2017 K.C. Chiefs: What They’re Saying

 

 

 

 

Long before the internet became the sum total of all knowledge and wisdom, I used to linger longer at the corner magazine five-and-dime sifting through the endless supply of sports related magazines, especially the one’s that made predictions about each team in the coming season. It’s a practice I still like to follow each summer only now my picks are limited to a shrinking list of sports magazines, the ones that are actually still being published, so I grab a couple then I lay my money down — a debit card with the chip these days– and now I’m out the door to enjoy browsing through my glossy-paged selections. This time, I picked up two magazine: “Lindy’s Sports Pro Football 2017 Preview” and “Athlon Sports 2017 NFL Preview.”

 

I’m always interested in what they have to say about our Kansas City Chiefs and also enjoy seeing if they’re off their rockers… because it always happens about one point or another.

 

The K.C. Offense

Let’s begin with Lindy’s Sports. Firstly, they project the Chiefs to finish in a tie with the L.A. Chargers for second in the AFC West behind the Oak-Vegas Raiders. Yes, that means they think the Denver Broncos will finish 4th.. or in last place for those sports fans just joining the conversation. By comparison, Athlon places the Raiders at the top of the division with the Chiefs second, the Broncos 3rd and the Bolts 4th. This is not a surprise at all and based on previous recent year’s performance, you could understand it.

 

Lindy’s makes the boo-boo of saying the “a Super Bowl has eluded Andy Reid” while I’m sure they meant to say “a Super Bowl VICTORY” has eluded Andy Reid.” Not a huge deal but some Chiefs fans act like Reid is incapable of taking a team to the big game… while others are convinced he could never direct a team to a victory even if he gets there.

 

Next up, they mention that the Offensive Coordinator role was split between Brad Childress and Matt Nagy — with what they typify as “so-so results” and I can’t disagree — and that Nagy would be taking over the OC role this year. I think this may be under emphasized by most because there were too many times when I questioned how many voices Alex Smith must have had in his ear… or that the slow speed of the plays getting in to Smith, were limiting his productivity. We’ll see if that continues, but I can only imagine that having “one young” OC will be a good thing for the Chiefs offense in 2017.

 

Athlon terms QB Alex Smith as a “risk-averse game manager” and while I thought we’d put the whole “game manager” tag to bed last year, Athlon make the point that a QB with this kind of M.O. won’t be able to take a team to a Super Bowl victory. It’s a bit ironic because Athlon also points out that only Tom Brady and Russel Wilson, two of the QB’s who have won a SB ring in the past 4 years, have a better record than Smith during that time.

 

Athlon may have hit upon the one stumbling block the Chiefs face in in 2017 that unless Alex Smith faces his fear of taking risks… or unless Andy Reid releases the hound inside of Smith… then the Chiefs could be limited in a big way this year. Lindy’s says Alex Smith is on the Hot Seat… meaning he either succeeds this year or he’s out… but we all kind of are expecting nothing less. If Smith senses a hot seat situation, it may just be the motivation he needs to take the next big step.

 

Lindy’s hands out ratings from 1-to-10 for all position groups and gives the Chiefs Receivers a “7” which is the lowest of all position groups on the team. Sure, Smith will still have TE Travis Kelce to throw to, as well as Tyreek Hill, but unless someone else who catches the ball — maybe Chris Conley or Demarcus Robinson or Ross Travis or Gavin Escobar — has a breakout year, then the Chiefs passing game may stall out at any given moment.

 

Before moving on the the defense, Lindy’s Sports points out that the Chiefs offensive line made the biggest one year improvement of any position group on the team. If the OL is able to take another step forward… as big a step as they took in 2016… then this year’s edition of the Kansas City Chiefs could very well be holding up a trophy next February.

 

The K.C. Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Athlon is quick to point out that the K.C defensive unit is a top ten scoring defense… for four years in a row. While not too many Chiefs fans are going to give Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton kudos for the job he’s done, when you just consider that one fact — top 10 scoring defense for four year in a row — it’s hard not to elevate Sutton to a top ten DC in the league.

