Brown. The only way this game turns into a 5-12 upset is if Poe breaks out this year and we draft one of the many talented defensive ends in the first round, like a Star Lotulelei or a Sharrif Floyd.We start of the Addicts’ March Madness with what, on its surface, looks like a blowout. Our Cornerbacks and Safeties are led by Pro Bowlers Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry, two new Chiefs in Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson and stalwarts Kendrick Lewis, Javier Arenas and Jalil Brown. It’s a pretty polished unit – some are saying we have one of the top two or three defensive backfields in the league.
The second game features our Linebackers against the Offensive Line. This game is the marquee matchup of the first round. With Pro Bowlers Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson anchoring the Linebacker unit, it doesn’t even matter who our new inside linebacker is going to be – this unit is the favorite to cut down the nets at the end of this tournament. But the Offensive Line may well give the Backers a run for their money. Branden Albert – if he stays – will prove to everyone that he a Pro Bowl-worthy left tackle, and I think Rodney Hudson at center and Jon Asamoah at guard will have breakout years in 2013. With Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson battling it out with free agent Geoff Schwartz, and a real chance we’ll take Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher in the draft, we may be seeing a resurgence of our offensive line from the 90‘s – a real road-grading crew in the making. I’m going to go for a light upset here. I think the Chiefs land either Joeckel or Fisher and our Offensive Line ekes out a win against the favorite Linebackers unit.
The third game seems like a foregone conclusion, with our Quarterbacks taking on our Running Backs. Basically, this game features Alex Smith versus Jamaal Charles. I’m a Smith fan, but you gotta give this one to Jamaal. The only question in my mind is whether Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray will show a bit more of their capabilities this year.
The fourth and final game of the first round pits our Special Teams unit against the Wide Receivers/Tight Ends. The Special Teams unit has a new coach in Dave Toub, and he’s a master. We re-signed Dustin Colquitt. Ryan Succop has been good to fantastic. We need to figure out who will return kicks and punts for us and really develop him.
The Receivers and Tight Ends feature Dwayne Bowe, the curious Jon Baldwin, speedy new pick up Donnie Avery, Duster McCluster, Devon Wylie, the oft-injured Tony Moeaki and new tight end Anthony Fasano. Bowe and Avery stand out on this unit, with a bunch of question marks.
I’m leaning towards the Special Teams unit winning this one, but it would be because we either move Donnie Avery to return kicks and punts or we bring on a free agent or draft pick who excels in this position. The Chiefs haven’t returned a kick or punt for a touchdown since Duster McCluster did it in the 2010 season opener against the Chargers, forty-seven games ago.
Addicts, my Final Four would look like this:
- Game 1: Cornerbacks/Safeties vs. Offensive Line
- Game 2: Running Backs vs. Special Teams
What do you think, Addicts? Who are your Round 1 winners for our best unit and who’s in your Final Four?!