Ethan Hewett | May 20th, 2020
The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off a Super Bowl season where they came back from a deficit of at least 10 points in all three playoff games. Most notable was the Divisional Round, where the Houston Texans gained a 24-0 lead early, only for the Chiefs to storm back and win 51-31 in a historic comeback. Talk about craziness. Speaking of craziness, here are five bold but somewhat realistic predictions for the Chiefs this season.
The Chiefs Win the AFC West for the Fifth Straight Year
The Chiefs have had their way with divisional opponents over the past few seasons. They boast a 16-2 record against AFC West teams over the past three seasons and a 32-10 record in the Andy Reid era. This season will prove more difficult as the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos have significantly improved this offseason. Denver looks explicitly to be the most imposing threat as John Elway went out and got several weapons to surround Drew Lock. The Chiefs, however, have retained a large majority of their Super Bowl team from last year and their offense shows no sign of slowing down this year.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Surpasses 1,500 Scrimmage Yards
I don’t think there could have been a better fit for Edwards-Helaire than the Chiefs. While some really didn’t want the Chiefs to go running back with the 32nd overall pick, myself included, this was a fit oriented pick, and the more I think about it, the more I love it. Edwards-Helaire was a versatile back at LSU and was dangerous on the ground as well as through the passing game. He put up 1,867 yards from scrimmage his final season in college with 453 yards in the passing game and averaged 6.6 yards per carry. This kind of versatility and threat in the passing game is what made the pass-heavy Chiefs go with this pick.
Edwards-Helaire should be their starter by the beginning of the regular season despite the late-season efforts from Damien Williams. The fit for Edwards-Helaire is just too good, and not to mention that Patrick Mahomes told Reid and Brett Veach to make him their first pick in the draft. If Edwards-Helaire surpasses 1,500 yards from scrimmage, he will become the 31st rookie running back in NFL history to do so and the 15th since 2000.
The Chiefs’ Offense Leads the NFL in Total Yards
This is going to be a special season for the Chiefs. While some, including myself, are slightly worried about a Super Bowl hangover, this team just looks too good. There is something special going on between Reid and his players, who last season wanted to win Reid his first Super Bowl. With a big motivation gone, how do you replace it? All the players have to do is look around and realize just how unique this offense and roster is. This is a team full of players that might never be in the same situation again. The talent on offense is top-notch, and the leadership on defense has completely changed the culture.
While some are predicting a down year from the Chiefs, I don’t think that is happening. This team has a throne to defend, and while teams may think they have the film, Reid and his staff will do just enough to continue to keep defenses on their toes. The run game has been revamped with the addition of Edwards-Helaire, and the Chiefs could have their first 1,000-yard rusher since Kareem Hunt in 2017.
Patrick Mahomes Throws for 5,000 Yards and 45 Touchdowns
Mahomes has put up some ridiculous stats in his first couple of seasons starting in the NFL. In his first year starting, he became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and also 50 touchdowns in one season joining Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Mahomes was also the second quarterback ever to also throw 12 or fewer interceptions in that same season (Manning). Needless to say, Mahomes can put up BIG numbers.
The 2019 season was a slightly different season for Mahomes with a nagging ankle injury early and then a dislocated knee cap suffered against the Broncos in week seven. The numbers weren’t as ludicrous, but thanks to clutch performances from the defense late in the season and the late emergence of Williams, he didn’t have to do quite as much. 2020 brings a unique Chiefs offense, as mentioned earlier. With that will most likely come another impressive season from Mahomes, who will easily reach 5,000 yards. However, due to Edwards-Helaire stealing red zone scores on the ground, he won’t get back to the coveted 50 touchdowns.
Taco Charlton Has a Double-Digit Sack Season
Charlton has had a career of misfortune. After being picked by the Dallas Cowboys with the 28th overall pick in 2017, he would be cut two years later and picked up off waivers by the Miami Dolphins. For several reasons, the Dolphins aren’t the best place for a player trying to turn his career around, and he finds himself now on a team that just won the Super Bowl. Charlton has the potential to be a star in the NFL as he is still only 25-years old. He is a prototypical Steve Spagnuolo defensive end, and while most are viewing him as a rotational player, he could steal the starting job from Alex Okafor. This would line him up alongside his former Michigan teammate Frank Clark.
In case you doubt that this would be possible, look at what the Chiefs were able to do with Emmanuel Ogbah last season. Ogbah served as a rotational player and put up five sacks in ten games before his season was cut short due to a shoulder injury. Charlton has a similar skill set and I believe that Spagnuolo is gonna fall in love with this guy. At a minimum, the Chiefs picked up a rotational edge rusher who will put up 7-9 sacks this season.
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