The Chiefs are hoping they can get one more solid year from Alex Smith and an aging pass rush to make another playoff run in 2017.after Kansas City went and traded up to get Patrick Mahomes in the draft.
After winning the AFC West in 2016 with a 12-4 record, can the Chiefs hold off the rising Raiders and the Broncos and Chargers?Here's what our projections say.
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|Projected wins||In playoffs||Win division||Conference||Super Bowl|
SportsLine projects the Chiefs to be the class of the AFC West again, giving them better odds to win the division than the Raiders (33 percent) among the top two contenders. The projection also suggests that the Chiefs would make a value play to win the AFC at anything longer than 9/1.
|Win total||Playoffs||Division||Conference||Super Bowl|
|9 (O -120)||-130||+225||15/1||30/1|
All odds via Westgate.
Nine wins with a slight lean on the Over seems to be the perfect number for the Chiefs. If the Chiefs play true to the projections above, every bet on the board becomes a value play, as anything better than -150 makes for a good bet per SportsLine's number.
John Breech defends his 11-5 prediction:
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has been in Kansas City for four seasons and in each of those seasons, the Chiefs have finished with a winning record, and there's no reason to think that won't happen again in 2017. Sure, they've had a crazy offseason -- firing their general manager, cutting their all-time leading rusher, letting Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency -- but the core of their team is back, which means a second straight division title isn't out of the question.
The big reason I love the Chiefs this year is because of Alex Smith, who I fully expect to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Smith has a lot on the line this year: If he puts together another 11-win season, it will be almost impossible for the team to move on from him in 2018 and give the quarterback job to Patrick Mahomes. However, if they do decide to dump Smith, even after he potentially wins 11 games in 2017, then the quarterback could be looking at a huge payday in free agency in 2018.