unday it begins. What will likely be the most anticipated football season in Kansas City’s history will kick off at noon in whatever is left of Jacksonville following hurricane Dorian. The Chiefs are heavy favorites and will be for nearly all of their games this season.
Anything short of a trip to the Super Bowl will be considered a disappointment for the team with the returning NFL MVP in Patrick Mahomes, a fully stocked offense and a new defense. When we last saw our Chiefs, they were an offsides call away from their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.
The offseason, however, has not been smooth sailing. The defensive coordinator was replaced by Steve Spagnuolo. The verdict is still out on whether that will be an upgrade, but the jury is still out based upon the preseason.
It hasn’t been a particularly good offseason public relations-wise for the Chiefs either. Midway through the season last year, star runningback Kareem Hunt was at the top of yardage leaders until he was accused of an assault of a woman and released. It would not be the last Chief to face abuse accusations this off-season. Tyreek Hill was all over sports radio as was his girlfriend and tales of how their young son was possibly abused. The story hung in the air for weeks becoming water cooler fodder on nearly every minute detail on Hill’s family’s affairs.
Ultimately, the story seemed to clear Hill of child abuse charges and a pall was lifted heading into the season.
In the good news category, star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been EVERYWHERE. When I say literally everywhere, it is meant literally. He’s been on Times Square billboards, cereal boxes that sold out in minutes. He’s been on national commercials, video game covers, and shoe ads. The hype machine has been in overdrive, and with good reason. Mahomes put up video game numbers last year, throwing touchdowns on the run, flicking the ball left-handed, and doing it all with a winning smile and a child-like attitude.
Watching football in Kansas City is fun, again. Years of losing seasons and ineptness have provided Chiefs fans with their payoff. One play away last year, and nearly everyone is picking them to head to the Super Bowl this year.
The whole thing reminds me of very recent history with the Royals. A Game 7 loss in the World Series in 2014, the Royals were hungry and just as good heading into 2015. We know what happened next. But past results do not predict future earnings, and the Chiefs will still need to prove it on the field. Teams do not go undefeated in the NFL and those eventual losses expose weaknesses for other teams to exploit.
What I will say is that the Chiefs have earned their status. Mahomes deserves every accolade and every advertisement. Andy Reid has tweaked and upgraded his offense and significantly upgraded his defense. But it all begins Sunday at noon. While hurricane Dorian will have left Jacksonville by then, the Kansas City hurricane is ready to strike.
PREDICTION: 11-5, AFC Champions. Defeat Seattle Seahawks 38-28 in Super Bowl LIV
(Follow Chris Kamler on Twitter as @TheFakeNed and check him out on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, as well as on Landmark Live)