Beyond that the team’s interior was already in need of help with an upgrade at guard and center both in sight. In addition, the defense needed bolstering at a few key positions. Take it all together, and Dante Hall believes the Chiefs did just fine.
“I look for us to be right back in the big dance,” said Hall in an interview with KAKE at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.
“I love the fact that they addressed not only the offensive line by gong out and paying top dollar for the top talent in the league, but I feel like we also addressed some defensive issues. I like the cornerback that they brought in, Hughes. I feel like we upgraded our linebacker position. So I look for us to be knocking on that door again in L.A. at the Super Bowl.”
3. 1969 Chiefs
14-3 overall record
Featured eight Hall of Fame players
Defeated the previous two AFL champions and the NFL champion Vikings in the playoffs
Why they didn’t win more championships: Age and the AFL - NFL merger largely contributed to the Chiefs’ abrupt fade. Stram’s team did have one last hurrah in 1971, as the Chiefs made it back to the playoffs before falling to Don Shula’s Dolphins in the longest game in NFL history. Miami would go on to appear in the next three Super Bowls, while the Chiefs wouldn’t make it back to the Big Game until the 2019 season.
1 - Kansas City Chiefs
WR Tyreek Hill · TE Travis Kelce
The most explosive pass-catching tandem in the NFL can be an unstoppable force on the perimeter. Kelce and Hill are each legitimate No. 1 options with the potential to take over the game at any point. Kelce, a three-time All-Pro, is the first tight end in NFL history to post five straight 1,000-yard seasons, including a 1,416-yard campaign in 2020. Not to be outdone, Hill has topped the 1,100-yard mark in three of the last four seasons while emerging as the NFL’s premier big-play threat. The explosive playmaker has averaged 14-plus yards per catch in each of those four seasons while tallying 41 receiving touchdowns during that span. With Patrick Mahomes displaying his superpowers as the QB1, the Chiefs will continue to terrorize the league with their version of the Super Friends on the perimeter.
4. AFC West
Starters: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Chiefs), Josh Jacobs (Raiders), Austin Ekeler (Chargers), Melvin Gordon (Broncos)
Talk about taking the NFL by storm. That’s exactly what Edwards-Helaire did in 2020, but his injury dampened an otherwise stellar professional debut. And then there’s Jacobs, who continues to prove he’s one of the best in the league, and who now has Kenyan Drake as a teammate in the RB room. Ekeler didn’t land a multi-year extension in L.A. by being an afterthought, and can wreck a defense both on the ground and in the air, with Gordon still showing signs of productivity despite some off-the-field issues that include a free agency holdout that did him no favors before landing in Denver. It’s a QB-driven division, but don’t sleep on its RBs.
Around the NFL
The NFL suspended Gordon indefinitely in December 2019 for violations of its policies on substance abuse and performance-enhancing substances. That was Gordon’s sixth suspension since the 2013 season and his fifth for some form of substance abuse, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL in December 2020 and was set to practice with the Seattle Seahawks in the final two weeks of the regular season before his reinstatement was rescinded in January. Sources confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler at the time that Gordon had experienced a setback in his recovery from substance abuse.
There are, as usual, plenty of storylines and stars to follow with this year’s Cowboys team. It’s the second year of the Mike McCarthy era, which got off to a poor start in 2020 as the team slumped to a 6-10 record as it was ravaged by injuries — including a scary ankle injury suffered by star quarterback Dak Prescott. The show will follow Prescott’s comeback from that injury, as well as those of offensive linemen Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Zack Martin, who combined to play just 12 games last season. The Cowboys are also incorporating a new defensive coordinator in former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, and they have stars on both sides of the ball in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, and Demarcus Lawrence. And of course, they have Jerry Jones.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
On Friday, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was spotted on the Twitter of his offseason trainer, Bobby Stroupe.
The video shows Mahomes moving around without any limitation, which is notable, as the quarterback had surgery this offseason to repair the turf toe he suffered in last year’s Divisional Round win over the Cleveland Browns. In mid-June, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that Mahomes came out of offseason work feeling “pretty good.”
Mahomes, who said he would have been able to play in a game — had there been one in early June, noted that the Chiefs’ training staff would be in contact with Stroupe to continue the rehab in his home state of Texas.
A tweet to make you think
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