Not even a year ago the Kansas City Chiefs were ranked 32nd and dead last in the NFL record wise at 2-14 and claimed the first overall pick in this year's draft for the first time in the franchise's history. Now as training camp approaches heading into 2013, NBC's Pro Football Talk is giving their preseason power rankings and they have the Chiefs coming in at number 21. Fairly high for a team coming off a brutal season on and off the field and saw major changes in their front office and personnel. PFT has KC ranked ahead of 11 teams including the Miami Dolphins and division rival San Diego Chargers, both who finished with five more wins than the Chiefs and second in their divisions in 2012.
A lot of the Chiefs' ranking has to do with the drastic changes they made this offseason. A new GM, head coach, and quarterback were the top three areas that this team needed new faces after last season and they arguably got the best man available at each position. Couple that with the already talented core the Chiefs possess which includes six Pro Bowlers and the foreseeable future for this group looks bright.
PFT talked about the strengths and weaknesses of this team where the strengths being the talent surrounding the team and the weaknesses being the secondary of the defense and the depth on offense. With the amount of talent the defense has, one phase that struggled consistently last season was the secondary with the juggling of the second cornerback spot. That's why GM John Dorsey brought in Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, and drafted an SEC guy in Sanders Commings. These guys are sure to be major upgrades and provide depth to a position that needed it.
When you look at the running back position, you automatically think with Jamaal Charles that the Chiefs are set. But having a solid backup who can come in and be a complementary back is important in this league and something the new staff looked into heading to 2013. Peyton Hillis only lasted one year with the Chiefs so the team drafted Arkansas RB Knile Davis in the third round to eventually be the complement to Charles. But he had some serious injuries a few years ago along with fumbling issues so Davis will be a project. And you can't forget about last year's late draft pick Cyrus Gray and free agent pick up Shaun Draughn.
Also, for a 2-14 team with a new head coach it's unusual that this team will go into training camp with very few camp battles. Other than solidifying the center and guard positions along with the inside linebacker spot next to DJ#56, every other position on the roster seems to be filled. It is going to be about how the team gels under the new system put forth by coach Andy Reid and how fast they can put it together.
The team's schedule this year also contributes to their ranking and the potential the 2013 Chiefs have. A three-game home stand in the middle of the year seems like a gift by the schedule makers and something this team and the fans need to take advantage of. The Chiefs also play only one opponent who made the playoffs in 2012 in their first nine games (Houston). So if they look to make noise, it needs to happen early.
There is a unique buzz in Kansas City heading into this season, and for the right reasons. Anxiousness and excitement are two words to the say least felt by Chiefs fans this time of year.
But it's time to see the proof on the field.
- Pro Football Talk Unveils the Kansas City Chiefs “Mount Rushmore”
- Former Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli to Appear on NBC’s “Football Night in America” This Season
- Kansas City Chiefs’ QB Coach Matt Nagy on Alex Smith: “He Has a Very High-Football IQ”
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