Kansas City Chiefs enjoying most talent since 1990s


Some of us are pessimistic by nature. When it comes to the Kansas City Chiefs, count me among that group. I can’t help it. I’m only 26 years old, so I am used to watch complete and utter heartbreak on the football field with little rest in between.

The first year I watched the Chiefs was the last year they won a playoff game. In case you have forgotten, it was 1993. However, this season has a different feel to it. In fact, when this group steps onto the field for the first time in September, it will be the most talented team Kansas City has employed since that ’93 group.

The Chiefs have ample talent on both sides of the ball, even more balanced than at any point in the Marty Schottenheimer era. In those days, from 1989-98, the defense always carried the offense, with quarterbacks like Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Dave Krieg. The offenses were always holding us back, and we knew it. In 1993, the Chiefs finally had a balance with Joe Montana and Marcus Allen coming over, joining forces with the likes of Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith.

Fast forward to now, and Kansas City is brimming with ability. The Chiefs boast a bevy of stars on defense, ranging from Sean Smith, Dontari Poe and Derrick Johnson to Justin Houston, Allen Bailey and Tamba Hali. Of course, we might be adding Eric Berry back into that mix soon. Think of the defensive talent this way; even without Berry included, one of those other players is the sixth-best player we have on defense. Our $30 million safety didn’t even crack that list.

Offensively, the pieces are falling in place. Travis Kelce is becoming a stud at tight end, while De’Anthony Thomas began to emerge as a legitimate weapon from almost anywhere on the field. Alex Smith will never throw for 4,500 yards and 40 touchdowns, but he’s a capable field general. Smith will do enough for Kansas City to win, and will rarely — if ever — cost the team a game. Of course, the main weapons are Jamaal Charles and Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs have two game-breakers, able to tilt the field on any play.

No team hits the field without questions, though. The offensive line remains in flux and the corners are thin behind the starters. While Ben Grubbs was a huge addition and the return of Donald Stephenson to Andy Reid’s good graces can’t hurt, there are still questions. Yet, Kansas City has the draft remaining, giving the Chiefs a chance to add 10 more players to this already impressive group.

For the first time in years, I poured over the schedule on Tuesday night and did not feel the least bit intimidated. I saw the Chiefs were hosting the Denver Broncos in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football and felt excited; there is an opportunity to serve notice in the AFC West. Sure, Week 3 at the Green Bay Packers won’t be easy, but it is no longer an absolute loss either. Kansas City has the goods to turn heads, so bring it on.

Does any of this guarantee a championship or even a division title? Of course not. Kansas City could underwhelm or get injured, leaving us all with another sour taste in our collective mouths.

It’s just that, for the first time, I’m not betting on that.