Kansas City Chiefs Are A Worst-To-First Candidate

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 24: Place kicker Ryan Succop #6 of the Kansas City Chiefs has his field goal attempt blocked by the Oakland Raiders at the end of regulation on December 24, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Oakland defeated Kansas City 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Every year there's a team that had a losing record the year before who goes onto to win the division the following year. And every year there's roughly a 50 percent turnover rate when it comes to the NFL playoff field. The Chiefs were part of that turnover in 2010 when they made the playoffs and then the following year when they missed the playoffs.

The Chiefs, in the AFC West, are considered a candidate to go worst-to-first. As they should be. The Chiefs finished the season 7-9, which was the best record for a last place team last year. The Chiefs were also just one game out of first place to end the season, also the tightest divisional race in the league.

Lance Zierlein, who contributes to TheSidelineView.com with Adam Caplan, ran some numbers on point differential and adjusted strength of schedule. The Chiefs don't fare particularly well in either of those but Zierlein still picks KC as a worst-to-first candidate.

While the Broncos will be the most talked about team in the division with Peyton Manning taking snaps there now, the Chiefs are a solid season of QB play away from challenging for a division title.

It's strange to think that the Chiefs were a last place team in 2011. They still had division title hopes as late as Week 16 and won seven games. Not exactly a typical last place team.

Zierlein isn't the only picking KC as a worst-to-first candidate. NFL.com ran a roundtable posing the same question and a handful of folks picked the Chiefs to go from worst-to-first.

Charley Casserly:

I like Kansas City's chances best. This is the same team that won the division two years ago.

The players know Romeo Crennel from the end of last year when he was the interim head coach. More importantly, they will be getting back a number of key players from injury: RB Jamaal Charles, S Eric Berry and TE Tony Moeaki. They have also added some players who will help them: RT Eric Winston, RB Peyton Hillis, NT Dontari Poe.

Charles Davis:

Yes, Peyton Manning has arrived in Denver, Oakland is under new management and San Diego looks impressive, so K.C.'s path to a division title is not an easy one. But, let's remember that in 2010 this team won the AFC West with many of the same players that are on this roster. And I think K.C. did not reach for a QB in this year's draft because they feel current starter Matt Cassel is ready for a big year.

Jason Smith:

No one is winning 12 games in the West. Have you seen the Denver Mannings' schedule? I like the Chiefs' chances just as much as anyone else in that division. Had Manning gone to K.C.? The Chiefs would be in the Super Bowl this season.

Check out the full NFL.com article here.

(H/T wwJamaalCharlesdo)

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