,It goes without saying that hosting five straight AFC Championship Games, going to three Super Bowls and winning two Super Bowls in five years is no easy feat. After years of starving for a winner, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, and company have accomplished the impossible. The Kansas City Chiefs have made the fan base feel spoiled.
Nobody is complaining of course, but none of this would be possible without the help of unforeseen contributors or the superstars raising their game. It is no longer bold or a hot take to say Mahomes will throw for 5,000 yards or Kelce will haul in 1,200. That is the new norm.
Last year, it was the Chiefs finishing second in the league in sacks and then rookie Isiah Pacheco finishing with over 1,000 yards across the regular season and playoff run. This year will be a new crop of surprises if the Chiefs are planning to host another AFC Championship Game and potentially win another Super Bowl.
Here are the 10 bold predictions for the 2023 season.
10. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is more useful than expected
There have been worse first-round draft picks, but Edwards-Helaire to this point is a certified bust. Imagining this offense with Tee Higgins or Jonathan Taylor is a little too much to bear for some.
When available, the polarizing running back is useful. Edwards-Helaire's lack of breakaway speed and vision impacts his upside, but he did have 6 touchdowns in limited snaps last season. He is third on the running back depth chart for the Chiefs but there are snaps to be had here.
Pacheco is coming off two offseason surgeries and Jerick McKinnon is 31 years old and the team has not been shy about limiting his snaps throughout the season. To the surprise of many, Kansas City only kept three running backs on the initial 53. This means that Edwards-Helaire will likely see the bulk of the carries that do not go to Pacheco.
It has also always felt like the Chiefs do not tap into his strengths, which was being a receiver out of the backfield coming out of LSU. If the team uses him properly, he could finish with 800 or so all-purpose yards in what should be a motivating year with it being a contract season.
9. Rashee Rice will have a similar rookie season to Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman
The Andy Reid offense often does not allow a rookie wide receiver to flourish in a way you might see around the rest of the league. What Reid has shown in the past is letting rookies get their feet wet through manufactured touches.
Look no further than Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman’s rookie seasons. Hill finished with 593 receiving yards and 267 rushing. Hardman did not run much but Reid got him the ball in creative ways, generating 538 receiving yards in 2019. Reid could follow this blueprint to get Rashee Rice involved in 2023.
Skyy Moore’s rookie production has left a sour taste in some people’s mouths after finishing with 250 yards last season. Keep in mind that Moore was touted as a slot receiver coming out of college and that position was occupied by Juju Smith-Schuster.
Reid tried doing some manufactured stuff with him but that was primarily Hardman’s role and then Kadarius Toney’s when he came into the fold. Moore also does not appear as explosive as Rice and is more of a technical route runner type.
Brett Veach said himself that Rice will be more of a package player to start the year. I think you could see about 30 to 35 yards per game to get over 500 total yards in that capacity. He will leave you wanting more in 2024, in a good way.