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The Dust Has Settled: The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs

When the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs season ended, it ended with a bang. The many firings of Chiefs personnel signaled the end of the Scott Pioli era in Kansas City.

2013 saw some major changes happen with the Chiefs: the hiring of Andy Reid, a new general manager in John Dorsey, as well as new offensive and defensive coordinators. The many changes in Chiefs staff, and even in players, such as quarterback Alex Smith, turned out to be the catalyst this talent filled team needed in order to be successful in 2013.

If one could have guessed this team would begin the year 9-0 then you must be a wizard, because the Kansas City Chiefs were stunning the NFL with their unbeaten beginning to the season. The second half of the season saw some of the major flaws with the Chiefs come to light as they struggled against teams that had great quarterback at the helm.

Despite the rocky second half of the season the Chiefs made the playoffs for the first time in two years, and fans across the country thought the curse of the win-less postseason would be broken. Unfortunately, Chiefs fans saw their team squander a huge third quarter lead and the curse continued.

Oct 27, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) and outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won the game 23-17. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

One could say this season was full of disappointment. The Chiefs were not able to beat the Broncos, they were not able to dethrone them from a top the AFC West, they are still missing key pieces that would make them contenders, and many other things. Rather than focus on the negative side of the 2013 season, lets take a look at all the good things this team was able to accomplish.

First and foremost, to go from the worst team in the league a year ago to a playoff berth and an 11-5 record is amazing. At the beginning of the year I was able to put together what I believed would be the result of the Chiefs 2013 season (read the original), and I had the Chiefs, under new coaching and new players, going 9-7 on the year with a playoff berth and losing in the first round. As a fan, I was glad to be so off of the mark.

It was a complete turn around, and cheering for the Chiefs, even deep in Bronco territory, was a pleasure. Even when they were not able to beat Denver, it was great to be proud of a team that was making progress towards being a great team and showing the NFL they can compete.

Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) celebrates after throwing a pass for a touchdown during the second 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

The defense in the first half of the season was hungry, and was feeding off of the mistakes made by the opposing offenses. They were responsible for wins in games like the Bills game, where the offense was still trying to find its way. The exposure to how this defense lacked all the tools came in the form of Peyton Manning, who was able to exploit the holes in Bob Sutton’s defense.

Towards the end of the year, injuries played their part in the Chiefs demise as teams were able to move the ball without the pass rush of the Chiefs. Finally, the end all was the game against Andrew Luck and the Colts in which a huge lead was blown and resulted in a swift exit from the playoffs.

The offense had a great season, especially towards the end. Jamaal Charles was able to be the center piece of the Andy Reid offense and had another great season, which to him being selected to the Pro-Bowl and named Fantasy Player of the Year. Alex Smith came as advertised as he was efficient and played mistake-free football. He also showed the doubters that he could air out the ball when given the chance as he put on a show in the playoff loss.

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Special teams were just that, special. Dave Toub took a group of dynamic players and turned them lose. KC special teams set an NFL record for kick returns at an average of 29.9 yards, a record which had stood since 1972. Knile Davis, the Chiefs third round draft pick, also set a team record of his own with a 108-yard kickoff return against the visiting Broncos.

The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs season was one for the books as they saw their season cut short by a heart-breaking loss to the Colts. However, there are bright rays of hope for the this team as they head into the off-season. Another year of working in Andy Reid’s offense will help drive home his unique style of play and allow this team to click, as we saw towards the end of the year. There will be some players let go as they continue to tweak the roster in order to give them the best chance to win in 2014. The draft is also coming up, allowing teams to not only build their current roster, but build for the future as well. The future is bright for the Kansas City Chiefs. It is not a matter of how far they have come anymore, but how far they will go.

Sound off, Addicts! What do you see in store for the Chiefs as we get ready for the 2014 season?

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