Our preview of the AFC West continues with the Kansas City Chiefs. After three terrible seasons, can fans hope for a better year in 2010? Al Dannity says it’s going to be tough.
Off-season changes While last year marked the third straight season of misery for Chiefs fans, it was also the first year in a project to re-shape the franchise. In 2009 Scott Pioli took charge of the front office in Kansas City and Todd Haley was installed as head coach. The biggest moves this season have once again been off the field with the hiring of Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator. Considering former New England quarterback Matt Cassel is the signal caller in Kansas City, you would be forgiven for saying the Chiefs were trying to become the Patriots of the Midwest.
On the field the most notable additions came through the draft. Eric Berry is an immediate upgrade to the Chiefs secondary. Alabama standout Javier Arenas was drafted mostly for his impact in the return game but I like him to shine at cornerback as well. Dexter McCluster will complement the running back tandem of Jamaal Charles and the newly arrived Thomas Jones. Given McCluster’s experience in playing the Wild Rebel at Mississippi, I expect him to see a lot of action in situational plays. Keep this in mind when making NFL betting decisions.
Mark your calendar Week 6 sees Kansas City travel to Reliant Stadium to take on the Texans. This matchup will tell us a lot about where both the Chiefs and Houston stand approaching mid-season. I expect the outcome of this game to have a substantial impact on NFL odds for both franchises down the stretch.
Denver’s trip to Arrowhead Stadium in week 13 and a week 17 clash at home to Oakland will play big roles in determining Kansas City’s standing in the AFC West. All three teams should be out of serious playoff contention by this stage but it will be interesting to see how they fare with pride on the line.
The verdict Kansas City looks like a team two years into a three year project. They have many of the tools necessary to make an impact like wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers, and a versatile three-headed running game. The defensive unit however still looks too porous and that patchwork offensive line won’t give Matt Cassel the time he needs to exploit the weapons at his disposal. I expect Kansas City to take a big step forward in 2011, by which time most of these issues should be addressed. For the year ahead however the picture won’t be pretty. Take the under of 6.5 games at +115 with Sports Interaction.