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Grading the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs


The Kansas City Chiefs have cleaned out their lockers and One Arrowhead Drive stands empty until players return for the off-season program in May. With the 11-5 season firmly in the review mirror, we here at Arrowhead Addict would like to take a look at the year in review. That’s exactly what I plan to do tomorrow night.

The AA Radio crew will get together and record the final episode of the season, wrapping up everything from the 9-0 start to the heartbreaking 45-44 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round.

As part of the season finale show, Kenny Cember, Stacy “Reach” Smith, Kris Kilduff and I will give our grades to each Chiefs position group as well as assign an offensive, defensive and special teams MVP as well as team MVP for the season.

This is your chance to chime in. As part of the show, I will solicit your opinions and grades in order to compare to ours. I know you have opinions on how Alex Smith did in his first year as the Chiefs quarterback. I know you want to chime on who excelled on defense and who tanked.

In the comments section below, please provide the following grades:

Offensive Line

Receivers (including tight ends)

Running backs


Defensive Line



Special Teams Kickers

Special Teams Returners

Offensive MVP

Defensive MVP

Overall MVP for the season

Please feel free to elaborate on your responses as we’ll be discussing them tomorrow night during the show. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

As always, thanks for reading — and listening — and GO CHIEFS!

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  • Arrowhead Magic

    Offensive Line- First half of the season I give a C but after the bye they started playing much better B+

    Receivers (including tight ends)- The receivers struggled early because everyone was still learning but they improved as the season progressed. C

    Running backs- Charles was fantastic as usual and Knile Davis was excellent when needed despite the few fumbles he had. A+

    Quarterbacks- Alex did check down a lot early on, but late in the season he played excellent football. A-

    Defensive Line- Poe was a force this season and gave up little in the run game. Jackson also improved in pass rushing and remained solid in runstopping. Devito I would have liked to see a little more from but he was solid nontheless. B

    Linebackers- When Houston and Hali are on the field at the same time they’re unstoppable. DJ had his best year in my opinion. And Jordan did his job and never really got beat. Our backups are worrisome though, I’d like to see better depth there. A

    Secondary- Berry was a phenom this year. Cooper was a revelation but he still needs to learn. Robinson and Lewis need to go. Smith played well especially when we played press man. Flowers was solid, but he gave up more plays than I appreciated. Abdullah is a good backup. Demps could stand to learn a thing or two but he’s solid as well. Truthfully this secondary is above average but they stuggled about the same time our pass rush fell off. That’s not a coincidence. We do need a new safety and maybe one more corner. B-

    Special Teams Kickers- Succop missed some kicks he shouldn’t have, but other times he was our main scorer. C+

    Special Teams Returners- Our returners were excellent, McCluster recaptured his spark in the punt return game. And Demps and Davis were also excellent, though I think Davis is the better return man. A+

    Offensive MVP- Jamaal Charles, no question.

    Defensive MVP- I’d say Berry. He hardly gave up any big plays. He improved greatly in his coverage, where in years past bigger TEs would take advantage of him.he shut most of them down.

    Overall MVP for the season- Jamaal Charles, he propelled our offense forward when it stuggled early on. Though it was shown in our playoff game that even if he gets injured our offense can survive. Despite that, he makes the biggest difference for this team.

  • Michael Tavis

    Offensive Line – C+
    I thought the Oline got better as the year went on but our first overall pick not being part of the reason is pretty disappointing.

    Receivers (including tight ends) – D
    Avery and McCluster showed flashes of productivity but were way too inconsistent. Combine that with Bowes disappearing act and the injuries at TE and they are lucky to receive a D.

    Running backs – A
    The runner up league MVP and a solid rookie back up and we have on of if not the best RB tandem in the league. The future looks bright and I dont see this grade changing any time soon.

    Quarterbacks – B
    Smith waited till the second have of the season to show that he can in fact win games for a team and not just manage them and thats part of the reason they only received a B. I think with a better WR Corp QB grade would of been an A. This still Bodes well going in to next season.