 

Many will compare Sutton to Reid’s long time DC in Philadelphia, Jim Johnson. However, in ten seasons. Jim Johnson had an average rank of his defense based on points scored, of 9.4. Meaning, his defenses ranked, on average, just over 9th in the league. Now, there’s no denying that this is a fantastic average over ten straight seasons. The average for Bob Sutton over the past four year? 5.75. So, can we please dispense with the “Jim Johnson was better” statements or the ones that say, “Without Jim Johnson, Andy Reid would be nothing.” I guess you can say the same thing about Andy Reid and Bob Sutton… but on the other hand, Reid obviously knows his defense must be good, to¬† support the kind of offense he intends to run so he’s always invested heavily there… including hiring a good DC.

 

 

 

 

In any event, let’s agree, Bob Sutton has done a great job… especially last year because he was working on a shoestring and created a solid rope, enough to throw Reid’s offense a continuous lifeline.

 

Lindy’s points out that “when healthy” the linebackers are the strongest crew on the Chiefs roster. The key words there are “when healthy.” Considering that K.C. boast Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, and the emerging Dee Ford, I’d have to agree. The linebackers will also be key to the success of the defense this year as well. If Houston is back and DJ is back and Dee Ford takes another step… OH, WATCH OUT!

 

Athlon says it’s a “toss-up” between Eric Berry and Marcus Peters as to who is Kansas City’s best defensive back. Peters is probably more key to what Bob Sutton plans to do and the way the team has brought different Free Agent Safeties in who have starred, I might lean towards Peters. However, X-man-GM John Dorsey just opened up Clark Hunt’s wallets and poured all his money out for Berry so I hope we continue to see Berry shine. I’d hate to see his play tail off now that he has a contract.

 

About the Chiefs Special Teams play, Lindy’s points out that, “[Tyreek] Hill turned in the type of performance in the kicking game the NFL had not seen since Gale Sayers in 1965 with the Bears.” Since I recall Gale Sayers performances with the Bears that year, I would agree. The question is, what can Hill do for an encore? Teams will be keying on him and making sure to kick away from him so… what will the return game look like in 2017? My guess is… probably not as productive because it’s hard to sneak up on teams twice in the NFL.

 

Special Teams coach Dave Toub was also called a “guru” and I would not only agree with that assessment but I have wished for several years now, that Toub could be the Chiefs next head coach. However, with Reid signing for another half-a-decade, Toub will probably be long gone by then.

 

Well, there you have it. That’s what they’re saying. What do you have to say about that?

 

 

 

 

 

If you are viewing this in Apple News and would like to join the Discussion, [GO HERE.](http://arrowheadone.com/2017-k-c-chiefs-what-theyre-saying/#disqus_thread)

 

 

 

 

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  • tm1946

    I always find these strange football publications interesting especially if they actually know who is on the roster. That said, if you thought Reid was one of the best coaches in the NFL, Toub a wiz as a ST coaches, Sutton has used the talent on defense to reach the upper levels of the league, and Alex is a top QB right along side Brady. If you do buy into this…. jump in your car, go to Arrowhead, and look at all the SB Trophies….. wait something is missing….either the owner or fans stink, I guess.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I think most view Smith as the weak point there.

      • tm1946

        More than one weak point if I were asked. But stats, or absolute complete statements , usually support the point the writer wants to make. And opinions are just that.

        • 12-4. That’s a stat

          • tm1946

            Sort of an end result unless comparing to something like other teams or past years? Maybe.

      • berttheclock

        Weak minds think alike.

      • Laurels and limitations

        funny thing is, I don’t believe that anyone believes Smith to be a bad QB, just that most believe that Smith does not have that extra difference making ability that would elevate him to being a GREAT Qb.

    • Laurels and limitations

      The are the teams that have won the Super Bowl, you can see that roughly one half of the leagues teams have hoisted the trophy victoriously and that half have not. Luckily, KC is on this list even if the SB victory was forever ago.
      San Francisco 49ers
      Dallas Cowboys
      Pittsburgh Steelers
      Green Bay Packers
      New England Patriots
      Oakland Raiders (one win as Los Angeles Raiders)
      Washington Redskins
      Denver Broncos
      Miami Dolphins
      New York Giants
      Indianapolis Colts (won as Baltimore Colts)
      Baltimore Ravens
      Chicago Bears
      Kansas City Chiefs
      New York Jets
      St. Louis Rams
      Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • berttheclock

    As for Jim Johnson’s run as a DC, the year of 2004 when the Eagles went to the SB and lost to the Pats, the defensive unit was rated as the 2nd best defense in the NFL. Last season, when, the Chiefs made the playoffs and ended up losing, the KC defense was rated as the 7th best unit in the NFL.

