The Chiefs need to win in the playoffs this year

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The general consensus in the NFL is that a general manager or head coach will get three years to prove themselves.  Obviously there are exceptions to this, and the rule clearly does not apply in Oakland where coaches are lucky to get three weeks, but by and large it is accepted that three years is how long it takes to show whether the team leadership has things moving in the right direction or not.  That’s where Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey is now.

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Unfortunately for Dorsey, the bar has been set pretty high.  A winning season isn’t going to get it done.  Even a playoff appearance will be disappointing if it doesn’t result in a win.  The Chiefs need to start winning in the playoffs now.  The team has already put together consecutive winning seasons, the first time since 2005-06, and has been to the playoffs.  Those notches in the belt are recorded and appreciated, but Kansas City needs more.

Andy Reid has the Chiefs off to a good start in his first two seasons, but now is the time to take the next step. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It is well known in Chiefs Kingdom that the club hasn’t won a playoff game in over 20 years.  And since the team’s last Super Bowl win in Jan. 1970, they have only been real contenders for the championship a few times.  Kansas City’s recent history is dominated by more terrible seasons than good.

The new regime in Kansas City has been off to a great start, netting a 20-12 record in its first two years.  However, this limited success really only serves as a reminder of the playoff woes in recent history.  To sum up the Chiefs’ playoff appearances over the last 20 years…we’ve been just good enough to be someone else’s footnote.

Dorsey and Reid have the tools at their disposal.  Our new head coach and general manager inherited a roster that featured multiple Pro Bowl players.  There was plenty of talent already in house.  On top of that, the new regime was given the immediate opportunity to build the roster how they wanted it.

A trade for quarterback Alex Smith netted them the guy they wanted leading the team.  The Chiefs also had the first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, which they used on offensive tackle Eric Fisher.  So it isn’t as if the Dorsey and Reid were stuck in a bad situation.

“One of my mentors taught me that a championship-caliber team should have 8-10 ‘blues’, difference makers/Pro Bowl-caliber, on roster…” ~ Bucky Brooks, NFL Network analyst

Bucky Brooks recently stated, via twitter, that a team needs eight to ten “blues”, or Pro-Bowl/difference makers, on the roster.  In Kansas City, I see Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Sean Smith, Dontari Poe, Derrick Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Maclin, Ben Grubbs, Travis Kelce, and Anthony Sherman as players who fit that mold.  That’s ten “blues” without even getting into guys who would be arguable.  So there is no excuse.  Kansas City has the talent to be championship contenders.  That puts it all on the leadership at this point.

Many fans will feel I’m being too harsh in setting such a goal, and making it a hit or miss.  They will say all the positives I have previously mentioned are signs of good things to come.  But the Chiefs have been a mediocre to flat-out bad franchise for far too long.

It’s time for the team to start heading in the right direction, now!  Dorsey and Reid have gotten us off to a good start, but without more progress, it means nothing.  The Chiefs need to make themselves relevant again.  And that isn’t going to happen with 9-7 finishes or first-round exits from the playoffs.  It is only going to happen when Kansas City start lining up against the best teams, and beats them, in the playoffs.