    Defensive Line – B
    Poe had a breakout season and showed that Pioli actually did get a pick right. I think Devitto was underrated and didnt receive enough praise. He showed up every week and did his job. Jackson was also consistent. He still doesnt live up to his draft status but at this point we dont expect him to.

    Linebackers – B
    Derrick Johnson, Justin Houston, and Tamba Hali. That is all I really need to put. If it wasnt for the injuries I am sure this would be an A. Akeem Jordan also filled in decently enough next to DJ.

    Secondary – C
    Oh Man. This looked like it was going to be a bright spot early in the season. I dont think the scheme helped these guys succeed much and Kendrick Lewis showed he is not the future FS for this team. I think if we bring in a solid FS that doesnt get burned constantly and let Berry play as a safety and not a LB and I think this group will be much better next year. That being said it is is sad to see Flowers drop off so bad. Hopefully Cooper can keep improving and fill that role.

    Special Teams Kickers – B
    Save a missed Kick in a meaningless game against the Chargers Succup didnt lose us a game. He was consistent for the most part and thats really what you want from your kicker. I just wish Succup had a little more range. Colquitt was once again great. I think the Chiefs are spoiled to have a punter as great as Colquitt. Punters arent known to control a game but Colquitt definitely helps our field position battle immensely.

    Special Teams Returners – A
    I expected more returns for TDs but who didnt after their preseason showing? That being said it didnt seem to matter who was returning. Davis, McCluster, and Demps all showed explosiveness when returning the ball. Thank you Toub!

    Offensive MVP – Jamaal Charles
    If anyone puts anything different they shall be banished. Charles should be the runner up MVP of the league behind Manning and he should be OPOY. It was nice to see someone that actually knew how to utilize Charles.

    Defensive MVP – Derrick Johnson
    Once again Derrick Johnson proves himself as one of the best MLB in the league. Even though he got robbed of a pro bowl nod (Will probably get in as an alternate) Chiefs fans know how great Derrick Johnson has been for us for years. Johnson consistently plays a solid game but when he is on he is absolutely dominant. Whenever a tackle is made on the field you always see number 56 in the mix.

    Overall MVP for the season – Jamaal Charles
    Again if anyone puts anything else banish them! Chiefs fans have been spoiled for years when it comes to great RB play and that seems like it will continue and im not complaining one bit. Next year I wouldnt be surprised if Charles is even better. With Davis taking some of the carries from Charles expect him to bust off a few more of the 40+ yard runs. Fresh legs does wonders. Also I expect to have a more potent passing attack next year so that should clear the box out a little bit for Charles.

    • Michael Tavis

      Holy crap just realized I forgot to say anything about the man, the beast, the legend Sherman. He is the best FB we have had in town since T Rich. Charles would be the first to tell you that Sherman was instrumental in the season he had. Thank you Dorsey for bringing him in. He makes watching the FB fun.

      • BWrangler

        I think I’m one of the few that love seeing great fullbacks in action. Watching an LB or safety getting put on their ass by a big man running trap for the RB, that’s poetry in motion to me. Sherman was pretty damned good this year.

        • Michael Tavis

          I am also one of the few. Which is why I was so upset about leaving him out. A lot of times especially short yardage situation I would catch myself watching Sherman over Charles.

  • Priest4Prez

    O-line: Bit problamatic in the early goings of the year, but when the better players were actually put in; I saw a difference on both passing and rushing fronts. Eric has to step up next year= C+

    Receivers: Oh, Bowe your only 100 yard game was in a heart breaker. I didnt ever see a passing game really develop. It was any combination of speed, size and hands on all our receivers. Mr. “Fear the beard” could be a solid possession TE if used properly= C

    RB’s: Charles, Davis, Sherman. Keep Gray if need be but this group is sturdy but when has Kansas City not been blessed with solid running backs the last 10 years?= A

    Quarterback: I was wrong about Smith. This guy has so much guts to him. I saw short passes, intermediate and deep throws executed and on point. Sure a few were dropped and over thrown, it happens. Smith’s ability to use his legs is invaluable. Daniel, the jury is still out on him= A-

    D-Line: Poe is an animal, never let this guy go. Jackson was more present than I recall and Devito reminded me of the Gregg pickup a couple years ago. Lots of character but disappears. Rush defense was the best, I expected more improvement there.= B

