With seven games remaining, we take a look under the hood at seven pressing questions that still await an answer for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Nine games into a tumultuous 2020 season that some predicted would never happen, the Kansas City Chiefs have reached all of their goals, unless one of them was to go undefeated. Obviously you like to win every game, but in today’s NFL, that accomplishment is practically out of the question. Of course, anyone in the Chiefs organization would have guessed incorrectly if you had pressed them on which team would hand Kansas City its only loss in the first half of the season, but I digress.
We now officially turn the page on the season’s first half, and as the team enjoys its much-deserved bye this weekend, we take a look ahead to the final seven games of the regular season.
The Chiefs have arrived as annual Super Bowl contenders, folks. It’s here, and it’s real. Case in point: It’s November, and there is no chatter in Kansas City about whether the Chiefs will make the playoffs. This isn’t a playoff push anymore. The goal is now the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, and with 25-year-old Patrick Mahomes at the helm, that goal will be the same for the future of this franchise as long as one can imagine.
So, on the one hand, you could consider questions about this team to be menial. If you look around the league, there aren’t a lot of teams who are complaining about TE2 as the top problem on its offense. While the Chiefs do have a lot of luxuries, the team also has lofty goals, and thus every blemish or riddle on this roster are placed under a microscope.
Here are seven pressing questions for the Chiefs with seven games remaining.
1. What will the secondary look like when L’Jarius Sneed returns to the lineup?
The Chiefs suffered a major hit to their defensive backfield when rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed suffered a broken collarbone in Week 3 at Baltimore. Sneed had intercepted a pass in each of his first two games as a pro, and when he went down, the team was forced to play short-handed without him and veteran corner Bashaud Breeland, who was suspended for the season’s first four games. The Chiefs managed to beat both Baltimore and New England with only Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton, Antonio Hamilton and BoPete Keyes on the roster.
When the 6’1″, 193-lb. rookie returns from his injury this month, he is expected to take a spot on the boundary. That leaves Ward and Breeland on the other boundary, and I expect Breeland to take the majority of the snaps there.
Starting Sneed and Breeland would give the Chiefs a formidable pair. It would also leave Ward as CB3 in the Chiefs secondary. The 24-year-old Ward has been utilized as a blitzer recently, and it appears the team is trying to find out what kind of slot defender they have in the pending free agent. Fenton has been one of the team’s best surprises in the season’s first half, and the Chiefs should have immense confidence in the second-year pro as a fourth corner.
For a unit that has been oft-maligned in the last several years for having no elite player at the top of the depth chart, the Chiefs cornerback group is sneaky good when healthy. Chiefs fans should be very excited about a Breeland/Sneed tandem.