The Raiders weren’t the only 12-4 team in the AFC West last year. Sure the Silver and Black did it the flashy way with a gunslinging quarterback and two stud receivers but the Red and Gold did things the old fashioned way: talented defense and sound game management. This season it’s more of the same in Kansas City; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
2016 Record: 12-4
Subtractions: WR Jeremy Maclin, NT Dontari Poe, General Manager John Dorsey
Additions: DT Bennie Logan, RB CJ Spiller
Notable Rookies: QB Patrick Mahomes, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, RB Kareem Hunt
Analysis: Good but not good enough. That’s the story of Andy Reid’s head coaching career so far. He was a perennial winner back in his Philly days but couldn’t get over the top. He’s averaging 10.75 wins over his last four seasons in KC, but his teams haven’t been able to topple the AFC’s elite come the postseason. Enter Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs traded up to the tenth overall pick of the 2017 Draft to pick the Texas Tech QB. The team has remained firm in their insistence that incumbent Alex Smith is the unquestioned starting quarterback, but if Smith struggles for a few games and Mahomes seems to be picking up the pro game, does Reid make a change? Jeremy Maclin and his $10-million salary were let go, leaving slack that second-year receiver Tyreek Hill is expected to pick up. Last year’s reliable defense remains largely intact, with Bennie Logan replacing Dontari Poe at nose tackle. The organization surprisingly dismissed GM John Dorsey back in June and extended Reid so expect double digit wins but don’t pin your hopes on a championship.