    Linebackers: DJ, Tamba(!),Houston. Its a shame 2 of the 3 are hitting the twilight years. Hate to say we’ve squandered talent but this group is such a joy to see work. Again the lack of run defense hurt this group but otherwise a spectacular year= A-

    DB’s: What happened?! Seriously, between Flowers, Smith, Cooper, Berry, & Lewis…these were some the most non tackling football players ever. I believe this defensive style lends the backfield to high precentages of failure; that being said, adjust. Flowers fell off, Smith was out of position, Cooper played the rookie, Lewis collected a paycheck and Berry tried too hard to over compensate. That was the story for every game after the bye week.= C

    Special teams: This was another solid group, that makes at least one out of each phase. Enough to give an addict hope right guys? Succop was steady and Colquitt was fantastic. Ever Sunday you knew these two would be there. The return game was a vast improvement over the last few years. McCluster, Demps and Davis all need to stay back there. Lots of big returns to the 40′s range.= A

    Offensive MVP: Alex Smith. I pick him for his ability to make most of us second guess how good he was. Without Smith, that Wildcard curse of a game couldve been alot worse when Charles went out. I didn’t see a change in deamenor from the offensive in a bad way. They kept pushing, and Smith had lots to do with that. I fault coaching for that loss more than anything but if that was any other QB from the last 5 years it wouldve been 45-3.

    Defensive MVP: Houston. Sometimes its when you cant be there that you are seen as irreplaceable. When he went down, we lost everything. Houston feels like he’s the new anchor to that defensive clock; without him we dont run the same. I’m willing to bet if he didn’t go down; Houston would the Deacon Jones award this year, not Mathis.

    Overall MVP: Charles. The flipside to my Alex Smith arguement for offensive MVP. This team would have gone straight to 2-14 ville without Charles. He did everything, we need to get this man a championship and fast. In the same regard to Alex holding us together in the Colts game; Charles would have held the win. He is the heart of this team. We move forward when he moves; when he scores, we win. When he falls…we lose. The man was close to 2,000 total yards and 20 TD’s…nuff said

  • DTVTechGuy

    O-Line – Inconsistent against top tier talent, very capable however. Alex Smith made them look better with his rushing ability. Run blocking was awesome. Saying Albert is injury prone is like saying the Ocean has a high sodium content. Despite being our best player on the line, he’s not worth a big payday if he can’t stay healthy, and I would be guessing here but I think I am right… Most False Start penalties on the team. Overall Grade – B+

    Receivers – D Bowed still makes the tough catch and drops easy ones. Avery was hot and cold, Jenkins looked ok. The coaching staff made a mistake in not giving McGrath more snaps, he looked reliable and was starting to fit in when Fasano came back. Fasano couldn’t outrun the Refs. Overall Grade – C

    Running Backs – Jamal Charles is MVP without Manning in the League. Knile Davis fixed his ball control issues and looked REAL solid running between the tackles. I think Cyrus Gray has talent we just never get to see it. Based on Jamal and Kniles alone…. Overall Grade – A+

    QB’s – Alex Smith looked great most of the year. My only complaint is sometimes he NEEDS to take risks, he needs to open himself up for failure more or he won’t be successful. That play in the WildCard game to Avery showed you he is capable of throwing the ball downfield, he needs to believe in himself and just so it. C. Daniel shut a whole ton of doubters right the hell up with his performance in the SD game. Watch the tape if you think he doesn’t have talent. Overall Grade – A-/B+… ( I was torn )

    D-Line – Dontari Poe is a madman. Eating up two lineman, still getting a few sacks, stuffing holes and wrecking shop. Easily top 5 DT’s in the League. DeVito and Jackson were competent but nothing special, Jackson had about the best season I believe he is capable of. Overall Grade – B-… ( Less without Poe )

    Linebackers – Derrick Johnson is Mr Reliable. He was by FAR the biggest snub when it came down to ProBowl voting this year. He needs a partner however, Akeem Jordan and Nico Johnson got burned an awful lot. Jordan looked slow and Nico looked lost. He’s a rookie, maybe he improves. Tamba and Houston are savages. If those two stay healthy we win 2 of the 5 we lost in the regular season and maybe win the Division. Overall Grade – B

