Welcome back to another edition of ‘The Super Bowl Race In The Perspective Of Chase’, a close to daily NFL article previewing you favorite teams season! Another year of football…and another year of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs moonwalking through the rest of the NFL! The season after losing their best wide receiver Tyreek Hill, a 14-3 record, a historic season by their quarterback, incredible play on both sides of the ball and ANOTHER double digit point comeback to win the Super Bowl! It seems unfair! However, with Kansas City losing JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, Orlando Brown Jr, Frank Clark and others, will they Chiefs fall off at least slightly? Or will Kansas City continue to dominate the NFL like it’s a joke?! Here is everything you need to know about the Kansas City Chiefs going into 2023!
It has to be answered: Is Kansas City’s wide receiver core good enough to go back-to-back?
Kansas City is such a dominant football team. And ever since 2018, this team has been a power house. Hosting FIVE straight AFC championships and winning three of them…exceptional. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots never even did that. Everybody thought Kansas City’s, at least regular season reign, would come to an end after they dealt Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins for several draft picks. Oh were they wrong. 14-3, and Super Bowl champs!
And it all starts with Patrick Mahomes! The 2x Super Bowl champion is already making a case to be a top five quarterback to ever play the game! 5,250 yards (league lead) 41 touchdowns (league lead), 12 interceptions, a 67% completion rate, 8.1 yards per attempt, over 300 yards per game (league lead) 105.2 passer rating and a league leading 77.6 QBR results in an MVP, a Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP for one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the game! The year after he loses his number one receiver, he has a career year, one that is one of the best of all time! If you say Mahomes doesn’t elevate his teammates then I don’t know who does! Mahomes also wins the IDMWOTD (It doesn’t matter what other teams do) award, for absolutely dominating the game once again!
In the running game, it was mainly Isaiah Pacheco, who ran for 830 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerrick McKinnon also sprinkled in some action. In the receiving game, obviously Travis Kelce led the way with 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns, as the 4x All Pro ranked 8th in receiving yards and 2nd in receiving touchdowns among all pass catchers in football! Other Kansas City pass catchers made a difference as well, as JuJu Smith-Schuster had close to 1,000 yards, Marquez Valdes-Scantling totaled close to 700, McKinnon caught nine receiving touchdowns, Mecole Hardman caught four, and mid-season pickup Kadarius Toney and rookie Sky Moore were very impactful in the postseason and are bound to have good regular seasons as well in 2023!
Defensively, Kansas City had some very underrated players. Obviously people know how good Chris Jones is, as the 4x Pro Bowler had a career year with 15.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and 29 QB hits, which awarded him his first 1st Team All-Pro appearance of his career. Frank Clark, who has now departed from Kansas City, had five sacks last season, and rookie George Karlaftis had a very quiet 6 sack campaign, and I think he could be a Pro Bowl caliber pass rusher in 2023! The fact that Nick Bolton—who’s 180 tackles ranked 2nd in the NFL in 2022 —didn’t make even 2nd Team All-Pro is crazy to me! And in the secondary, L’Jarius Sneed and Juan Thornhill combined for 6 interceptions and 20 passes defended. The defense wasn’t amazing per se, but it was good enough to capture a Super Bowl!
And Kansas City used all of this to cruise by Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts! But the Super Bowl champs were ready for a very busy offseason. Orlando Brown Jr, Hardman, Smith-Schuster and others were all free agents. And the the funny thing is, Kansas City didn’t re-sign ANY of them! Not one! Brown went to Cincinnati, Hardman went to the Jets, Smith-Schuster went to New England and Clark went to Denver. They had to used their money in other areas. They re-signed Justin Watson, brought in Richie James to add more depth at WR and they brought back Derrick Nnadi on the interior defensive line.
Overall, I think they made up for their lack of signings in free agency with the draft, where Kansas City selected Felix Anudike-Uzomah in the first round to replace Clark on the defensive line. They then drafted SMU receiver Rashee Rice who could add some value; I think Rice will develop into one of Mahomes favorite targets after a very flashy preseason thus far.
They replaced their losses. Not to the same extent, but they don’t have to. Karlaftis will probably have a great year two as a full time starter. Moore or Toney will probably fill in as their WR1 really well. And with those two, MVS, Justyn Ross, Justin Watson and Rashee Rice, along with Kelce at tight end and Mahomes as their quarterback, KC will be just fine in the passing game.
Now, will the Chiefs be as good as they were last year? We’ll find out. The roster doesn’t look as good obviously. But there is a ton of young talent that could develop. And if you have young talent next to Mahomes, you can save cap space for the Kelce’s, Jones’s and others in the world to build a good team. You have Mahomes, you have other pieces in place. That’s all you need! Mahomes! Will Kansas City win the Super Bowl again? I don’t know! But when Mahomes is your quarterback, you always have a shot!
Prediction: Chiefs get the AFC’s number one seed…again, but lose in the AFC championship game!
Wiz Talk with Chase
Cool Sports Network
Twitter: Chase Coburn (@coolsportskid)
Sports 4 Kids: youtube.com/sports4kids126