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Colin Cowherd thinks the Chiefs will finish second in the AFC West

The Fox Sports broadcaster broke down the AFC West division on Monday morning.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I know what you may be thinking after reading the headline.

Well Pete, who cares what Colin Cowherd thinks?

And I can agree with that. Talking heads are wrong all the time.

But the reason I found Cowherd’s take interesting is that it’s not often (lately) that we hear humbling expectations for the Chiefs in 2018. Everyone seems really high on Patrick Mahomes (and for good reason), but when it comes down to it, he really has only played one regular-season game.

We don’t know what 16 pro games of Mahomes are going to be like; no one does.

Here were Cowherd’s words, specifically on the Chiefs:

“Great head coach and tremendous skill people. I think tight end Travis Kelce is the next Gronk. But there’s a couple of things I don’t like. I have no idea what they are at quarterback. Patrick Mahomes has a great arm, so did Jay Cutler. I have to watch him play. I’ve seen nothing. Offensive line, meh. Cornerback? They lost Marcus Peters to the Rams. They lost Tamba Hali. Those are really good football players. They also had a great turnover ratio last year, and as Vegas would tell you, that doesn’t last. You can’t depend on that. Some years, you have a great turnover ratio. Some years you don’t. They were bottom 10 in sacks in a division where Denver and the Chargers have an amazing pass rush. They don’t. They lost their offensive coordinator to the Chicago Bears. Their schedule early is brutal. Opposite of the Chargers. At the Chargers, at the Steelers, at Denver, Jags, at New England. I have them in second place.”

I find that all of Cowherd’s reasons for not liking the Chiefs are sound, except for the mentioning of linebacker Tamba Hali. By all indications of the Chiefs coaching and personnel staff, Hali was no longer a serviceable starter. Marcus Peters, on the other hand, was a big loss that will be difficult to replace.

I’ve already written about how I’m not particularly high on the offensive line, and the Chiefs had to trade up to draft Breeland Speaks because of the uncertainty in Dee Ford and Tanoh Kpassagnon.

And Cowherd is right about the schedule. The first half is daunting.

The Chiefs can overcome that, but kudos to Cowherd for nailing a lot of legitimate concerns.


Cowherd’s final AFC West projection:

Los Angeles Chargers (11-5)

Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)

Denver Broncos (7-9)

Oakland Raiders (5-11)

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