Kansas City is still celebrating being on top of the football world, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next season.
The NFL is full of teams that could make a run at the Lombardi next year, and while the Chiefs are one of those teams, they’re not miles ahead of the competition. Many teams that were very talented and highly touted last season will be just as good, and there are a few teams, as there are every year, who are more than capable of making the jump from 7-9 or 6-10 to 9-7 or 10-6.
That’s what I’m here to do: break down the competition and dive into the hurdles that this Chiefs track team will have to clear next season.
Major AFC Teams
Before we even think about possible match-ups in Super Bowl LV, let’s tone it down and talk about some of the tougher AFC teams and what challenges they bring to the table.
I feel the most dangerous team in the AFC, and rightfully so, is the Baltimore Ravens. Led by MVP Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, and an unrivaled ground and pound offense, the Purple Birds will find ways to score on you whether you like it or not. They’ve shown so much improvement over the course of 2 seasons, going from 9-7 to 10-6 to 14-2. While they still need to show they can win in the playoffs, they’re still one of the best teams in football. However, Kansas City hasn’t had any issues with them in the past, so they should continue to find ways to beat them. This team is still not one to take lightly.
The New England Patriots are always a threat to go deep into the playoffs. I mean, they’re the Patriots. Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest football coach of all time, they still have Tom Brady (for now), and they are the best situational team in football. However, I’m more than confident that their defense has no answers to Kansas City at their current state, and I don’t think this team will be quite the same. Not as big of a challenge or worry, but they’re still the Patriots.
Pesky Division Rivals
Nobody is going to win the AFC West except for the Chiefs. We might as well accept this as fact, but the 3 other teams in the division could very well make a wild card spot and crush the dreams of some of the top seeds.
The Denver Broncos, once they activated Drew Lock after an injury, looked like a team on the rise. They’re a team that some people are saying will make it to 10 wins and a possible playoff spot. I am one of those people. The defense continued to play well despite having to adjust to injuries. The offense is making strides, finding their QB1 of the future in Drew Lock and their star wide receiver in Courtland Sutton. This team will be a tough one and not to be slept on. However, I am still confident that Kansas City will once again be too much for this Broncos team.
The Las Vegas Raiders (that’s going to take some getting used to) are a team on the rise. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have done a tremendous job of rebuilding this team one step at a time. They’ve shown that they can be a problem-causer for many good teams in the league but they’ve still got a ways to go before they are a true playoff team. Kansas City shouldn’t really be worried about them, assuming they can actually stop the run this upcoming season.
As long as the Los Angeles Chargers figure out their QB situation, they’ll be a deadly team. They’ve found a way to retain a lot of their weapons that made them a 12-4 team 2 years ago. As long as injuries don’t remain too big of an issue, this team will be back to competing in no time. However, with the QB situation still being an issue, this team still has some things to figure out. I’d take Kansas City over the Chargers any day.
And Last but not Least…
A rematch with San Francisco needs to be in the picture. I don’t even want to think about other NFC teams right now. If Kansas City makes it all the way to the biggest game of the year, the 49ers will be the team they have to face. They’ll be ready for revenge, and when they are hot, I personally don’t think anyone can stop them… except for the Chiefs.
Sure, I might be completely biased on this one, but KC showed this past year that when their hot, they figure things out on defense and their offense can score at will. Even though Kansas City can stop them, San Francisco could still be improving upon what was already a stellar 2019 season. It would be an even more fun game to watch than this year’s game.
Kansas City will face a lot of roadblocks on their way to a back to back, but if there’s a team that could do it, it’s the one that plays in Arrowhead.