In Monday’s “Football Morning in America” column for NBC Sports, longtime NFL analyst Peter King posted one of his occasional power rankings — one in which the Kansas City Chiefs rank third behind the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers. The Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers fill out the top five.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
At a loss where to put Kansas City. This has all the feel of a get-right season. Two huge pieces of KC’s puzzle, Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, left in trade and free agency, both after GM Brett Veach calculated that, all things considered, the team long-term would be better by moving on from them. That sounds great for future free-agent acquisitions and re-signing his own players, but Veach understands that the offense could take a step back without Hill’s explosiveness and the defense could too without the leadership and guile of Mathieu.
I used to say to Andy Reid when he was in Philadelphia that Eagles fans had to feel good every midsummer because the team would always have a chance to contend. Philly, of course, got to one Super Bowl under Reid and never won one. But this Kansas City team is mindful of those days in Philadelphia. As long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy and dealing, and as long as Reid/Veach have a competitive roster, Kansas City’s going to be a Super Bowl contender. Annually. That’s how I look at this edition of this team. Someone—Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster or Skyy Moore—or some combination of newbies is going to have to produce to make up for Hill.
The trade of Hill (plus other picks as ammo) brought cornerback Trent McDuffie and the speedy Moore. Jettisoning Mathieu made room for 25-year-old strong safety Justin Reid in free agency. Moore is 21. Reid is 25. McDuffie is 21. For Kansas City, this offseason has been as much about 2024 as 2022. It’ll be up to Mahomes to win some games with his golden arm to prove this is not a gap year. I think he can do it, even in the toughest division in football, even if the Chargers, for one year, pass them in the standings.
In his rundown for the Chargers, King notes that the Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles are the “two teams that attacked their needs better than any teams in this offseason.” He says that’s why they’re both in his top 10. (The Eagles rank ninth on his list).
We can agree that “winning the offseason” is a good thing. But it’s not the only thing. If there’s one NFL team that is the poster child for “winning the offseason” in recent years, it’s the Chargers. And yet, Los Angeles hasn’t even won the AFC West since 2009 — much less anything else.
Let’s be fair: it’s reasonable to say that with quarterback Justin Herbert under center, making offseason strides will tend to take the Chargers farther than they used to. There can be little doubt that with its offseason additions, Los Angeles will be a tough team to beat in 2022. But let’s not go overboard, shall we?
How do you feel about how Peter King ranked the Chiefs?
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