Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on the sidelines during the first quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2014 Opponents: The Moment of Truth

The true proof of Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s pudding will be how he handles his second season with the team. The mantra around the NFL was the fact that the Chiefs had much of their success because of their easy schedule. While that was true for 2013, the team’s opponents in 2014 will be anything but.

While parity in the NFL is growing more and more — just look at the Chiefs who were 2-14 in 2012 and 11-5 in 2013 or on the other side of the coin the Houston Texans who were 12-4 in 2012 and 2-14 in 2013 — some teams are just good every year. As the Chiefs move into their off season, they know they will face all four teams that played in the conference championship weekend. Yes, the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and yes, the Denver Broncos are all on the plate next year.

That means, of course, that the inevitable Superbowl champion will come to Arrowhead Stadium and face off with the Chiefs at some point next year.

Does Andy Reid have his hands full?

The scheduling process in the NFL only caters to teams previous records with two games. The Chiefs will face the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans, both teams who finished in second place in their respective divisions. Beyond that, the Chiefs play in arguably the toughest division in football, the AFC West  – who would have said that in 2009? talk about parity — and they play the other toughest division, the NFC West. The AFC West fielded three playoff teams this season and the NFC West fielded three double-digit winning teams. That’s seven games against tough teams; really tough teams.

I’d say Reid has his hands really full.

If those seven games weren’t bad enough, the Chiefs also have to play the always-good New England Patriots, the streaky New York Jets and the ever-improving Miami Dolphins. That’s ten games against teams who were good this year.

In fact, the combined record for teams the Chiefs will face next year is 117-91. That includes five playoff teams from this year. Yeah, that’s tough.

2014 will indeed be the moment of truth for Reid. While 2013 was a good warm-up and the Chiefs turned some heads, they can’t to have a let down season like they did in 2011 after winning the AFC West in 2010. That season led to an even worse season in 2012, and this team — and this fanbase — just can’t live through that again. Not that I think that’s going to happen.

Things are different around here.

Andy Reid completed the best turnaround in franchise history in 2013. From all indications, his entire coaching staff will be returning with him for the 2014 season, which bodes well for the team and its continued improvement.

Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert (76) during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

On the player side, while it appears as if the Pro Bowl was left tackle Branden Albert’s last game in a Chiefs helmet — I just don’t see how they’ll re-sign him with the cap situation like it is and Albert wanting $7-$9 Million a year — Donald Stephenson looked comfortable in that role and Eric Fisher made huge strides at the end of the year. Albert is the biggest name for the Chiefs heading into the free agent market this year.

The other huge question mark is Chiefs prolific punt returner and slot receiver, Dexter McCluster. His rookie contract will expire on March 11 and he’s scheduled to hit free agency as well, should the Chiefs not reach an agreement.

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster (22) scores a touchdown on a punt return against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Other than that, no “big name” players are on the block. That means both sides of the ball should remain relatively in place and will be able to build upon their success from 2013. The offense was really “turned on” by the end of the season, and though the defense took a down swing, I can only imagine that defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and his staff will be spending this off season not only dissecting what went wrong, but how to fix it in 2014. Many have said Sutton should bring in an assistant much like Brad Childress is for the offense, to assist with making defensive adjustments on the field.

The 2013 season is behind us, Addicts, but around here we don’t stop talking Chiefs football. Next year isn’t going to be any easier, but it sure will be exciting, and we’re glad to have you all along for the ride.

Sound off. What do you think about the 2014 season? Are you pessemistic about the Chiefs chances with a tougher schedule? Or, do you think the Chiefs will continue to build on their successes of the 2013 season? Let us know what you think. Thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!

Next Chiefs Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug7:00Minnesota VikingsBuy Tickets

Tags: Andy Reid Branden Albert Dexter McCluster Donald Stephenson Kansas City Chiefs

  • Canad-Ian

    One thing is for certain, we need to take care of business vs the mediocre teams to put ourselves in a strong position in the playoff race. Would be nice to split with Denver and SD and beat Oakland twice. I think if we do that vs our division we have a chance at playoffs down the stretch.

