Andy ReidAs a famous Godfather once told us, "You have to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."

As a Denver Broncos fan, I have to keep tabs on how the rest of the AFC West performs.

The Chiefs, led by new coach Andy Reid and former 49ers QB Alex Smith, have opened the season 3-0 against some reasonable competition.

Due to a defensive effort, Andy Reid's bunch shined in his homecoming to Philadelphia, knocking off the Eagles 26-16.

Here is where we start the question of is KC for real?

Alex Smith has not played exceptionally this season -- he has lived up to his reputation as a tentative downfield passer despite having a deep threat in Dwayne Bowe.

Bowe has nine catches for 90 yards and one touchdown in the first three games. This used to be Bowe's production per game.

KC has yardage totals of 395, 292,313 against the Eagles, Jaguars, and Cowboys respectively. These are hardly offensive juggernaut numbers, but show that Andy Reid is making the most of what he has to work with.

Reid is a master of motivation and has already been able to get more out of Alex Smith than I though possible this season. The Chiefs also had a 147-yard rushing effort against the Eagles, which was thier highest mark of the season.

KC's real strength in 2013 has been thier defense.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston leads the NFL with 6.5 sacks, putting up 3.5 against the Eagles along with two fumble recoveries and three pass deflections.

The Chiefs have totaled 14 sacks in the first three games and have caused nine turnovers this season. The Chiefs have also scored two defensive touchdowns this season.

With a defense playing like this, the Chiefs' offense doesn't have to play lights out, they just have to play smart and remain relatively mistake free.

A favorable schedule is going to help KC this season as well. Their next five games are winnable, and it wouldn't be surprising to see KC go 6-2 or 5-3 to start the season.

This weekend will be a tough game as the Chiefs play an 0-3 Giants team, which will be hell bent to save their season.

I'm expecting the Chiefs to win 8-9 games and be in contention for a wildcard spot. I see them beating the Raiders, and splitting games with the Chargers.

Against Denver, the Chiefs always play tough, at best KC spilts, but I think Denver is winning the division this season.

In short, Kansas City is much improved and could morph into a contender in the next few years. Andy Reid needs to get a QB to throw downfield, and receivers who want to make plays. If the defense keeps improving, we could be looking at an early 2000s Baltimore Ravens-esque defensive team.

The Chiefs have talent, last year's losing team had seven Pro-Bowlers, it remains to be seen whether Andy Reid can keep them playing at this level. If he can, the Chiefs will give opponents fits this season and every game will be a tough out.

The AFC has dominated in this young season, and the AFC West has been intrumental in that. If it continues, the late season tilts involving the Chiefs and Broncos could be classics. I'm excited to see how the rest of this season plays out.