The Kansas City Chiefs have made the playoffs two straight years and three of the past four but haven’t been able to get past the divisional round. Will things change for Coach Andy Reid’s club in 2017? It will be tough to repeat in the AFC West, perhaps the deepest division in football. Here’s a look at the predicted win total for the Kansas City Chiefs this 2017 NFL season.
2017 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Win/Loss Odds Analysis and Predictions
Kansas City Chiefs 2016 Season Recap
Kansas City was a rather bland offensive team in 2016 but rode a good defense and electrifying rookie Tryeek Hill to a 12-4 record and the AFC West title. The Chiefs actually backed into the division championship.
Oakland was in control of the division but lost star quarterback Derek Carr to a broken leg in Week 16. The Raiders won that game but lost the season finale 24-6 in Denver. They opened the door for the Chiefs to steal the division title with a win in San Diego and K.C. finished the job, 37-27 – the Chargers’ final game ever in that city.
In the divisional round against visiting Pittsburgh, the Chiefs held the Steelers without a touchdown yet lost 18-16. Chris Boswell hit an NFL playoff-record six field goals. Spencer Ware’s 1-yard touchdown run took Kansas City within 18-16. The Chiefs at first converted the 2-pointer to tie it, but tackle Eric Fisher — the first overall selection in the 2013 draft — was penalized for holding. The next try failed. The Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since 1994, losing five in a row.
Why Release Maclin?
Kansas City doesn’t have a great receiving corps as it is, so many around the NFL were shocked that the team released No. 1 WR Jeremy Maclin in June in a salary-cap move. It saved the team $10 million in salary-cap space because Maclin was cut after June 1.
The Chiefs team forfeited a third-round pick in 2016 and a sixth-round pick this year for tampering with Maclin when he was a free agent in 2015. At the time of Maclin’s release, the Chiefs had $3.5 million in cap space and still had to sign their top three draft picks: QB Patrick Mahomes, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon and RB Kareem Hunt.
That was to cost about $4.5 million, and many teams like to have a $5 million cushion for emergency spending. Thus the move. The only contract besides Maclin’s that could have been dumped for a cap savings of more than $5 million was QB Alex Smith’s.
How Good Was Maclin In Previous Season?
Maclin had good numbers in 2015 but not last year, although it was more a part of the conservative offense. The Chiefs now have only four wide receivers — Hill, Conley, Albert Wilson and De’Anthony Thomas — who have caught a pass in an NFL game. They have combined for 251 regular-season catches and 12 receiving touchdowns.
He also has 474 regular-season catches and 46 touchdowns in his career. Hill is a blur but also plays running back and returns kicks so he really isn’t a full-time receiver. Kansas City does have one of the NFL’s best tight ends in Travis Kelce.
Is This the Last Season For Alex Smith?
Smith is a solid NFL quarterback who doesn’t make many mistakes. But you simply aren’t going to win a Super Bowl with a guy who dinks-and-dunks. This could be Smith’s final season in K.C. as the Chiefs traded up to take Texas Tech’s Mahomes in the first round of this year’s draft.
To get Mahomes, the Chiefs traded their first-round pick (No. 27), one of their two third-round picks this year (No. 91 overall), and their 2018 first-round pick to the Buffalo Bills. It had been 34 years since the Chiefs took a quarterback in the first round: Todd Blackledge in 1983.
Is Mahomes ready for the NFL?
Probably not yet. Reid has said for months that Smith — who is 41-20 as the Chiefs’ starter the last four years — will start in 2017. And he certainly will. But if Smith struggles, the calls for Mahomes will come.
The Chiefs’ most impactful addition for 2017 might wind up being the running back Hunt, their third- round draft pick. The Chiefs last year gained 4.2 yards per carry, their worst average since 2011. The Chiefs are hopeful of improving that average with considerable help from the rookie back.
Latest NFL Odds for the Kansas City Chiefs
- Chiefs 2017 Win Total: 9
- Chiefs To Win AFC West: +180
- Chiefs To Win AFC: +650
- Chiefs To Win Super Bowl LII: +1500
Kansas City Chiefs Game-By-Game NFL Odds
- Week 1 – @ New England Patriots. NFL Odds: Patriots at -7
- Week 2 – vs Philadelphia Eagles. NFL Odds: Chiefs at -4
- Week 3 – @ San Diego Chargers. NFL Odds: Chiefs at -1.5
- Week 4 – vs Washington Redskins. NFL Odds: Chiefs at -5
- Week 5 – @ Houston Texans. NFL Odds: Texans at -1
- Week 6 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Odds: Chiefs at -1.5
- Week 7 – @ Oakland Raiders. NFL Odds: Raiders at -3
- Week 8 – vs Denver Broncos. NFL Odds: Chiefs -3
- Week 9 – @ Dallas Cowboys. NFL Odds: Cowboys at-6.5
- Week 10 – BYE
- Week 11 – @ New York Giants . NFL Odds: Giants at -2
- Week 12 – vs Buffalo Bills . NFL Odds: Chiefs at -6
- Week 13 – @ New York Jets. NFL Odds: Chiefs at -4.5
- Week 14 – vs Oakland Raiders. NFL Odds: Chiefs (-3)
- Week 15 – vs San Diego Chargers. NFL Odds: Chiefs (-6)
- Week 16 – vs. Miami Dolphins. NFL Odds: Chiefs (-4.5)
- Week 17 – @ Denver Broncos. NFL Odds: (TBA)
Final Kansas City Chiefs NFL Prediction
It’s always easy to underestimate the Chiefs because they don’t really have any stars. But they usually defy expectations because they are well-coached and don’t beat themselves. However, this team didn’t really improve itself this offseason as the club was quiet in free agency.
I believe the Chiefs are more likely to finish last in the AFC West than first. But let’s go under that win total and project an 8-8 mark.