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Why this Kansas City Chiefs offseason is so important

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For the first time since the Marty Schottheimer era, the window for a championship is open.

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If general manager John Dorsey makes the correct moves this offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs will win the AFC West in 2015.

The Chiefs, a team long on misery and short on reaching expectations, showed multiple flashes of what they can be in 2014. A demolition of the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, a convincing victory against the Seattle Seahawks and wins over the San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins head the list. Kansas City has plenty of talent in most areas on both sides of the ball, but has a few glaring weaknesses.

Everybody familiar with the team knows the Chiefs must improve the offensive line and receivers, along with inside linebacker depending on your view of Derrick Johnson's recovery. Everywhere else, Kansas City has the requisite talent to win a Super Bowl, especially on defense.

I never once thought the Chiefs were a better team than the Broncos the last two years ... But if the Chiefs make the right decisions this offseason and stay healthy, the torch will be passed.

All of these factors makes this offseason a critical moment in Dorsey's tenure. With some relatively easy moves, the Chiefs can open up $30 million in cap space. Couple that with as many as 11 draft picks, and Dorsey has the most ammunition of his time at One Arrowhead Drive. Considering the team is not expected to lose any major free agents and is coming off consecutive winning seasons, Kansas City has every reason to be optimistic.

Another reason to smile is the Chiefs' standing within the AFC West. In each of the past two years, Kansas City has finished second to the Denver Broncos. Despite all the talk about how great Philip Rivers is, and how Alex Smith could never compare, the Chiefs are a better football team than the San Diego Chargers. Until San Diego develops a front seven or an offensive line, it's an afterthought.

The same can be said for the Oakland Raiders. Jack Del Rio might prove a solid hire, and Derek Carr could be a good quarterback. Still, wake me when the Raiders go 8-8.

Over in Denver, there are all sorts of question marks. Gary Kubiak coached an uber-talented Houston Texans team for eight years, and won two divisions and a pair of playoff games; against the Cincinnati Bengals. Color me very unimpressed. General manager John Elway fired a guy with two Super Bowl appearances and, six division titles to hire ... Gary Kubiak.

Beyond all that, there are free agents galore and Peyton Manning looked like a cross between Vinny Testaverde and the current form of George Blanda the last two months of the season. Even if Manning is 100 percent, the Chiefs will be a better team than Denver if Dorsey makes the necessary upgrades.

History is a looming specter over this franchise and fan base. Everybody expects the worst because it is a defense mechanism. The city of Kansas City is constantly bracing for the disaster, ready for the latest humiliation to wash over. One day, that will finally change. If Dorsey can knock this offseason out of the park with a couple of quality free-agent signings and a killer draft, the moment is upon us.

I never once thought the Chiefs were a better team than the Broncos the last two years. In fact, I never believed for an instant Kansas City could legitimately win the division.

If the Chiefs make the right decisions this offseason and stay relatively healthy, regardless of what Denver does, the torch will be passed.