Chiefs: What we’ve learned and should expect


Safe to say, few expected the Kansas City Chiefs to have a losing record heading into their bye week, and I’d bet you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thought the Chiefs would be looking up at both the Broncos AND the Raiders at this point in the season.

Of course, we know Alex Smith is what we thought he was, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, and Charcandrick West appears to be an NFL running back. Those are just a few things we’ve learned through the first half of the 2015 NFL season. Lets explore what we may learn or expect to see coming down the stretch.

1. Alex Smith’s replacement must be searched out and found this off season. While Smith is a great guy, and appears like a guy who’s greatest attribute could be holding a spot to allow a younger quarterback to develop and take over. Smith is a nice guy to have on your roster, but you are not going anywhere special with Alex Smith as your quarterback. Simple as that. Played out.

The Chiefs are in a very fortuitous position (looking on the bright side) that they are able to bring in a quarterback in from the draft next season and allow him to learn without having to play from opening day, which could allow the Chiefs to have solid quarterback play for years to come.

2. Charcandrick West just may be the next running back for the Chiefs. If we look back at history, fans were bummed when Larry Johnson broke his foot against the Packers in 2007, but in hindsight, put Jamal Charles in the starting position to be the guy, and Charles took that opportunity and ran with it, literally. Well, as is the case often in the NFL, what is given can just as easily be taken away.

Jamaal has zero limited guaranteed money on his contract, is approaching 30, and will be coming back from a second knee rebuild since the 2011 season when he was injured in Detroit. West will make far less then Charles, and based on the numbers, could approach what Charles does on the field, all depending on how Charles recovers from the surgery. The days of Charles with the Chiefs may have simply come to and end.

3. Dee Ford still isn’t very good. Sorry, that isn’t a news flash or breaking any new ground with that comment. Through 8 game this season, Ford has combined for nine tackles, eight solo and one assisted. Zero sacks. Not exactly what you’d hope for from a guy drafted with the specific intent of getting to the quarterback.

Tamba Hali’s contract all but guarantees he is playing elsewhere after this season, the thought of Ford starting  is a bit frightening. He’s started seeing more playing time in an effort to keep Hali fresh through the game, but he still is not producing much of anything tangible.

4. The Chiefs are not as bad as they showed during their losing streak and they are not as good as they’ve looked the past two weeks. In essence, they are who we saw in Week 1. The Chiefs, as we all know, suffered through a five-game losing streak, falling to numerous quality football teams, a decent team in Minnesota and an awful team in the Bears.

They have defeated a Texans team that looks awfully similar to, though just a step below the Chiefs, a Steelers team playing their third-string QB and a banged up offensive line, and a Lions team that appears destined to have the top overall pick.  The Chiefs will come off the bye traveling to Denver, which appears to be finding their stride on offense and continuing showing a strong defense, and traveling to take on a Chargers team to take on a team that’s just            good enough to lose closely to basically every team they play.

While optimism is high currently about the Chiefs sneaking into the playoffs, the air could easily come out of the balloon coming out of the bye week traveling on the road against two teams with quality quarterbacks. Does this team pick in the top five in the upcoming draft, no, but they also probably won’t make a run to the playoffs.

I expect this team to continue to be competitive, but, as they don’t have the Lions left on their schedule or even the Texans. Games remain against the Broncos, as well as two games against the Chargers and Raiders. Curiosity will be what Ravens team shows up when the Chiefs travel there as well as the Browns when they come to Arrowhead. I expect we’ll see the offensive line continue to grow, and while they will not be dominant (and they don’t need to be) and the Chiefs will be competitive for the remainder of the season. I fully expect this team to finish 7-9 or 8-8, and will miss the playoffs.

I’ll explain next week why doing this may just be the best end result for the Chiefs going forward.