    Secondary – We are all going to be hard on these guys. Berry is a stud. Flowers can’t do it by himself. Sean Smith is enormous but doesn’t play that way. He’s huge and not physical??!! Dunta and Lewis are fired. Dunta’s slow and Lewis can’t tackle. Cooper had talent but obviously can’t be left on an island. Abdullah will be ALOT better next year, a lot of rust showing early but really came on at the end. Overall Grade – C-

    Kickers – Succop and Colquit. Succop better be reliable inside 45. Colquit is the best in the business. Overall Grade – B

    ST Returners – Demps and McCluster were great. McCluster being the better or the two. If your going to bring it out Demps, the 30 is the goal or take a knee. Overall Grade – B

    Offensive MVP – Jamal Charles
    Defensive MVP – Dontari Poe

    Team MVP – Alex Smith ( Yes, I can give Charles the OMVP and then pick AS for overall )

    I think we are all going to want to be hard on these guys because they let us down. No WAY they should lose that game to the Colts. That was unforgivable, angering, and pathetic. At the same time, you try losing 30% of your starters and see what happens in a Playoff game on the road. It happened. It was tough, it was not the end of the Chiefs, it however had better be a stepping stone and a lesson about what NOT to accept as good enough. When we all think about this we should remember the season before and not just the negative emotion we felt from the 2013 version of our beloved Chiefs. Don’t be too hard on a team that actually inspired our fandom again and let us root for one more week than the fans of 20 other teams did.

    Be excited gentlemen!

    I know we are all tired of ” there’s always next year “.. But…

    Next Year can’t get here soon enough.

  • tomflex

    I’m giving all B’s….Just like on our job eval, If we give A’s it allows no room for improvement (at least that’s what they tried to feed me). I expect a bunch of A’s next season. I’m not giving any bad grades because I truly believe every player on this team gave all they had, and 100% is all you can ask from anybody. This team is so close to getting where we all want to be. On offense….just 1 above average receiver. On Defense….The defense needs it’s quarterback too…..a team leader at free safety with experience, skill, instinct, and leadership. With those two things we’d be playing Denver this weekend.
    MVP…..Who else? Jammer Charles

  • BWrangler

    Offensive Line – I definitely saw a positive progression as the season went on. Fisher made a definite improvement in his play as he fought through injury in the 2nd half of the season. B

    Receivers – Definite underachievers of the offense. While I knew Donnie Avery wasn’t the permanent fix to a weakness on the offense, I thought he would’ve had more of an impact than he did. He showed flashes of the brilliance that made him a household name in
    Indy, but disappeared when we needed him most. I’m still high on Kelce and have always liked Fasano, but it’s apparent that we need to take a WR/TE in the first round of the draft. C-

    Running backs – JC. ‘Nuff said on his behalf. Davis looks like he has the chops to carry the torch if needed. Charles has sustained a few significant injuries in the last couple of years, which causes me a measure of concern. All in all, a brilliant year out of the backfield (when utilized properly by the coaching staff). A+

    Quarterbacks – Alex Smith is a winner. Period. He doesn’t razzle you with flash, but he dazzles you with consistency. He looked flustered in a few games, but I’m of a mind to chalk some of that up to subpar receiving play. I definitely will not lay the post-season loss to Indy at his feet. The back-ups are back-ups. The Chiefs will need to draft a QB within three years. A-

    Defensive line – I’m sorry that I ever doubted Dontari Poe. The man is A BEAST! He chewed up blocks and got pressure in the backfield, just as advertised. Tyson Jackson had a Renaissance year and Devito proved to be a prudent pickup. B+

    Linebackers – The rock of the defense. How about these names: Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Justin Houston, Injury took its toll on this unit, but when they were healthy, O-lines and QBs had nightmares about these guys. They went away after the injuries, but teams had plenty of time to scheme in their downtime. Give these guys another training camp to gel….whoo doggies!

