Chiefs Coach Andy Reid Loves the Energy of this Young Team from The Mothership
Once it's all said and done, there are 31 NFL teams that finish the season disappointed.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, that disappointment and the end of the season came much sooner than anyone would have expected just a few weeks ago.
The Chiefs finished the season with a 9-7 record and just missed out on the playoffs.
"We're sitting here disappointed that we're not continuing to play," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "I love the fact that we had a strong schedule and we were able to test ourselves. That will pay off for us down the road as we continue to build this. I like the fact that we were young and we have something to build with. I like the attitude.
"There's still great energy on this football team, a want-to."
Chiefs QB Alex Smith Talks Offseason Improvements from The Mothership
From the sidelines and without a pass attempt, Smith walked into the locker room for the last time until August.
"It's just strange that we had a chance the entire year literally up until our last game and obviously we knew we had to have some help," Smith said. "You were still alive on some level and then immediately after the game, you're done. It's a very final feeling just how final it is, very empty and how fast that happens.
"It's just done, everything you have been working for, all that talk - the hours, the commitment, sacrificing all that stuff that you do to put in and it's done. It wasn't enough."
Chiefs vs. Chargers: Game Takeaways from The Mothership
The Chiefs defense finished the season as the only team in the NFL that didn't allow 30 points in a game, a 300-yard passer or a 50-yard completion this season.
Chiefs to Pick 18th in the 2015 NFL Draft from The Mothership
By beating the San Diego Chargers in Week 17, the Kansas City Chiefs knocked them out of the postseason but in the process, dropped one position in the 2015 NFL Draft to 18th overall.
Here is a historical look at all the 18th overall picks since 1970 (1970 was the first year of the combined NFL Draft; an AFL-NFL common draft was held from 1967-1969):
Kansas City Chiefs 2015 Opponents from The Mothership
Of the Chiefs' 16 games next season, seven of them are against teams that are in the playoffs this season.
The combined 2014 record of the Chiefs' opponents next season is 139-116-1, which makes it the fifth toughest schedule in the NFL next season.
With six of the Chiefs' nine wins in 2014 coming against teams that finished .500 or better, the team will look to build upon the success they had against better competition while being more consistent throughout the season.
KCChiefs.com Video: Wired: Justin Houston is Mic'd Up vs. Chargers
Chiefs sign 14 players to reserve/future deals from Chiefs Digest
11 of the 14 players spent time on the Chiefs 10-man practice squad during the 2014 NFL season.
Hus, Sherrod and Ware are the three players to not be with the Chiefs the past season.
A reserve/future contract is signed with a free agent player who was not on a team's active roster when the regular season ended.
Chiefs head into offseason of potential change from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
At first glance, the Kansas City Chiefs appear poised to make a strong postseason run next season. They've solidified the quarterback spot, have several young stars under contract, and came within a hair of making the postseason this year.
Delve a little deeper and the offseason outlook changes considerably.
Their offensive line is in dire need of upgrades. So is their wide receiver corps, where Dwayne Bowe has failed to live up to his massive contract.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali could be forced to restructure his big contract or be cut, and fellow pass rusher Justin Houston -- who just set the franchise record with 22 sacks this season -- is a pending free agent.
The Chiefs won't be busily preparing for a playoff game, but general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid certainly have plenty of other work ahead of them.
Chiefs' offseason priority must focus on offensive line from Chiefs Digest
Failed protection across the board in the past two seasons resulted in a whopping 90 combined sacks, which isn't a recipe for success in a West Coast offense predicated on timing.
Opposing defenses got to Smith 84 times, which marked the most times sacked during a two-year span of his 10-year career. Daniel was sacked six times in two starts the past two seasons.
The Chiefs, of course, experienced numerous personnel changes on the offensive line in 2014 after losing left tackle Branden Albert, tackle/guard Geoff Schwartz and guard Jon Asomoah to free agency.
Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, moved from right tackle to his natural position at left tackle. Fisher's slow start to the season is attributed to an offseason spent rehabilitating a shoulder injury, but his play gradually improved as the season progressed.
Andy Reid dropped an interesting piece of information at his season-ending news conference regarding what the Kansas City Chiefs are expecting in terms of number of picks in next year's draft.
Looking ahead to the draft, Reid said, "[The Chiefs] have 11-plus picks there to work with to bring in people. We actually have a second-round pick this year. We're sitting 18th in the draft. Not that you want to be there but we're there. That's a positive.''
Eleven would be an interesting number of picks for the Chiefs. Eleven-plus would be more interesting. But the Chiefs are clearly expecting a big load of compensatory picks because of their net losses in free agency last year.
Mike Pound: K.C. Chiefs' failure to make playoffs has upside from The Joplin Globe
As you may know, the Kansas City Chiefs did not make the NFL playoffs this year, which on one level is a sad thing, but on another level - the level I like to call the "Big Picture Level" - the Chiefs not making the playoffs is not so sad.
I watched the Chiefs a lot this season and while at times I thought they were pretty good, I never got the feeling they were Super Bowl good. Unlike the dark period of a few years ago, I like the folks in charge of the Chiefs. I think it's nice that grownups are running the team again. But I also have to be honest enough to say that I don't think this was going to be the Chiefs' year.
The Chiefs allowed 127.2 yards rushing per game to finish ranked 28th in the NFL.
But the defense played without inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito, both of whom suffered season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon injuries in Week 1.
Coach Andy Reid appeared optimistic they would be available when the Chiefs report for the offseason voluntary workout program in April.
Chiefs' Bowe: 'I'm a great person, a great player, a great teammate' from FS Kansas City
As fans start playing salary-cap Tetris, Dwayne Bowe is usually the first big block they toss to the side. But he isn't cheesed by the notion that most of Kansas City has Big No. 82 pegged to get 86ed.
"I only control the kind of person, the kind of player I am," the Chiefs wide receiver told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "And I'm a great person, a great player, a great teammate. (I) do a lot in the community. So I think that will take me to the next level, not my stats.
"I led the league already in touchdowns (15 receiving TDs in 2010). That's not a big deal. It's just the next step."
Did Chiefs QB Smith try throwing deep enough? He's not sure from FS Kansas City
"It's impossible to go through a year of film and not see plenty of missed opportunities," Smith said Monday. "You're just not going to get them all and you're not going to see them all. I don't care who you are. I think that's just the way it is.
"So it's hard -- we haven't had the chance at this point -- but as you're going through the year, you watch the film and you learn from it. But then you're on to the next week and the next challenge and so you don't really bank that stuff like that. So it'll be good here with the offseason to really kind of pool all of that film together and really be able to categorize it and break it down in all of the different ways."
Hmmm. So if the film suggests there were opportunities down field that were missed, will Smith focus on looking for more big plays in 2015?
Chiefs' Chris Ballard linked to open GM positions from Chiefs Digest
Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard's name has been linked in various reports to a couple of vacant general manager positions around the league.
But ultimately, the reports are speculative in nature so far.
"I haven't been approached yet truth be told," general manager John Dorsey said Monday.
Rodney Hudson, Kansas City Chiefs: The former B.C. Rain High School standout anchored Kansas City's young offensive line at center and earned a spot as a reserve on Pro Football Focus' Pro Bowl team, based on film grades throughout the season. The Chiefs finished third in the NFL with an average of 4.6 yards per rushing attempt in 2014.
Week 17 was less fortunate for the San Diego Chargers. Needing only a win to clinch a Wild Card berth and facing a Kansas City Chiefs team without its starting quarterback, the Chargers dropped the ball both literally and figuratively. Quarterback Philip Rivers tossed two interceptions and fumbled away another. Meanwhile, the defense allowed 157 yards on the ground at a nearly 10-yards per carry clip. The 19-7 loss dropped San Diego to 9-7 and out of the playoffs.