The Kansas City Chiefs will have their work cut out for them in 2019. After a 12-4 campaign last season, it’s a fair to wonder if the magic of 2018 can be captured again.
Can quarterback Patrick Mahomes replicate a breakout season?
Will they light up the scoreboard as they did in so many games in 2018.
The Chiefs are again a team under a white-hot spotlight as domestic violence consumes the oxygen after the NFL Draft. Forget talking about Mahomes and the Madden cover. So much for newly acquired talent like Tyrann Mathieu, Carlos Hyde, or Alex Okafor. If any one thing looms large heading into 2019, it’s the consistent stream of distractions that dog Kansas City.
As for the AFC West, the Chiefs made easy work of it last season going 5-1. Looking at the division after free agency and the NFL Draft, it’s hard to see if anyone has made such a move to change that. Granted the Los Angeles Chargers still have Philip Rivers at quarterback, and the Denver Broncos likely improved by adding Joe Flacco. In Oakland, Raiders fans will hope they did enough to get out of the cellar.
Mahomes, who was absolutely stellar in his first full season as quarterback in Kansas City, made it look easy. Everything, and I mean everything seemed to work as the second year quarterback made even circus-like plays look routine. The potential loss of Hill could change that, especially with teams now also having a full season of tape on the Chiefs QB.
Can Reid keep the Chiefs high octane offense going?
Andy Reid had his offense humming in 2018. It’ll be curious to see if that can be maintained at such a level or if distractions prove to be difficult to overcome. Reid will be tasked with making sure the Chiefs aren’t a one season wonder. A task potentially made more difficult if hill isn’t available as a weapon for Mahomes.
Coming out of the 2017 season, many NFL watchers wondered if the Los Angeles Rams could complete the turnaround. LA had a similar breakout kind of year under first-year head coach Sean McVay. In McVay’s second season, he took the Rams to the Super Bowl with a third-year quarterback in Jared Goff.
2019 will be the third season for Mahomes.
That’s one parallel, but perhaps not enough to draw many more similarities. The Rams are a team on a remarkable kind of trajectory that hasn’t peaked yet. They don’t have the kind of personnel or organizational image problems like the ones in Kansas City. Eventually, those things have a way of weighing a team down one way or another.
The Chiefs looked like a team built for the long haul. Talent like Mahomes, Hunt, and Hill were game changers. Now, it’s Mahomes who will have to do more of the heavy lifting. He’ll need a lot more of that magic he often found in tight windows when he needed a big play.
2019 will be a season where the target on Kansas City will be larger for more reasons than found on a football field. They are an organization who is under a microscope. They will also be a team who will be answering questions not always related to what happens between the lines.
As good as the Chiefs were last season, is how good they will need to be if not better in 2019. It’ll be a tough task as they have obstacles of their own making to overcome.