    Can’t find the 2016 preview by Lindy anywhere on line, but, Athlon’s 2016 preview is up and the writer had the Chiefs winning the division, defeating the Broncos in the playoffs as a wild card, but, ultimately, losing to the Steelers in the AFC Divisional round. They had the Pats defeating the Cardinals in the SB.

  • berttheclock

    For the Mahomes II bandwagon guys and gals out there, Lindy Sports previewed the 2017 NFL draft and listed Mahomes II as the 50th best player for the upcoming draft.

    • Laurels and limitations

      welp, that’s a wrap then….might as well write of the next 30 years of KC football.

    • ladner morse

      Gil Brandt ranked Mahomes as the 18th best prospect in the draft saying, “With a good work ethic and a team’s patience, he could play in the NFL for a long time.”

      While Lindy’s is a fun read… I’d value Brandt’s analysis more.

  • Laurels and limitations

    hehe, I wasn’t under the impression that the “game manager” title had been disproved regarding Smith even in the slightest. I think if anything last year’s tape culminates in solidifying Smith’s legacy as “risk adverse”.

  • ladner morse

    Off topic but… there’s a great piece over at APride called, “What a Patrick Mahomes Start Might Look Like”……..

    Gets me excited to see him take over for the Chiefs!

    https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2017/7/17/15974860/what-a-mahomes-start-might-look-like

    • berttheclock

      So, you really do love “Crash and Burn” movies, eh?

      • ladner morse

        Unless Mahomes is literally the worst QB in the NFL, Andy Reid is not going to have a horrible offense with him. He just won't.— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) July 17, 2017

        • Laurels and limitations

          that was actually a pretty silly hot taek by ol’ boy about how bad Mahomes is going to be. The biggest reason being that if Mahomes ain’t ready, Reid won’t start him. I don’t care if that means game 1 of 2017 or game 12 of 2020. Reid’s not going to tank on purpose.

    • Merlin

      but not this year or next, hopefully

      • Laurels and limitations

        it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, imho, for KC to shuffle Smith to the sideline in too big of a hurry. In a perfect world PM2 develops quickly enough that he can take over the reins in 2018 after Smith has another successful season in KC. Smith having another decent season might allow KC to trade smith off or even gather draft picks.

        • Merlin

          I am not sure PM2 can develop fast enough to warrant taking over the reins in 2018. The tricky issue is evaluating his progress relative to Smith’s salary for 2018.

          • Laurels and limitations

            any QB development is iffy. I’m sure that we will have no real idea, but I bet that Reid will.

  • berttheclock

    Jerry Richardson, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, has just fired his GM, Gettleman. Well, add another dumb move by an owner this late post winter season.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    Here’s an intriguing thought, suppose Panthers hire Dorsey to be their GM, and Chiefs hire Gettleman to be a co-director of player personnel.

    • Frank Rodela

      I had the same thought when I read Gettleman was fired…well the Dorsey part of it anyway.

    • Laurels and limitations

      former players for Gettleman are just plain burning him alive on twitter. We don’t need any of that mess in KC.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        I saw DeAngelo Williaims. Didn’t realize their were others as well.

        • Laurels and limitations

          yeah, two or three players now that I know of. It’s got a familiar Pioli-like vibe to the entire thing.

          • Chiefly Bacon

            Ugh. Than yeah, hard pass.

  • Memo to Users: There is No Freakin’ Monday Nite Football tonite. End Memo.

    • tm1946

      But what if there was one? In this heat, we might actually see Mahomes hand off a football or Hill walk for a TD or Berry intercept a pass .

    • Laurels and limitations

      wait, then just what in the hell did I set my dvr timer for?

  • contrary to popular belief, there was football in Kansas City before 1963. Just Sayin’. At the same time, there was football in Kansas City after 1970.

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