Kansas City Chiefs’ Last Season Performance
The Chiefs had another successful season in 2021, finishing first in the AFC West with a 12-5 record. Kansas City had another run in the playoffs, however it ended with a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.
The Chiefs’ season got out to a shaky start, beginning 2021 with a 3-4 record. Patrick Mahomes struggled, throwing an uncharacteristic amount of incompletions and interceptions.
The team turned it around in the back half of the season, sparked by a 20-17 win over the Giants in Week 8. The defense was able to get a few more stops and better their averages while Mahomes got into his groove, leading the Chiefs on an eight-game win streak and into the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs Key Additions
The Chiefs traded their top-producing wide receiver and one of Mahomes’ favorite targets in the offseason, and Kansas City had to make up for the loss of Tyreek Hill in some way. Kansas City signed two wide receivers, adding JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to its roster. Smith-Schuster, coming off a season with the Steelers that saw him go down with a shoulder injury in Week 5, signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs. MVS inked a three-year deal after providing a deep threat for the Packers, averaging 17.5 yards per reception and scoring 13 receiving touchdowns during his four seasons in Green Bay.
Kansas City also added to its defense, trading for cornerback Lonnie Johnson and signing safety Justin Reid to a three-year deal. Johnson, who is coming off a career-high three interceptions with the Texans, was traded for a conditional seventh-rounder. Reid, who was also with the Texans, had 66 total tackles and two interceptions last season.
A number of players also signed one-year deals with the Chiefs. Offensive tackle Geron Christian will figure to compete for the starting right tackle position while Ronald Jones adds depth to the running back group. On defense, Kansas City added linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth.
Kansas City Chiefs Key Subtractions
One of the Chiefs’ most notable losses is Hill, who the team traded to Miami for a package of picks. Hill, known for his speed, led Kansas City in receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns a season ago with 1,239 yards, 111 receptions and nine touchdowns.
Hill isn’t the only wide receiver who won’t be on Kansas City’s roster in 2022, as the Chiefs let Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson walk in free agency. Pringle had 568 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season with the team while Robinson had 264 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Kansas City also moved on from center Austin Blythe and its leading rusher last season in Darrel Williams. Williams rushed for 558 yards and six touchdowns..
On defense, the Chiefs lose a pair of veteran leaders and contributors in the secondary in safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward. Mathieu, who led the team with three interceptions and had 76 total tackles and six passes defended, joined the Saints on a three-year deal, while Ward inked a three-year contract with the 49ers. Ward finished the 2021 season with 67 total tackles, two interceptions and a team-high 10 passes defended.
Safety Daniel Sorensen, linebackers Melvin Ingram and Ben Niemann and defensive tackle Jarran Reed also found other teams in the offseason.
Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Analysis
Andy Reid enters his 24th season as an NFL head coach, owning a 233-135-1 record. In the postseason, Reid has a 19-16 record, giving him 252 total wins, which is fifth in NFL history and second behind Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in active NFL coaches.
Reid will enter his 10th season as the Chiefs head coach, and he has found success since joining Kansas City, leading the team to the playoffs in eight of the nine seasons he has been at the head. Out of those eight playoff appearances, Kansas City has made it to the AFC Championship Game four years in a row from 2018-2021, going to the Super Bowl in back-to-back years in 2019 and 2020. The Chiefs won the big game in the 2019 season with a 31-20 win over the 49ers.
Through all the head coaching changes the NFL sees year in and year out, Reid has been a mainstay in Kansas City, with some of the coaches in his coaching tree also finding head coaching positions during that time as well. Part of the success could be attributed to the talent he has at quarterback, but with Reid overseeing the team, the Chiefs should be fine either way.
Kansas City Chiefs Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
The Chiefs got lucky in 2021 when it came to injuries, not having to sideline many major key contributors throughout the season. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the most notable and missed six games in the 2022 season due to an MCL sprain and bruised shoulder in separate weeks. He appears ready to go for 2022.
Other players who missed time in 2021 have either found a new team or are ready to go for the new season.
However, there is one player who went down last season and is expected to miss the start of the 2022 season. Offensive tackle Lucas Niang had sporadic starts in his first season in 2021 due to different injuries until a torn patellar tendon in Week 17 landed him on injured reserve. Niang started training camp on the PUP list while wide receiver Gary Jennings is questionable for Week 1 due to a concussion.
