Can Kansas City Chiefs win AFC West?

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Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown as Oakland Raiders linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (57) tackles during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

To analyze the possibility of taking the AFC West, let’s review how the Chiefs ended 2014. Kansas City went 9–7 and finished second, behind Denver. The Chiefs’ uninspired play throughout the season is apparent in their stats; rushing yards is the only offensive category where they cracked the top of the NFL, with 119.9 yards per game. The Chiefs’ mediocre record and a lack of miracles in their favor in the race for the wild-card spot led to the Chiefs players watching the postseason from their perspective living rooms.

The Kansas City defense was more impressive. They ranked second in the NFL in points allowed with 17.6 per game. More impressive was their pass defense — especially considering future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning plays in the same division — ranking second against the pass by allowing only 203.2 yard per game. The run defense left too much on the field, earning a basement ranking of 28th overall.

After the draft, and through free agency the Chiefs bolstered their offense with Jeremy Maclin and Conley. The speed and talent on this offense combined with a healthy run game, the Chiefs look to do some damage on the offensive side of the ball.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs bolstered the secondary with first-round draft pick Marcus Peters. But a prospect like Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who could use some training to refine his play, could be a good run stuffer  in Bob Sutton’s defense. If the Chiefs bring their run defense on par with their pass protection, this could be a top-10 defense in both categories.

Next: So...can they win the West?