With all the hype circling around the Broncos and Chargers during free agency, I decided to go the other route and predict the Chiefs’ season.
The Chiefs’ have quietly added depth to the roster at the RB position. Two years ago they rode Jamal Charles to an AFC West title, and with the addition of Peyton Hillis I expect the Chiefs to a take a very similar approach in 2012. The Chiefs have two very solid WR’s and I expect Matt Cassel to play much better now that he has a complete offense around him. If you look at how successful he was with the Patriots, it was due to the fact that he had the pieces around him.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a power run game in today's NFL. The 49ers and Ravens rode Frank Gore and Ray Rice to their respective conference championship games, only to fall short on special teams. Running the ball 40 times might not be sexy but it wears the defense out, and makes play action work like a charm. Plenty of teams have been successful with a power run game and average QB play like the Jets, Flacons, Bears, Broncos (last year).
The Chiefs lost their starting QB and RB, both of which were Pro Bowl players. Despite losing key players, the Chiefs last year only ended up one game out of the AFC West title. Most teams after losing your starting Pro Bowl QB and RB would probably fare much worse.
It seems as if the Chiefs’ have faced facts knowing that Cassel may never become a Manning or Rivers. The Chiefs don’t need him to be that 5,000-plus yard passer. I predict they will boast the number one rushing attack in the league in 2012 and ride it into the post season. With all the attention surrounding the Broncos and Chargers, the Chiefs are a great underdog pick if you’re looking to beat the odds.
Think about how tough the AFC West just got; Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers are great QB’s with many Pro Bowls to their name. The Oakland Raiders may be rebuilding, but Carson Palmer and Darren Mcfadden should make for a pretty good team this year. You have to realize that Matt Cassel will not beat Manning and Rivers on a consistent basis in a shoot out, and the Chiefs know this.
The Chiefs know they can ground and pound their way to the playoffs. A great run game improves your QB, this way he can take his 20 throws per game and make them really count. They are going to run the ball so much that the opposing defense will bite on play action from the run and have one-on-one coverage on the receivers. When you play one-on-one coverage, one guy slips on a short pass and it’s an 80-yard touch down.
I think the Chiefs could be a 10 win team in 2012 and could possibly walk away with the division title.
Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think.