These are my prediction for the Kansas City Chiefs in coming season. Now that we've seen our boys in action, albeit in a pre season game, we should all be able to make some smart prediction as opposed to blind, ambitious ones.
Brandon Flowers becomes a Pro Bowler
This prediction is tossed around a lot amongst Chiefs fans and I have to agree. Flowers had a great season last year and showed all the makings of a shutdown CB. Last season he played with an injured shoulder and missed a game. Imagine what he can do when he's healthy and plays in all 16 games. I'm saying he has 6+ interceptions. If the Chiefs pass rush can continue to improve he will find more poor, intercept-able passes thrown his way.
Dwayne Bowe has his best year. Possible Pro Bowl appearance
Forget last season. Remember 2007 and 2008. Then you'll remember that Dwayne Bowe has a lot of potential. 2000 yards in his first 2 seasons as a pro is quite impressive. Plus there is another factor to take into account; Todd Haley. Wherever Haley has been as a coach he has had a Pro Bowl WR; Keyshawn Johnson in New York, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona and Terrell Owens in Dallas. Todd Haley knows how to get WRs to play to their potential. Todd Haley in Kansas City will be no different. I'm saying Bowe has 1200+ yards and 7-10 TDs. The reason I say possible Pro Bowl appearance is that the league's best WRs are in the AFC; Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne, Chad Ochocinco, even Anquan Boldin could go to the Pro Bowl at Baltimore.
Dexter McCluster is a strong contender for OROY
McCluster plays that highly popular position of OW (Offensive Weapon). McCluster proved in the pre season game against Atlanta that he has the ability to be a dynamic runner and receiver. He should be the Percy Harvin of this year draft class; the dynamic playmaker. I'm predicting around 400 yards rushing, 600 yards receiving and around 5-7 total TDs. He will prove all the doubters wrong in regards to his size and speed.
Matt Cassel still WON'T be the $60 million player Pioli envisioned
This isn't a "start Croyle" thing but I'm still not sold on Cassel. Dwayne Bowe is not a Randy Moss. Dexter McCluster is not a Wes Welker (yet). Brandon Albert is not a Matt Light. And Matt Cassel is not, and probably never will be, worth the money he is earning. With due respect, last season his stats were affected by poor play around him. While those drop balls are a thing of the past, one thing remains; he has weak arm strength, and will not have the players he did in New England. I'm predicting around 3300 yards, 20 TDs and 15 INTs. Improvement, but still not enough to warrant his salary.
Linebackers outside of Tamba Hali still prove to be poor
Outside of Tamba Hali, this LB core is pretty average. A true pass rusher outside of Hali has yet to be found. DJ is in a make or break season, he's playing for that contract and will need to put in some serious efforts cause behind him it gets worse. Demorrio William is a tackler, nothing more. Corey Mays is a backup LB who finds a way to be on the first team. Andy Studebaker, has some promise but lacks a strong pass rushing ability. Cameron Sheffield is a fifth round pick that isn't anything special. The rest aren't really worth mentioning. In my view I think there will be some changes across the board with the LBs. DJ has to start. Mays must be put where he belongs; the second team. The OLB spot not filled by Hali will have a revolving door. One must think that at by season's end Mike Vrabel will hand over the starter job to either Sheffield or Studebaker. My prediction is that our run defense will improve, but that it will be because of improved play from our defensive linemen. Our LB will need some drastic improvement heading into next season. There will be a little more of a pass rush from the LB, but nothing to be excited about. Tamba Hali will go to the Pro Bowl
Romeo Crennel will do what he does best; get 3-4 defensive lines working. I say Tyson Jackson becomes somewhat of a pass rush threat while Dorsey become a key run stuffer. Derek Lokey will do his job of commanding the double teams just fine. I'm predicting TJ has 3-4 sacks while Dorsey has 60+ tackles and a couple of sacks. This is my prediction that will surprise most.
I believe Branden Albert will come into his own this year and play to his potential. Brian Waters will start to slow down a bit but will still be good. Rudy Niswanger will be the starter and will show some improvement. Ryan Lilja will give the pass protection that was so very much lacking from last season's RGs. Ryan O'Callaghan will remain average causing Scott Pioli to draft a RT in the draft. Overall, good pass blocking and great run blocking.
Jamaal Charles goes to Pro Bowl as the best AFC RB
Jamaal Charles is a beast. I'm prepared to go as far as to say he's as good as Chris Johnson this season. Charles will just pick up where he left off last year and dominate the league. I'm predicting 1600+ yards and around 8-10 TDs. Charles WILL be in charge.
Chiefs go 8-8
I've been leaning to the 8-8 record for a while now and I'll stick with it. The ceiling is 10-6 and the floor is 6-10. Anything outside of that is either unrealistic or not realistic enough. The easy schedule helps but I'm kind of hoping we don't go 10-6 as I think that it will be a result of the easy schedule and not actual improvement. We don't want to overachieve in the regular season then get smashed in the playoffs
Let me know what you think of my predictions