    • Jason Seibel

      I agree and I think the Chiefs did that this year. They beat the “beatable” teams. The problem is, there are a lot less “beatable” teams next season. They’re going to have play big in order to steal some of those games from the likes of the Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals and Patriots.

    • Jason Seibel

      I agree and I think the Chiefs did that this year. They beat the “beatable” teams. The problem is, there are a lot less “beatable” teams next season. They’re going to have play big in order to steal some of those games from the likes of the Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals and Patriots.

      • micah stephenson

        Yo boy Alex Smith better step it up next yr. A common theme with him is excuses, next yr I dont want to hear any excuses.

        • Jason Seibel

          I’m pretty sure “my boy” Smith stepped it up the whole second half of the season. It was the defense who lost the last 5 of 7 games. Smith gets a legit #2 WR next year plus healthy TE’s I think the offense will be explosive.

          • Jim bernard

            I agree

        • Calchiefsfan

          Smith didn’t make the excuses, his fans did. The excuses like poor o line play, time to learn the system, play calling etc turned out to be true. Once all those things got cleaned up Smith was solid. It’s the D that I’m afraid will be making the excuses next year.

      • KCMikeG

        We were a play away from beating the donkeys in KC, the dolts both times and the colts in the playoffs. Without the fumble by Sherman in dumber in the Red Zone that game could have just as easily been ours too. We din’t even try to win vs the colts in KC with Charles on the bench the whole 4th quarter after like 3 carries in the 3rd. Can’t wait for the match up vs the Niners and Kap.

        • Tristian Shelley

          That game will likely be a prime time game. And the story lines will be nuts especially since its im San Francisco. Man im not workin or anything whatever day that is

    • Stan

      We should have beaten the Chargers both times last year and I see no reason why we can’t beat them twice in 2014.

  • Larry Devore

    Improve the defensive secondary and the Chiefs will be fine. Also a little improvement on the run defense will go a long way next season.

  • micah stephenson

    I think Asomoah is a must keep free agent. I would extend J.Houstons contract. The longer we wait the more it will cost, plus Tamba ain’t get n no younger.

    • Jason Seibel

      I don’t think the Chiefs should re-sign Asamoah. I think they keep Schwartz. Asamoah rode the bench the whole last half of the season. Barring any changes I think the starting O-Line next year is LT Stephenson, LG Allen, C Hudson, RG Schwartz and RT Fisher. That was the best five guys this season. I do agree with Houston extension though.

      • Chuck Burrell

        I’m not sold on Jeff Allen. To me, Asamoah is the better guard. Obviously Schwartz was a steal. Allen has trouble with pass pro. With a WCO it’s hard for me to understand why he plays over Asamoah, being as it’s a pass-heavy offense.

        • KCMikeG

          I agree. Allen was getting beat by the bull rush and quick feet both. How about Fisher LT, Schwartz LT, Hudson C, Asamoah RT, Stephenson RT.

      • andy

        I agree with the five OL, but think we give Fisher a chance at LT, since that is why we drafted himn in the first place.

        • Jason Seibel

          I wouldn’t argue with that. I’m curious to see what a full off season weight training program will do for his anchor.

      • micah stephenson

        I would not b against swarzt, but we drafted Asamoah, he had good pff grades last yr, and he is 2 yrs younger, so I show him a lil more favoritism.

      • KCMikeG

        You don’t see Fisher going to his natural LT position? DS can play both sides equally well.

  • CrispySBC

    A tough schedule forges a tough team. After a year in Andy Reid’s system our offense should be dynamic. We need to add a few more pieces on the defense and we should be Super Bowl contender for the next few years. Add a WR, DE and a Safety and watch us kick some serious butt.

    • Jason Seibel

      Love your optimism, bro!

