The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to return to their third straight Super Bowl behind Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history. The Chiefs fell short last season in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Expect to see a new fire lit within a team that is now talking about going undefeated openly. This desire could prove to be their downfall or the reason they don’t let down at all.
Kansas City Chiefs 2021 Schedule
The Chiefs face what is widely considered a relatively neutral schedule when we look at the overall win expectancy of their opponents. While no NFL schedule looks like a cakewalk, the Chiefs cannot complain about a schedule that is set out to get them. Kansas City faces the NFC East and the AFC North team. Other notable opponents include the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers. Take a look at the teams on their schedule here:
|Week 1||Sept. 12||Cleveland Browns|
|Week 2||Sept. 19||at Baltimore Ravens|
|Week 3||Sept. 26||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Week 4||Oct. 3||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|Week 5||Oct. 10||Buffalo Bills|
|Week 6||Oct. 17||at Washington Football Team|
|Week 7||Oct. 24||at Tennessee Titans|
|Week 8||Nov. 1||New York Giants|
|Week 9||Nov. 7||Green Bay Packers|
|Week 10||Nov. 14||at Las Vegas Raiders|
|Week 11||Nov. 21||Dallas Cowboys|
|Week 12||Bye Week|
|Week 13||Dec. 5||Denver Broncos|
|Week 14||Dec. 12||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Week 15||Dec. 16||at Los Angeles Chargers|
|Week 16||Dec. 26||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Week 17||Jan. 2||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|Week 18||Jan. 9||at Denver Broncos|
Kansas City Chiefs News & Picks
Kansas City Chiefs 2020 Summary
The Chiefs were one of the most dominant teams last season with an NFL-best 14-2 record. The Chiefs were rolling until a wild 8 eight-point loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5. After that defeat, the Chiefs won 10 in a row until a meaningless Week 17 setback. One could argue that Kansas City had too many close calls late in the regular season for a team that appeared to clearly be the best in the NFL. The Chiefs went on to take down the Browns in a close game and the Bills relatively cleanly in the playoffs. The motivation this season will come from a blowout loss to the Bucs where the Chiefs looked overwhelmed, particularly on the offensive line.
Kansas City Chiefs Key Players
The Chiefs return almost all of the notable players from last season so expect to see a very similar team. Patrick Mahomes is on a mission and he is already widely considered one of, if not the best, quarterback in the NFL and there is no reason to expect him to struggle here. Young QBs struggle in the year after they break out because they receive additional attention, but Mahomes has shown no signs of stopping after multiple elite years. Travis Kelce is still a top-three tight end and that should continue. Kelce turns 32 in October, but has shown no signs of slowing down. Tyreek Hill is back and should be just as explosive as he has been in the past year.
Kansas City Chiefs New Additions
There are multiple offensive additions that could impact the Chiefs early and often along with an early defensive draft pick that should play early. The offensive line really struggled due to injury and lack of depth last season and it is clear that this is an area they need to get fixed right away. Outside of the embarrassing line performance in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs have half a billion dollars invested in a quarterback that they need to stay healthy.
Kansas City addressed the unit by trading for tackle Orlando Brown, signing Kyle Long and Joe Thuney, and taking two offensive linemen in the draft, both of whom are intriguing prospects. Creed Humphries is a kid that was seen as a potential first-rounder before the 2020 season. Trey Smith was a disappointment at Tennessee, but he was a five-star recruit who was at a dysfunctional program.
The other notable addition is Nick Bolton, a linebacker that the Chiefs selected with their first pick in the second round. Expect Bolton to contribute immediately.
Kansas City Chiefs Key Subtractions
The most notable losses for the Chiefs are the losses of wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Bashaud Breeland. While both of these are clear NFL starters, neither is irreplaceable. I think that the impact of these losses will be negligible and we can safely assume this is a better overall roster in 2021.
The Chiefs are -300 to win the AFC West. The Denver Broncos are +450 and the Los Angeles Chargers are at +600. For all intents and purposes, the Raiders are just not a factor here. I do favor the Chiefs here, but laying the juice may not be worth it against a Chargers team that does have real upside if they can stay healthy, unlike past seasons. You can view these NFL odds and more here.
Kansas City Chiefs Offense
The offense projects as one of the best in NFL history, especially if they can identify a clear second wide receiving option to go along with Hill. A lot of people like the prospects of Mecole Hardman lining up opposite of Hill, but the Chiefs haven’t been very willing to put the duo the field together in feature roles. I expect rookie Cornell Powell to make the team and potentially push for a starting job sooner than later, as his body type fits the needs of the team very well.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense
While the Chiefs are noted for their historic offense, they are very capable of making big stops on defense and winning games in a low-scoring NFL environment, though that is rarely asked of them. When you play a lot of games that are high-paced and high-tempo, it can be a bit tough to establish defensive dominance. Kansas CIty’s defense does not provide an upside to be viewed as an elite defense, but the line play and solid back seven makes the unit more than competent enough to win a Super Bowl
Are the Chiefs better than they were last season?
From a roster standpoint, I would say they are clearly deeper this season and better overall. I don’t think that this locks them into a 17-0 season or anything along those lines.
Are the Chiefs the rightful Super Bowl favorite?
A lot of teams have a shot at the Super Bowl, but the Chiefs are the rightful favorite. To check out NFL teams like Tampa Bay and Buffalo, the other Super Bowl favorites, click here. I do prefer the AFC from an overall talent perspective and I won’t love the hedge-out options on the Chiefs if they were to cruise to the playoffs, as expected.
Where does it go wrong?
I would expect the Chiefs to cruise most of the season, but the issues would be aging stars outside of Mahomes. We haven’t seen this rear its head yet, but players like Kelce do have a floor simply due to their age.