It was set up to be the most anticipated QB matchup in Super Bowl history. Many thought it was going to be the passing of the torch from Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes. We all saw what happened. The Bucs defense chased Mahomes out of the stadium in a convincing win, giving Brady his 7th ring.
The Chiefs brought in new pieces to revamp their offensive line. Now, people are saying they might have the best line in football. With the explosive weapons and a QB that has an arm from the gods, the Chiefs are ready to show the NFL why they're the best team in the league. Our team preview of the Kansas City Chiefs.
We all know that the Chiefs offense is the strength of this team. If this defense can limit the opposing offense just enough, this team is going to be in Los Angeles for the Super Bowl.
The strength of this defense is upfront. Chris Jones has proved himself to be one of the best defensive linemen in all of football. He's a big man that can clog running lanes and put pressure on the QB. They signed Jarran Reed from the Seahawks, who will be a nice piece next to Jones. Reed has proven himself to be a really solid defensive tackle. He had 6.5 sacks last season and had 10.5 sacks back in 2018. Frank Clark has been dealing with injuries this offseason but should be available in week one. He's another key pass-rusher in that front seven.
The secondary is a concern for me. The Chiefs are rolling out with Charvarius Ward and L'Jarius Sneed to start the season. Ward is decent, but I don't want him to be my CB1. Sneed flashed at times during his rookie season with three interceptions. The duo is still young, so we will see how this group develops throughout the season.
Tyrann Mathieu is the vocal leader of this defense. Mathieu has been out after a positive COVID test. Andy Reid said it's still "up in the air" for Mathieu's status week one. With the Browns coming into town week one, that will be a huge test for this secondary without their heart and soul.
The most explosive offense in the NFL is ready to show people their new toys upfront. That makes one man very happy.
Let's start with the big boys upfront. The Chiefs remodeled their offensive line after seeing Patrick Mahomes run for his life in the Super Bowl. They traded for Orlando Brown Jr. from the Ravens and signed Joe Thuney in free agency. Brown and Thuney should lock up Mahomes' blindside very nicely.
The right side gets a little tricky. Kyle Long came out of retirement and was going to start at right tackle. Long is dealing with a lower leg injury and is going to be out for at least the first few weeks of the season. Lucas Niang will fill in for the time being. They also have two rookies. Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma will start at center, and Trey Smith out of Tennessee will start at right guard. They have both looked great at camp, according to reports.
When you have a QB with the arm that Mahomes has, it's all about speed, speed, and more speed at the receiver position. We all know about Tyreek Hill. The speedster has terrorized NFL defenses since he came into the league and comes back as the most dangerous weapon in football. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson add plenty of speed as well. Expect Mahomes to drop bombs all over the field with these guys.
Travis Kelce might end up as the greatest tight end of all time. Although the rejuvenation of Gronk that we saw last night might make it a little harder for him. He's the best route-running tight end I have ever seen. The fact that he's caught close to 100+ receptions and 1,200+ yards the past three seasons as a tight end is insane. I expect another monster year for the number one option in KC.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire had an up and down rookie season. The second-year back should see improvement after the moves they made with the offensive line. He can be a really good dual-threat back. Darrel Williams should see some time in the backfield as well.
BEST VALUE FANTASY PLAYER
Everyone wants a piece of this Chiefs offense in fantasy. Most of the stars will be gone by the fourth round. Fantasy owners have been patiently waiting for Mecole Hardman to break out. I'm not saying he's going to, but I can see Hardman improve in his third year. 70 receptions, 750 yards, and five touchdowns is something realistic for Hardman if he takes the next step forward.
TOTAL WIN PREDICTION
The win total is currently set at 12.5 wins. I'm going to go under. In two of the three seasons Mahomes has been the starter, the Chiefs won 12 games. I think 12-5 will be their final record.
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