EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 16th of 32 preseason previews in 32 days leading up to the NFL season opener Thursday, Sept 5.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Win total last 5 years: 25
LVH over/under wins (7)
Word has it Andy Reid tried twice to make Alex Smith a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Finally, head coach and QB are together in Kansas City.
And football starved Chiefs Nation can’t wait to see if their team gets back on the warpath in the AFC West – a division most every expert has already conceded to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Well not so fast, especially if Denver LB Von Miller has to sit out the first four games for alleged substance abuse.
That said, KC isn’t going to win the division in the court room. But there seems little doubt Smith brings to the table a consistency, mental toughness and work ethic that Reid and Chiefs fans will welcome. This is a proud franchise looking to recapture the optimism of 2010 when they won 10 games and made the playoffs. Take away the 10 and the Chiefs have just 15 victories after 2007, including a pair of 2-14 seasons (last year and 2008).
Enter Reid, who should be energized leaving Philadelphia, and new GM John Dorsey from Green Bay. Enter Smith from the 49ers, exit the failed Matt Cassel experience.
There is a lot more talent than you would expect of a 2-14 team. WR Dwayne Bowe and RB Jamaal Charles are 2 of 6 Pro Bowl players on the squad. Yes, 6! The Chiefs also brought in WR Donnie Avery (Colts), who should fit well with Bowe and Smith.
Athlon Sports gave KC a solid B in the draft, led by top selection OT Eric Fisher from Central Michigan and RB Knile Davis from Arkansas.
We should know right away how good KC can be, for a 2-0 start is realistic playing at Jacksonville and hosting Dallas. If Smith can return to the form he showed at San Francisco prior to getting hurt and eventually losing his job to Colin Kaepernick, the Chiefs have all the parts for a run at the playoffs and a winning season.
Saturday: Miami Dolphins
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].