The NFL is prime for the Kansas City Chiefs’ taking

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 2: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 2: Quarterback Alex Smith /
The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t a great team, but they’re the best of a flawed AFC.

I really don’t mean it as an insult. If anything, it’s just for dramatic effect. “Gasp,” you exclaim. “The Chiefs aren’t great? You must think this team is a fraud! Well, I think YOU’RE the fraud!” Easy does it.

The Chiefs have a lot of room for growth and plenty of things that they don’t do as well as teams of the recent past. But with all of that cynicism, they’re still the best team in the AFC, and by a healthy margin.

The thing I was wrong about in the preseason – the most wrong about – the thing that inspired my concerned opinions and questions about Alex Smith – was that I believed that the AFC was over before it started.

I had the Patriots Sharpied into the Super Bowl, almost certainly triumphing over the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. The Chiefs would make the playoffs and lose to one of those two teams as they wrapped up an ultimately disappointing season.

Welp. That’s not gonna happen.

The Patriots have no defense. The Steelers can’t stop the run, Ben Roethlisberger looks done, the offense is sputtering, and the Chiefs are taking steps forward. Hell, the Chiefs may be the only team in the AFC taking meaningful steps forward. (The Jaguars’ defense looks great, but I will not entertain a team quarterbacked by Blake Bortles.)

So yes, Alex Smith is outperforming my expectations, but I’ll defend my Alex Smith predictions because they made sense. The logic was there. Alex Smith is a thrilling little surprise. But I was wrong about the rest of the AFC.

Not only is the AFC up for grabs, the AFC is ripe for the Chiefs’ picking.

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