    Secondary – Berry is turning into a faster version of Palomanu. He knows where the ball is and hawks it better than a majority of his peers. Flowers was solid as he’s always been. Cooper was burned a lot, but he was a friggin’ rookie! Of course he was going to get picked on! The DC did him no favors by refusing to adjust coverage to the situation. While the secondary was burned more than a fan would like to see, there’s reason to be optimistic. C+

    Special Teams Kickers – Colquitt is a premier punter in the league. I hate to take pride in the fact that our punter can kick somebody else’s punter’s ass in bailing us out….but he does it game in and game out. Succup turned in an average year for a place kicker and missed more than couple of FG’s that he should have made. Split grade – Punter A Place Kicker B-

    Special Teams Returners – Run DMC and Dempsey. I hadn’t jumped out of my chair that many times since watching the Human Joystick. These guys are GOOD! A+

    Offensive MVP- JC. Any debate about this is laughable.

    Defensive MVP – While my initial thought is Houston, I have to go with Dontari Poe. He was a presence in the middle of the line and did his job as well as anybody could ever ask. Plus he played the whole year.

    Jamaal Charles is the man.

  • T.Hagen

    I’m going to leave it to you guys, but I think you should grade the coaches.

  • T.Hagen

    I think everyone did a hell of a job this year considering last year. That being said Kendricks Lewis and Dunta Robison were no factors. Danta ,I think was lack of playing time and Kendrick was a casualty of Suttons lack of adjusting to other teams offense s.

  • T.Hagen

    We do need up grades on wide receiver, tightend, safety, and linebacker.

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    Oline- B-
    Rec- D
    Running backs- A
    Qb- C+
    D line- B+
    Linebackers- B
    Secondary- C-

    Unfortunately we were all fooled in to thinking our D was much better than it was after the first 8 games of the season after we had played lesser teams with backup qbs. We obviously have major holes to fill. I hope we can fill them before the core of our defense such as Hali and Johnson start to decline from age.

    Our offense looked better as the season ended. Could definitely use another playmaker outside of Charles.

    Finally, D Bowe is the most over paid player in the league. 1 game over 100 yards. Seriously.

  • aelder027

    Offensive Line

    Receivers (including tight ends)

    Running backs A

    Jamaal Charles is the best all around RB in the game today. The way he developed in the passing game was something else credit Reid and his coaching staff for utilizing Charles to the best of his abilities. I really like the back up Knile Davis He really showed he can be a force when called upon.

    Quarterbacks B+

    Alex Smith was the steady presence we have sorely been lacking since Trent Green was our QB. Although he struggled early I feel Alex Smith will be the second half of the season Alex more often than not during his time In KC. He can lead us to a Super Bowl in my opinion

    Defensive Line B

    the D Line was pretty solid all season long. They never got a ton of pressure on the QB other than Poe who was dominant at times during the season I would like to see more from Devito and Jackson.

    Linebackers A

    I’m giving this group a high grade because when healthy they were a force to be reckoned with. Hali Houston and DJ are perennial Pro Bowlers and Akeem Jordan is steady. I would like to see what Nico Johnson can bring to the table next year.

    Secondary C-

    They went from getting a possible A to below average as a group….. Flowers was inconsistent Smith was good but also got beat for huge plays as Well as Cooper which is to be expected being a rookie. Kendrick Lewis and Dunta were just awful and Eric Berry is a beast!!

    Special Teams Kickers B-

    Colquitt is the best punter in the game and Succop is under appreciated the guy missed some kicks but can also be automatic at times.

    Special Teams Returners A

    Run DMC was spectacular as our PR this year haven’t been this excited about our returners since the Dante Hall days. Knile Davis and Demps are also great on KR and gotta give a lot of credit to Dave Toub for coaching up this group.

    Offensive MVP Jamaal Charles need I say more??

    Defensive MVP Derrick Johnson

    man all this guy does is rack up tackles and TFL what a great asset he is. And is super athletic at his position and always seems to come up with a big INT every year. He is the most underrated MLB in the league and deserves more recognition. Congrats on a great seaon DJ!!

    Overall MVP for the season Jamaal Charles……… his play speaks for itself.