It was a shocking experience. Patrick Mahomes suddenly turned out to be only human in the last Super Bowl. The injuries on the offensive line finally took their toll. Although Mahomes managed to throw some bizarre balls with his scrambles, the Bucs were much, much too strong. It wasn’t the first time that Mahomes lost a game, but it was the first time that he did so by more than one touchdown difference.
Despite this, the expectations of the Chiefs are high again this year. Mahomes is still the league’s top quarterback and the rest of the roster hasn’t diminished. If Mahomes stays fit, the Chiefs are again the big favorites to win the Super Bowl.
General Manager Brett Veach didn’t care. After the Super Bowl debacle, the entire offensive line was thanked for services rendered after the season and was set aside. The Chiefs are going to do it in week 1 with a completely new offensive line. Joe Thuney was the best left guard available and was lured from Fox borough to Kansas City with a fat contract. Next to him comes Orlando Brown. He was taken from Baltimore in exchange for a first round pick.
New faces also came to the city on the rest of the line. Austin Blythe came over from the Rams and Kyle Long was persuaded to resume his career. In addition, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang will return after they decided not to take action last season due to the corona virus.
It also remained quiet in Kansas City this offseason. Sammy Watkins and Bashaud Breeland left. Breeland was already facing a suspension for allegedly using drugs and an arrest was made in April. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed was the most significant asset of the summer, outside of the players on the offensive line.
The Ravens trade left the Chiefs without a pick in the first round. The most important signing in the draft was Nick Bolton, who was chosen in the second round. The Missouri linebacker could bring some extra youth and speed to the Chiefs’ defense.
The Chiefs had a second pick in the second round, and with that center Creed Humphrey was chosen. This gives Kansas yet another piece of the puzzle for the offensive line. Humphrey will have to compete with Blythe to become the starter. However, given last season’s injuries, it seems certain that Humphrey will get his snaps next season.
With the remaining picks in the draft, the Chiefs mainly chose players with an eye to the future. It’s the life of a rookie with a championship contender. You must have a high level immediately to get playing time. The question is whether Joshua Kaindoh, Noah Gray and Cornell Powell will reach that level. Given the strength of the squad, the Chiefs won’t need those players at all, especially at the beginning of the year. The real season for the Chiefs doesn’t start until January.
It has probably been noticed in recent years. The Chiefs have the NFL’s best quarterback and arguably the greatest talent in the position ever. With Mahomes in the ranks, the Chiefs automatically have a championship-worthy attack. Only Mahomes has to be on the field. Therefore, for the first time this year, the eyes will not be mainly on the quarterback, but on the five men who have to protect him. Mahomes has already had some injuries, including a concussion in the play-offs.
On paper, GM Veach has managed to significantly improve the offensive line. Analysts see the new line as the seventh o-line in the league. Of course, it remains to be seen on the field whether the players can really form a unit. However, given the experience of most players, this shouldn’t be a problem.
With a good offensive line and a fit Mahomes, it will be a challenge for every team to stop this attack. With Travis Kelce, the Chiefs have by far the best tight end in the league. He makes an excellent combo with receiver Tyreek Hill. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has already shown what he is capable of as a rookie and – especially with a better offensive line – should do even better in year two. Other than Hill and Kelce, Mahomes doesn’t have any proven weapons to throw at yet. However, Watkins’ departure will give them more opportunities to grow. The group is young and the potential is definitely there.
Kansas City has invested heavily in the attack. On the other hand, the defense is the weak spot of the team. Last year the defense finished 22nd and it is questionable whether they have gotten much better. The Chiefs had problems especially in the pass rush last year. Reed was recruited for this, who should put more pressure on the quarterback on the line.
It’s not that Kansas City doesn’t have the talent. Chris Jones and Frank Clark are established names with big contracts. They will have to show it again for the defense. If they manage to amplify the pass rush, the defense will have to rely less on the blitz and can defend more one-on-one.
The defense got a big boost in the draft. Rookie Bolton is excellent at tackles and has a good instinct for where his opponent is going. He will likely start on the outside but has what it takes to quickly become the middle linebacker. In the secondary, Tyrann Mathieu is the heart of the defense. Secretly, however, the eyes will also be on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. He had an excellent rookie season and has what it takes to become a star who can keep the defense at Super Bowl level.
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The Chiefs have been the team that everyone has been looking at in recent years. It took a collapse of the offensive line to finally bring the team to its knees. It’s impressive to see how Veach managed to solve this problem in one summer ostensibly in one summer, despite all the limitations. The line seems to be even better than last year, with the result that the complete attack has even more potential.
The defense will be less good this year than that of the competition in the AFC. However, this was also the case last year when the Chiefs were still in the Super Bowl. When it really had to be — after Mahomes was out with a concussion — the defense pulled the game over the line.
It means that the Chiefs are again the big favorite in the AFC. Maybe all over the National Football League (NFL) again. In any case, it ensures that the season is only successful if they are again with that trophy in their hands. The Chiefs aren’t doing it for just making it to the Super Bowl.