  • Calchiefsfan

    Was it scheme or lack of talent in the Chiefs secondary that caused the downfall the second half of last year? I’ve never been a big Lewis fan so aside from him I think the Chiefs have plenty of talent. I’m hoping that at the very least we bring in an assistant to help with the DBs and making game time adjustments. Otherwise it’s going to be a long season for us fans. I’m hoping I’m wrong about Sutton but right now I have very little confidence in him.

    On the flip side the offense finished strong and should be a juggernaut next season. I wish there was a way to keep Albert and our O line intact. I liked how they came on the second half and were a key to Smith’s success. Great depth as well. That kind of continuity would be really, really helpful to their success next year. Call me crazy but I think that is more important than getting another WR. Smith was tearing it up with the receiving corp he had once everything started to gel. Just getting the tight ends healthy will improve the offense a lot.

  • andy

    No doubt we will be hard pressed to have a similar win total next year.
    That Indianapolis los still kills me. How hard is it to look your DB in the face and say “we are up by 31, don’t let them get being you”.?

  • kcpauly

    Well I am optimistic, that Dorsey will get the cap figured out and bring a few pieces that we are missing and I think we will be a great team next year, and let’s not forget Den. and SD have to play the same teams as well, and either one of them looked all that great against good teams either so I say the AFC west is a toss up and I think we have what it takes to get to the next level and begin to DOMINATE tthe NFL for a few years, and Micah, AS11 is “my boy” too in fact even if you don’t like it he IS “our boy” and you will be the one silenced next year, yes even you will find it hard to hate AS11 next year as he is crushing the competition, heck I bet you’ll be sportin’ a #11 jersey by the end of our super bowl victory next year..
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • micah stephenson

      One minute yall say yall tired of me bashing Alex but every other day yall got my name up yalls comments about the dude. Alex Smith in the superbowl, lol, don’t get yo hopes up.

  • toperspective

    Pessimistic or a realist? I’m very optimistic about the improvements in the offense at the end of last year but I’m very concerned about the defense and Sutton considering their utter collapse at the end of the season. Having a year in Reid’s system is very good but the much more difficult schedule is a concern. Best case 10-6, most likely 9-7. Being a long time Chiefs fan has damaged my optimistic side.

  • Tristian Shelley

    Look at the NFC west. Alex Smith knows all 4 of those teams. In the AFC east Only the Jets have a good d but no QB. The bills are solid on o and D but cant do anything well. Obviously New England has brady and belicheck so thats a factor. The steelers are old on that side of the ball (defense) and thier oline needs work. Who is Tennessee’s Qb? Or RB? OK d but not good or great. Another reason I link Emanuel Sanders to the chiefs is the fact that they play the steelers. Don’t let free agents fool you. They always like to play against thier former team. But I agree with the comments made. Gotta continue to build and aquire a WR or 2 and a DT/DE and a safety. We might need more speed at the corner position too. If we do that I love the chances of this team against the tough schedule. I really believe we win the division no matter what next year. I think Reid saw how important home field advantage was as the 2 teams went 4-0. Shoot for the number 1 seed

    • KCMikeG

      As I recall some SF fans are frustrated because Smith has had the sea chickens # and Kap doesn’t. We will see how Manning fairs on Sunday. Just can’t see the Steelers letting Sanders get away after already losing Wallace. I like AS11 even more next year if Dressler works and we address TE. With you on us winning the division next year.

    • James DePermentier

      I really feel sorry for all of you chiefs fans. Not only did Reid fail in winning a SB in his 14 years in Philly but he lost a playoff game this year after giving up one of the biggest leads ever for all of the same reasons he failed in Philly. He’s stubborn to a fault and never learns from his own failed mistakes. Ask any Philly fan, we wanted him gone a lot sooner than 14 years. You will learn soon enough.

  • Mario Glynn

    The Chiefs Already can beat ANY team in the NFL with the Team they have now,With the Improvements they WILL make,we have just as good a chance as anybody to get to the Big Dance..And Andy Ried didnt lose that Colts Game the Players did so Kill that talk.A Fasters WR that can go deep,a Better Safety and a Deffense that will finish every game will =SuperBowl Caliber team..