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Cases for and against the Chiefs getting to 11 wins in 2019

The Las Vegas over/unders for the 2019 season are out.

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Many Las Vegas bookmakers released their NFL over/unders for the 2019 season on Friday. The Kansas City Chiefs are currently listed at 10.5 wins (courtesy of CG Sportsbooks), up from 7.5 wins ahead of 2018. Only one team, the New England Patriots, has a higher over/under number.

Other notable year-by-year differences I found interesting were the Chicago Bears (6.5 to 9.5), the Cleveland Browns (4.5 to 9), the Indianapolis Colts (6.5 to 9.5) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (10.5 to 9).

Going off of 10.5 wins, the question becomes, Will the Chiefs get to 11 in 2019? I compiled some reasons as to why or why not.

Why the Chiefs will win 11 games

Since Andy Reid took over for the 2013 season, the Chiefs have averaged 10.8 wins per season, including three seasons of 11 or more wins over the last four. During two of those 11-plus-win seasons, Alex Smith was the starting quarterback. Now, it’s Patrick Mahomes’ team, and if the reigning MVP’s name alone doesn’t provide enough confidence, his supporting cast—Travis Kelce, (probably) Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins—should all be back healthy and ready to do it all over again. When people think of the Chiefs, they think of an elite offense with a lousy defense, but there is an argument to be made that the defense could be better in 2019: First, it couldn’t really be much worse, right? And second, the Chiefs changed defensive coordinators, assistant coaches and scheme. The returners may be better thanks to the in-house change of scenery. I also love the Tyrann Mathieu signing. If the defense can get to average, 11 wins could be low for Mahomes.

Why the Chiefs will win less than 11 games

I think we can all agree that Mahomes’ numbers in 2019 were silly. 50 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards. I think we can also agree that although he’s no doubt arrived, the chances of repeating such wildly strong numbers are slim (throwing for 50 touchdowns only happened twice before 2018). Mahomes is now without both running back Kareem Hunt and center Mitch Morse, and questions still surround Hill, with the team saying it hasn’t spoken to him. Also, the Chiefs’ defense finished No. 31 in yards per game in 2019. Now without Eric Berry, Dee Ford and Justin Houston, three of its most important players, how could it possibly improve, even with the change in defensive coordinator? Andy Reid has never finished with less than nine wins since coming to the Chiefs, but 11 wins, especially given the Chiefs’ schedule—they see the Bears, Colts and Patriots in addition to an improving AFC West—is a tall order.

What do you think?


The Chiefs will win _______ 10.5 games.

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