The Kansas City Chiefs have, undoubtedly, become a gold-standard franchise in today’s NFL landscape. Kansas City has won six straight AFC West titles, made the playoffs nine out of the last ten years, won a Super Bowl in 2020 and appeared in a second-straight in 2021.
After hosting a fourth-straight AFC Championship game in 2022 and with Patrick Mahomes just beginning to enter the prime of his career, it becomes difficult to poke holes. While Vegas odds have the Chiefs as one of the early Super Bowl LVII favorites, the difficulty level for achieving this has skyrocketed in one offseason alone. The Chiefs have owned the AFC West since 2016, but that reign appears to be in severe jeopardy entering 2022.
5 reasons the Chiefs will not win sixth straight AFC West title
- Schedule. The Chiefs will take on eight playoff teams from a year ago and start the season playing eight straight games against teams with winning records. You now also have to navigate what should be one of the more hotly-contested divisions in recent football history. There is also the fact that Andy Reid has only won more than 12 games twice in his career and the Chiefs have hovered right around the 11/12 win mark throughout Reid’s time in KC.
- Offensive changes and questions. Gone is electrifying playmaker Tyreek Hill, incumbent wide receivers Demarcus Robinson & Byron Pringle. The Chiefs are left with Mecole Hardman as the only receiver that was on the team a season ago but the signings of Marquez Valdez-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster should lessen the blow. The stable of running backs is also a big question mark considering Clyde Edwards-Helaire has yet to establish himself as a viable lead back. The team signed free agent Ronald Jones this offseason which could provide a much-needed shot in the arm.
- The AFC West is loaded for bear.The 2022 offseason will go down as one of the craziest in NFL history. In the AFC West alone, you had the Broncos finally landing a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson, the Raiders trading for one of the league’s best receivers in Davanta Adams while the Chargers bolstered its defense with Khalil Mack. Two years ago the Chiefs were, far and away, the best team in the AFC and now the waters are extremely murky.
- Defensive question marks abound. The Chiefs allowed Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu and incumbent corner Charvarious Ward to walk into free agency this offseason. While they rectified this by drafting corner Trent McDuffie and signing safety Justin Reid, this leaves a very young secondary. While we also praise the drafting of DE George Karlaftis, the defensive line (aside from Chris Jones) is still a huge wildcard.