The four games against the NFC and AFC South teams should all be wins. The Buccaneers will improve this season behind second-year, quarterback Jameis Winston, but the Saints horribly bad defense won’t be fixed in just one season. The Titans and Jaguars may also progress but the Titans may have hamstrung themselves by sticking with head coach Mike Mularkey. We already discussed how bad San Diego will be. They play the Chiefs tough at home but Rivers is another year older and he still can’t move behind a shaky offensive line. In all instances the Chiefs are a superior team and barring getting in their own way, should march right through these games unscathed. (11-2)
The other three home games are toss ups for Kansas City. Oakland and Denver have been tough outs before and they may be even worse in 2016. Denver’s defense will be difficult to overcome but if the Chiefs can limit the turnovers then they should be victorious. I see Oakland as a one and one kind of series where if the Chiefs win in Oakland then they will lose at home and vice versa. New York will be a difficult contest where the win will depend on shutting down Brandon Marshall. I see 2 of 3 going to the Chiefs for these games.
Therefore, my final prediction for Kansas City’s record in 2016 is 13-3. That may be high to some who see a lot of departures on defense in free agency. But I believe this team will continue to make strides even without players like Sean Smith and Jaye Howard. Alex Smith can get a few more weapons and of course Jamaal Charles will be back on the field to wreak havoc.
The Chiefs will get the AFC’s top seed in the playoffs and get to the AFC title game. I am reluctant to predict any further than that.
Next: Awards and predictions