The Kansas City Chiefs are poised to kick off their season against the Detroit Lions on September 7th at Arrowhead. Despite being the current betting favorites for Super Bowl LVIII, they are not without uncertainties, giving rise to some legitimate reasons for concern.
Whether these concerns translate into a lackluster season remains to be seen, but the validity of these worries cannot be dismissed. Let's delve into the most significant concerns surrounding the Chiefs this season and assess whether they can potentially hinder another successful Super Bowl campaign.
1. Chris Jones and defensive line depth
Let's address the prominent concern upfront: Chris Jones stands as a significant question mark in his own right. When (if at all) he returns to the team, it will bring uncertainty regarding his early-season playing time, its ripple effects on the defensive line's dynamics, and potential repercussions in terms of team chemistry.
Moving beyond Chris Jones, there are still noteworthy apprehensions. To begin, newly acquired free agent Charles Omenihu is slated to miss the first six games of the season due to suspension. At the defensive tackle position behind Jones, no established players have emerged. Tershawn Wharton is coming off of a substantial knee injury, Derrick Nnadi's performance has dipped, and Keondre Coburn is a rookie finding his footing. Additionally, emerging edge rushers George Karlaftis and Felix Anudike-Uzomah have yet to establish themselves.
While I don't perceive the defensive line challenges as insurmountable, they have the potential to introduce complications, particularly in the early part of the season. It's equally plausible that these concerns could evolve into a significant asset later in the season, but the prevailing uncertainties encircling this unit are indeed valid.