Season Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

Season Preview: Kansas City Chiefs
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Sports Mole previews Kansas City Chiefs' chances in the NFL in 2013.

The Kansas City Chiefs will go into the 2013 NFL season off the back of the joint-worst record last season. They will also enter with their third new coach in five seasons, with Andy Reid the latest tasked with improving the Chiefs' fortunes.

There will be few people expecting the Chiefs to even make third place in the AFC West, with the main aim in yet another transitional season being just to show signs of improvement. Whether Reid can get the players – some of whom are more talented than they are showing – to do this is another matter.

With a new quarterback in Alex Smith, Reid is well placed to put his own stamp on the Chiefs' offense. His challenge will be getting both sides of the team to better what they did last season, which in turn would see the side begin to turn it around.

Head Coach: Andy Reid

Last season: 2-14

Review: The Chiefs had a warning of the miserable season that they were about to endure - despite the previous season's 7-9 suggesting otherwise - with a heavy 40-24 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons in week one. In week three they faced the New Orleans Saints in a battle of the 0% records, with the Chiefs edging it 27-24.

Despite this threat of a turnaround, the Chiefs did not win another game until week 13, with a victory over fellow strugglers the Carolina Panthers 27-21. However, this win meant nothing as defeat the previous week eliminated them from playoff contention five weeks before the end of the season.

Not surprisingly, the Chiefs ended bottom of the AFC West, with a 2-14 record. Although the Jacksonville Jaguars had the same record, the Chiefs were worse statistically, which gave them the first pick in the 2013 Draft.

Notable Ins

Alex Smith: Smith started last season as Super Bowl finalists San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback. However, after injury and some brilliant performances from Colin Kaepernick he found himself as a backup. He is good enough to start in the NFL and he now has his chance in this brand new Chiefs offense.

Eric Fisher: The Chiefs had every draft player to pick form with the number one selection and opted for Fisher. An absolute beast of a man, the offensive tackle comes into the NFL with even bigger potential. He is not expected to begin the season as a starter, but could force himself into the reckoning later on.

Notable Outs

Jon Baldwin: The Chiefs traded Jon Baldwin to the 49ers in a straight swap for AJ Jenkins. Baldwin started six games for the Chiefs last season and might not seem much of a loss, but if it turns out that he would be a better wide receiver in Smith's offense then he could be missed. After all, he was the number two receiver last season.

Andy Studebaker: Linebacker Andy Studebaker saw fewer and fewer minutes for the team in recent seasons, although his departure suggests that the Chiefs are largely sticking with their D-line that failed to impress last season.

Key Player Offense: Alex Smith

Key Player Defense: Mike Devito

Rookie to watch: Eric Fisher

Pre-season form: 2-2

Prediction: 6-10. It is tough to see the Chiefs being close to as poor as they were last season. That said, Rome wasn't built in a day so any progress is likely to be slow. The key will be for the defense to tighten up in order to squeeze out a few more wins. If they do that then they will not be dead-certs to finish bottom, even if a playoff spot still looks some way off.

AJ Jenkins in action for San Francisco 49ers against Denver on August 26, 2012
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