The Kansas City Chiefs have substantially – and necessarily – remade themselves after a hellish and heartbreaking 2012 season. They have the tools of a possible playoff team in 2013 and even if not, NFL betting handicappers have them pegged as a team that will cover a lot of spreads.
Best Offseason Move:
The Chiefs’ best move was not a player transaction, and one could even argue that the organization’s best move was not even a coaching transaction. Yes, hiring new head coach Andy Reid looks like a smart decision. Reid has made a Super Bowl while also posting five NFC Championship Game appearances. He’s an accomplished coach, even though his game management decisions often leave a lot to be desired. Yet, one has to realize that Reid’s presence in Kansas City is connected to another reality: the presence of John Dorsey as the team’s new general manager.
One has to recall that the Chiefs’ 2012 troubles existed off the field even more than on it. The murder-suicide of linebacker Jovan Belcher was, of course, a personal problem and a tragedy involving one person’s inner darkness. Yet, that tragedy occurred on the grounds of the Chiefs’ campus. Moreover, it occurred against the backdrop of a very grim and demoralized work environment in Kansas City. Former general manager Scott Pioli made lots of employees – players and office workers alike – feel scared and unwanted during his disastrous stint at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs’ work culture was ugly and unwelcoming. It’s well known around the league that the Chiefs had become a highly dysfunctional and wayward organization under Pioli’s rather tyrannical style. Bringing in Dorsey as general manager and sacking Pioli as a consequence of that move should really help the Chiefs to start over. Cleansing a toxic culture and providing fresh air is exactly what Kansas City needed in order for this 2013 season to hold genuine promise. It’s true that Reid’s career is receiving a fresh start of its own, but the bigger story is that there’s a new general manager and a new attitude throughout the Chiefs’ practice and office buildings.
Worst Offseason Move:
The backup quarterback position doesn’t always mean a great deal in the NFL, but as soon as an injury hits the starting signal caller, the backup on the roster definitely matters. Kansas City has a competent starter this season in former San Francisco 49er Alex Smith, but if Smith goes down, the team does not have a proven number-two man. The Chiefs picked up Chase Daniel as an insurance policy at quarterback. Daniel played collegiate ball at Missouri, so being in Kansas City might give him something of a comfort zone. However, Daniel has made no real impact whatsoever in his professional career to this point, so it’s puzzling as to why the Chiefs felt this was a player worth taking as a backup to Smith.
How They’ll Finish In The Division:
Football betting fans know that the Chiefs have lots of good pieces on their team. Their defense is certainly good enough to win 10 games. The offense has a lot of questions to address, but Smith represents a clear upgrade from Matt Cassel under center. If Smith and Reid form a seamless quarterback-coach relationship and find a groove in their respective situations, the Chiefs could win 10 games this season and make the playoffs. As it is, nine wins seems about right for an organization that will probably need one more year until it can fully mesh.
Super Bowl Odds: +2600