After yet another disappointing playoff exit the Kansas City Chiefs have made two huge off-season moves to try to propel them to the next level, the Super Bowl.
The 2017 NFL draft was a draft to remember for Chiefs fans since it was the first time in 34 years that the franchise had drafted a quarterback in the first round since they drafted Todd Blackledge in 1983. After the Chiefs traded up to the 10th spot many fans and commentators believed that the Chiefs would take Deshaun Watson, but to their surprise the Chiefs would take the gunslinger out of Texas Tech University, Patrick Mahomes III.
The reason why this move is so big is because this proves that the Chiefs are looking to change their offense from a conservative run heavy scheme, to a pass first ask questions later mentality that could completely blow up the opposing defenses. Let’s be clear the Chiefs are not a bad team, but they have a quarterback in Alex Smith who will just can’t get them to the pinnacle.
Alex Smith is a top-20 quarterback, but he is a guy who won’t win you a championship. Smith is the guy who won’t lose you the game, but at quarterback you want a guy who will win you the game and leave playing the game to the rest of the team.
The next big move that the Chiefs made this offseason is the releasing of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Maclin only scored 2 touchdowns this year in 12 games, he really has not produced a lot so this move should not be too surprising. If anything, this move could be amazing for the Chiefs. Now players like De’Anthony Thomas can get valuable reps to even out the speed of Tyreek Hill.
Now that the dust has settled the Chiefs now have the challenge of getting to the Super Bowl. This will not be easy since you have teams in the AFC that are poised to make a deep playoff runs. Not only do the Chiefs have to beat the defending champs, but they have to compete against teams like the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There are many ways that the Chiefs could become the best team in the AFC, but the main thing they can do is stay consistent in their scheme. Each time they get stopped they can’t revert back to their old ways. The Chiefs have the scheme to win consistently through the regular season, but when the games start to get into the playoffs they have proven that they cannot win past the first round.
The main competitors in the AFC all have one commonality; they all have quarterbacks who are smart, calm, and fearless. Alex Smith has two of those qualities, but he is missing what might be the most important of all three; fearlessness. All players in the NFL have to play with a sense of fearlessness, but the quarterback spot may well be the spot the requires the most of it. With Alex Smith at the helm the Chiefs have the bare minimum.
One big fault Alex Smith carries is lacking confidence after he makes a mistake. He does not make a lot of mistakes, but when he does he shuts down at times. For the Chiefs it they must either make Alex Smith throw the ball down the field, or put someone on the field that can (Mahomes III).
The Chiefs have started to address a lot of their problems, but it will take all that and then some to become a real contender for the future. With that being said the New England Patriots have their work cut out for them this year because the Chiefs are aiming right for the target that is painted on the their back.