Kansas City Chiefs Offense
Although the Chiefs lost a couple of their top offensive producers in the offseason, everything runs through Mahomes, so as long as he is healthy and playing like himself, Kansas City should be OK. After his slow start last season, Mahomes finished the 2021 year with 4,839 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
His top target may be gone to Miami, but Mahomes still has tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Mecole Hardman, his other top two producers. Kelce was second on the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns in 2021, catching 92 passes for 1,125 yards and nine touchdowns, while Hardman was third, with 59 receptions for 693 yards. Hardman also had two touchdowns.
While the team lost its leading rusher from 2020 in Williams, Edwards-Helaire will return and hope to get back on track after leading the team in 2020. Edwards-Helaire rushed for a team-high 803 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, but his production dropped to 517 yards and four touchdowns in 2021 after injuries sidelined him. Running backs Jerick McKinnon, Jones and Isiah Pacheco all add depth to the room.
A couple departures may mean the offense looks slightly different, however the Chiefs’ offense should still be as strong as ever.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense
Kansas City’s defense also got off to a rocky start before improving. However, the defense still finished near the bottom of the pack with 368..9 yards allowed per game.
The Chiefs saw some departures as well as some new additions join the ranks of the defense in hopes of an improved performance out of defensive coordinator’s Steve Spagnuolo’s group.
Along the defensive front, Kansas City re-signed tackle Derrick Nnadi to a one-year deal while tackle Chris Jones, who led the team in sacks a season ago with nine, will also be back. The Chiefs also restructured defensive end Frank Clark’s contract and drafted defensive end George Karlaftis, who should make an impact in his first season. Linebacker Nick Bolton, who led last season with 112 total tackles, also returns for his second season.
The secondary saw a few key players move on in Mathieu, Sorenson and Ward, though the Chiefs filled the loss with a couple of signings. Kansas City signed safety Justin Reid and traded for cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. while also drafting cornerback Trent McDuffie.
While the secondary lost some veteran players, it gained youth, which could help improve its performance this upcoming season.
Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams
Special teams was not one of the issues for the Chiefs in 2021.
Kicker Harrison Butker had another solid season, going 25-28 on field goals and 47-49 on extra points while punter Tommy Townsend had 43.8 net average punting yards, and the Chiefs will return both in 2022.
The Chiefs also did well in kickoff and punt returns, averaging 23.4 yards per kick return and 12 yards per punt return. However, as Pringle and cornerback Mike Hughes were the main returners for Kansas City and are both now with new teams, the Chiefs will likely look to Hardman to take over as the top returner.
Kansas City Chiefs Prediction for the 2022 Season
The loss of Hill may have caused some to worry about the Chiefs’ chances at first, though with Mahomes and Reid leading the show, Kansas City is always in a good spot. The defense looks a little different as well, but a few draft picks and offseason signings should help replace those roles.
The AFC West is one of the toughest divisions and isn’t getting easier with other teams making offseason moves as well, however with the right start, another first-place finish wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Kansas City Chiefs Final Thoughts
Mahomes has been the starter for the Chiefs for four years, with Kansas City going to the AFC Championship Game all four of those years and the Super Bowl two of those years, winning it once. And when Mahomes got out to a slow start in 2021, so did the Chiefs.
When Mahomes does well, so do the Chiefs, and with Reid also leading the team to eight playoff appearances, a roster shakeup shouldn’t be too big of a deal.
It may take a game or two for the new players on the team to figure out their roles, but Kansas City should find success once more in the upcoming season.
Kansas City Chiefs Team Leaders
Kansas City Chiefs Team Ranked Stats
Kansas City Chiefs Team Scorebox
Kansas City Chiefs Team Injuries
Kansas City Chiefs Team Schedule/Results
Kansas City Chiefs Team Standings
Kansas City Chiefs Team Roster
Kansas City Chiefs FAQs
Who are the Chiefs’ biggest rivals?
Las Vegas Raiders
Who is the oldest player on the Chiefs?
Backup quarterback Chad Henne is the oldest at 37 years old
When did the Chiefs win the Super Bowl?
In the 2019 season against the San Francisco 49ers and in the 1969 season against the Minnesota Vikings
Where is the Chiefs’ stadium located?
Arrowhead Stadium is located in Kansas City, Missouri.