The end of season review of AFC West teams not in the postseason concludes today with the 2-14 Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were arguably the worst group in the NFL this season and are in line for the number one overall pick in the draft next spring.
Beyond the record, the Chiefs lacked a competitive fire for long stretches of the season and at times didn’t play like an professional football team. In fact, Kansas City didn’t hold a lead in a regular season game until Week 10, which sums up just how bad they were and how much they were dominated on a regular basis.
Running back Jamaal Charles was the silver lining of Kansas City’s season this year, running for 1,509 yards and over five yards per carry. However, the quarterback play was horrific and did not allow the Chiefs to be competitive. Neither Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn was effective, as the two combined for just eight touchdown passes all season long. Without a moderately decent passer, the talents of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe went mostly to waste, as he caught just 59 passes for 800 yards and three touchdowns.
For a good chunk of the season, the Chiefs actually had a competent defense. Linebacker Tamba Hali was selected to the pro bowl and along with fellow linebacker Justin Houston, and the Chiefs have developed one of the more feared pass rushes in the NFL. The secondary was the strongest unit on the Chiefs roster, as safety Eric Berry returned from injury and quickly returned to the high level of play he was at before the injury. Also, the cornerback combination of Brandon Flowers and Javier Arenas helped make the Chiefs one of the better teams in the NFL against the pass.
Obviously, after a 2-14 season there is a lot that needs to change for Kansas City. Head coach Romeo Crennel has been let go, so the Chiefs will be able to start over with a new coaching staff. Once a new coach and (maybe) GM are in place, the first priority will be figuring out what to do with the number one overall pick, and the second priority will be finding a long-term solution at the quarterback position. The Chiefs have the running game and the defense that could potentially make them a competitive team if they were to find a quality quarterback and more playmakers in the receiving game, but finding a solution to those problems may prove difficult.