The Kansas City Chiefs begin their regular season campaign this Sunday against the Los
Angeles Chargers. Head coach Andy Reid is entering his sixth season with the team, along with
defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and new offensive coordinator, Eric Bienemy. Despite the
recent continuity of the Chiefs coaching staff, the 2018 roster is surrounded with many
The Chiefs are entering a new era on offense, as second year quarterback and first-round pick
Patrick Mahomes will be taking over the offense after the departure of Alex Smith, who was
traded after serving five seasons as Kansas City’s quarterback. Though Mahomes has been
touted as one of the most purely talented quarterbacks to enter the NFL in recent history, there
are plenty of questions surrounding his ascension to the starting role.
Despite the raw talent, there have been questions about Mahomes’ mechanics and ability to
thrive in the professional game. There has been little regular season film to look back on, as
Mahomes has just one career regular season start under his belt to this point.
Mahomes will, however, be surrounded by some experienced talent. Tyreek Hill and Travis
Kelce, the team’s top pass catchers from last season, are both returning. Second year
runningback (RB) Kareem Hunt will also return after a 2017 season in which he led the league
in rushing as a rookie. In addition to the returning talent, Kansas City signed wide receiver (WR)
Sammy Watkins in the offseason. Watkins is generally regarded as an explosive player, and he
scored eight touchdowns playing for the Los Angeles Rams.
On the defensive side of the ball, there are plenty of concerns. Kansas City lost their long-time
defensive leader middle linebacker (MLB) Derrick Johnson in the offseason. To replace him,
Kansas City signed former Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Kansas City also traded Pro
Bowl cornerback (CB) Marcus Peters, despite the fact that the cornerback position was a liability
for the team at times last year. Kansas City hopes CB Kendall Fuller can help fill that role, as he
came over from Washington in the Alex Smith trade.
The secondary continues to be a concern, especially after a knee injury suffered by Daniel
Sorensen who was likely to play a starting role at safety this season. The Chiefs re-signed
safety (S) Ron Parker, who was cut by the Atlanta Falcons at the end of the preseason. While
there are plenty of new faces on the defense, Kansas City will lean on the experience of their
returning Pro Bowl starters, including S Eric Berry and defensive end (DE) Chris Jones.
The 2018 Chiefs enter the season with a great deal of uncertainty and analysts have had a hard
time predicting how the new-look team will fare. While the Chiefs have gained a reputation for
being a consistent and maybe sometimes boring team, the 2018 season looks to be different as
the Patrick Mahomes era begins in Kansas City.
Cover photo courtesy of chiefs.com.