The Kansas City Chiefs have made significant changes this offseason. Here are 5 bold predictions for how things will shake out for the team in 2018.
Things are going to look a lot different for Chiefs fans this season. Alexis Smith has been replaced by Patrick Mahomes as the trigger man of Andy Reid’s offense. Sammy Watkins was signed to be a big play receiver for him to leverage. The expectations in Kansas City remain the same though. This is a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
For that to happen, Reid is going to need to find some help from unexpected places. The offense was terrific last season, but the skill players will need to provide Mahomes with a lot of help early on. He’s got a lot of talent, but is short on experience.
The defense also needs to be much improved. Signing Anthony Hitchens should give the linebacking corps some extra juice, but he won’t cure-all of the team’s ills. The Chiefs need significant improvement from several returning players to make that unit good enough to contend for a title.
Inevitably, all this turnover is going lead to some strange happenings in Kansas City. We start our bold predictions with one aggressive claim about a player returning from injury.
5. Dee Ford will get at least 10 sacks
When Dee Ford went on injured reserve last season with a back issue, the Chiefs really struggled to replace him. Their 3-4 system places a ton of pressure on their outside linebackers to make plays. In particular, they rely on those positions to rush the passer.
Ford did that at a high level in 2016 when he broke out with 10 sacks. Look for him to get back to that level of production in 2018. The combination of his improved health and the fact that he’s in a contract year with the Chiefs make it a perfect time for him to post a career year. Justin Houston will continue to make plays on the left side, but this season Ford will return to wreaking havoc on the right.