Kansas City Chiefs: 2019*
15-4 overall record
Won franchise’s first Super Bowl since AFL-NFL merger
First team in NFL history to overcome three double-digit deficits in the playoffs
After a 7-4 start, the Chiefs won their final nine games that included a 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Patrick Mahomes, the league’s MVP the previous season, became the first player in league history to win a league and Super Bowl MVP before his 25th birthday. And while Mahomes was a major reason for their first championship in 50 years, the Chiefs were hardly a one-man show. Along with Mahomes, the Chiefs’ 2019 roster featured five other Pro Bowlers in receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce (97 catches, 1,229 yards), defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark, and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
While the ‘19 Chiefs won the title as the franchise’s best team, a tip of the cap goes out to the ‘69 Chiefs, the second and final AFL team to win the Super Bowl. The ‘69 Chiefs featured eight Hall of Famers in coach Hank Stram, quarterback Len Dawson, defensive tackles Curly Culp and Buck Buchanan, linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier and safety Johnny Robinson.
Chicago Bears Trade Robert Quinn to the Kansas City Chiefs
Quinn was fantastic last season, tallying 18.5 sacks and 49 tackles. Alongside Frank Clark, Chris Jones and rookie first-round pick George Karlaftis, Quinn could give Kansas City arguably the conference’s top pass rush.
And the Bears could be inclined to move the 32-year-old.
“I continue to hear that Quinn wants out of Chicago—and who could blame him?—and there are a host of interested teams,” CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora wrote in late May. “Bears brass has told everyone he ain’t going anywhere, but they will keep asking and that’s not lost on the veteran defensive end.”
If Quinn is eager to leave Chicago, the rebuilding Bears would be wise to get something valuable in return and make the move. They already dealt Khalil Mack this offseason, so it’s not as if they’re averse to moving top players.
The problem is that Quinn has a base salary of $12.8 million in 2022 and $12.7 million in dead money remaining on his contract. The Chiefs, who have $11 million in cap space, would have to clear some room to absorb Quinn’s salary.
Kansas City Chiefs- TE Travis Kelce
TAR 134 REC 92 REC YDS 1125 REC TD 9 FL 1
Kelce turns 33 in October, but he’s still our No. 1 tight end in the NFL. Kelce recorded his sixth straight 1,000-yard campaign in 2021 — a tight end NFL record he continues to build on — and he picked up his third first-team All-Pro Selection and seventh straight Pro Bowl bid. A reason he’s going to be important in 2022 is because he’s the key weapon for Patrick Mahomes. There’s no more Tyreek Hill, and the new group consisting of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore is relatively unproven. It’s possible all of the newcomers benefit from Andy Reid’s system, but it’s also possible no one will be able to separate themselves as a true No. 1 wideout. In either case, Kelce will again be called upon to serve as both a leading receiver and security blanket.
During Moore’s final college season, he finished as PFF’s third-highest graded wide receiver in the FBS (91.6) with a 41% dominator rating to boot. Additionally, his 3.40 yards per route run ranked in the 99th percentile among 2022 draft-eligible wide receivers over the past three seasons.
Moore could smash his current ADP (WR49) into the stratosphere with Mahomes entrenched as his quarterback. It’s not that outlandish to think a second-rounder can make an immediate impact considering six of the 12 highest-scoring Round 1 & 2 rookie WRs selected since 2017 were second-rounders.
8. Derrick Thomas, outside linebacker (Alabama)
Kansas City Chiefs 1989-1999: Pro Bowl 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997; All-Pro 1990, 1991; NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year 1989, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009.
Around the NFL
Best Offensive Line: Eagles
Philadelphia was one of only two NFL teams to rank inside the top five in Pro Football Focus’ grading for both run-blocking and pass-blocking last season. The other was the division rival Dallas Cowboys, who jettisoned two of five starters and have age and injury issues to deal with up front. The Eagles will return all five starters from last season and have also secured their eventual replacement for longtime center Jason Kelce after drafting Cam Jurgens in the second round. This is a big, mean group — Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson and Kelce — that can really move opposing fronts in the run game, and also ranked among the best pass-protection units in the league. The philosophical shift in the team’s offense midway through last season put a lot of pressure on this unit to dominate, and it did just that while leading the Eagles to the playoffs. There shouldn’t be much drop-off (if any) in 2022.
In short, the Denver Broncos quarterback, acquired in a franchise-altering trade this past March, has been everywhere over the past four months. But those who have been around him say he has not let the football part of the equation suffer.
“He’s all over the place, man,” said Broncos guard Dalton Risner, a native of Wiggins, Colorado. “I grew up here, I know what it’s like when the Broncos have a quarterback and a leader like that. But Russell, you can tell he wants to lead, on the field, in the community and he’s going to be out there.”
“When you’re making $30 million a year, you can get a private jet to get you around to wherever you want,” running back Melvin Gordon III, a teammate of Wilson’s for one season at Wisconsin, said with a laugh. “It’s really easy to do that. [But] he’s all about football, though. He’s locked in, and there is no other way to put it. ... He comes in at 6:30 in the morning and he’s tapped in. He’s going over stuff with young guys, with older guys. He’s really trying to change the feel around here.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. Chiefs trade for Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Armon Watts
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Chiefs get: Armon Watts
Vikings get: Chiefs’ 2022 fourth-round pick
Why it makes sense: Much like Smoot, Watts finds himself buried on the depth chart behind Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips. If there is one thing the Chiefs defense has consistently lacked in the Andy Reid era, it’s a pass-rush presence at defensive tackle next to Chris Jones. While Watts is nowhere close to the world-destroying force that Jones is, he offers more than enough juice when getting after the quarterback.
In 2021, Watts had five sacks with 10 quarterback hits and three tackles for a loss, on his way to earning a PFF pass-rush grade of 70.9.
The former sixth-round pick is still just 25 years old and has steadily gotten better with each year in the league. His cap hit for 2022 is easily digestible at $2.5 million. Watts would also be a free agent at the end of the season as well. Still, given that the Chiefs are set to lose Derrick Nnadi, Khalen Saunders and Taylor Stallworth to free agency at the end of the season, they could decide to extend Watts to help soften the blow of a possible exodus at defensive tackle.
Remaining cap space after signing: $4.7 million
Free-agent option: The Chiefs could bring in a veteran defensive tackle on a cheap one-year deal. The problem is that all of the free-agent defensive tackles who are worth a roster spot are in the twilight of their careers. This is not a bad thing if you are looking for a situational guy like Linval Joeseph. While Joeseph is no longer the elite run-stopper that he used to be, he led all defensive linemen on the Los Angeles Chargers with 57 tackles, while also earning an impressive 83.0 pass-rush grade from PFF.
A tweet to make you think
While the #Chiefs might not have the most talented team in the AFC this season–their advantage still lies in Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. #ShowAndBK@RealRonTheShow | @BKSportsTalk | @StephenSerda pic.twitter.com/j3GruiEAV2— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) July 1, 2022