KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs congratulates Jamaal Charles #25 after a touchdown during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Prior to the 2011 season, many people saw the presence of Jamaal Charles and Matt Cassel coming off of a career season and projected the Chiefs to win the AFC West and, possibly, a playoff game or two.
The 2011 season didn't go as planned, obviously, but the Chiefs are still a bounce-back pick for many media outlets.
"A lot of observers felt that the Chiefs would be the easy winner of the AFC West last year, but injuries and inconsistent quarterback play totally decimated this team," Greg Gabriel of National Football Post writes. "With all the injured back to go along with a strong draft, the Chiefs should again be a strong factor in the West."
- Jamaal Charles can be the man when he's healthy
- Chiefs receivers, including Jonathan Baldwin, are improved
- Matt Cassel needs to be consistent (The report also suggests Ricky Stanzi could step in if Cassel falters, which would be a surprise.)
- Eric Winston is a great free agent pickup
- Chiefs defense is "one of the better units in the league"