Gil Brandt predicts Kansas City Chiefs won’t win AFC West

May 6, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; A group of rookie free agents and tryouts wait to run drills during the rookie mini camp at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; A group of rookie free agents and tryouts wait to run drills during the rookie mini camp at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Gil Brandt of NFL.com believes the Kansas City Chiefs are a good bet to fall out of the playoffs in 2017.

The Kansas City Chiefs won their first AFC West title in years last year, a sign the ascendant Chiefs were truly moving forward with Andy Reid at the helm. Despite the promising Oakland Raiders, the always competitive San Diego Chargers and the recent Super Bowl winning Denver Broncos, the Chiefs swept the division on their way to the second overall seed in the AFC.

However, Gil Brandt of NFL.com thinks the Chiefs were a one-year wonder in 2016. Looking ahead, he’s worried the Chiefs didn’t do enough to enhance their current team, instead choosing to worry about the long-term in the draft while sustaining losses due to being so close to the salary cap. It also doesn’t help that the rest of the division has seemingly gotten better in the process. Brandt writes:

"I think the Raiders — with Derek Carr healthy, Marshawn Lynch carrying the ball and an improved defense — will take the AFC West. The Chargers will be stronger, presuming many of the players lost to injuries in 2016 contribute. First-round pick Mike Williams will help a lot. And Denver still has a potent defense. All four teams are pretty evenly matched."

Brandt is right about the level of competition in the West, perhaps the NFL’s most difficult overall division. However, the Chiefs return the majority of last year’s team, a roster that sustained season-ending injuries to so many key players, especially in the front seven. The Chiefs were also a very young roster who should expect last year’s experience and reps to bloom into even better performances from many emerging players.

Every team has a difficult road ahead in the AFC West, but the Chiefs have the talent, the continuity and the coaching acumen to stay ahead of the pack. It’s shortsighted of Brandt to look at the offseason and forget the foundation of last year’s winner.