The Kansas City Chiefs entered the 2011 season, just a few months removed from a playoff appearance. Everyone expected them to be better and many thought they would win the AFC West that year. Obviously that didn't happen. And it didn't happen in 2012 either, when many people expected the Chiefs to compete with the Denver Broncos for the division title. Instead they were the NFL's worst team.
I say that to caution you because The Godfather Gil Brandt, of NFL Network, has written this piece where he explains that he can "easily" see the Chiefs in the playoffs this season. Brandt's reasoning is supported by Clark Hunt and the Chiefs ownership, the head coach / GM combo, upgrading from Matt Cassel to Alex Smith, a defense that should be improved, the addition of Dave Toub as special teams coach and the overall youth of the roster.
I gotta say, as a Chiefs fan, The Godfather makes a hell of an argument. I can also easily see all the scenarios he talked about play out ... on paper. The last three years the Chiefs have had a good team on paper. That has only translated to the field in one of the last three seasons, the 2010 playoff team, and even then that team was a bit of a surprise with some saying they peaked a year too early.
The defense, Jamaal Charles, Andy Reid's offense ... they're all just role players, supporting one goal: to make Alex Smith as good as he can be. That's still what this comes down to if the Chiefs are going to have continued success.
"The bottom line is," Brandt wrote, "the Chiefs appear to have a winning formula in place. They have a great schedule(with a Week 10 bye), great talent and top-notch leadership. I can easily see them making the playoffs in 2013."