Kansas City Chiefs: How the West was won in 2015

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Task one for the Kansas City Chiefs is winning the AFC West. The first order of business is dethroning the current champ, the Denver Broncos. That’s exactly where we will begin this story.

Since before the 2015 NFL Draft, it has been my contention that the Broncos defense, as well as their offense, have gotten worse, while Kansas City’s offense and defense has improved. The question is, has Denver fallen far enough, and have the Chiefs risen high enough for Kansas City to retell the story of… How the West Was Won?

Read on… and I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Inside of one week, Denver’s general manager John Elway came to an “agreement” that head coach John Fox should leave. He then hired his old backup quarterback Gary Kubiak to be the Broncos’ next head coach. One of Kubiak’s first moves was to bring in the man with oodles of NFL passport stamps, Wade Phillips, to be their defensive coordinator.

Since 1999, Phillips has served as Buffalo Bills head coach, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator, Dallas Cowboys head coach and Houston Texans defensive coordinator and interim head coach. Since 1999, when Andy Reid was the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, his teams have gone 7-7 against Phillips’ teams.

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While there wasn’t much to be learned from tracking down those stats, it’s safe to say these two gentlemen are well acquainted with each other. However, it should be noted that Phillips’ record is 1-5 in the playoffs, with his only win coming at the expense of Reid’s Eagles in 2009, while he was head coach of the Cowboys.

The pattern for Phillips is that his teams do well when they first incorporate his defense but fall off in their performance after the first season. In their first contest, when Reid was a new head coach, Phillips beat Reid’s Eagles, 26-0. On the other hand, Reid’s version of the West Coast offense is a malleable project. Meaning, it continues to morph and change as each season comes and goes.

Next: How has the roster changed in 2015 for KC and Denver?