The reigning Super Bowl Champions, Kansas City Chiefs kick off the NFL Season tonight again the Houston Texans. This will mark the start of defending the Super Bowl title.
The Chiefs had a terrific offseason mainly through what they did with contract extensions. However, they made sure to add a couple pieces throughout the offseason as well.
Key Additions: OL Mike Remmers, OL Kelechi Osemele, CB Antonio Hamilton, and TE Ricky Seals-Jones
Key Departures: OL Stefen Wisniewski and DB Kendall Fuller
With a terrific offseason now behind us, let’s take a look at the Chiefs starters going into the 2020 season.
Starter: Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL. He has the ability to change any game and make any play at any moment. Mahomes possesses big play ability and is one of the most electric players in the NFL. He is the youngest quarterback ever in NFL history to win the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, an duding so in just two years as starting quarterback. This offseason, he signed the largest extension in North American sport history, signing a 10-year extension worth up to $500 million. He is arguably the best the best player in the entire league as well. Expect a huge season from Mahomes as he strives to lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl repeat.
Starter: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The Chiefs used the 32nd overall pick in April’s draft to select Edwards-Helaire out of LSU. He fits the Chiefs offensive scheme perfectly. He is a hard runner, who will lower his shoulder and fight for extra yards, while having great hands and elusiveness to be a weapon in the passing game. With the opt out of Damien Williams and release of DeAndre Washington, Helaire is primed for a huge role in the offense and a big season. He is my pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Starters: Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Sammy Watkins
The Chiefs have one of the best trios at wide receiver in the NFL. Tyreek Hill is a top-five receiver in the league and Sammy Watkins is coming off a terrific postseason, where he set the Chiefs franchise record for most receiving yards in a postseason in Chiefs history. Mecole Hardman is expected to take a big leap this season and take over the No. 2 role in the offense with his speed and big play ability. Expect a ton of production from the wide receiver position this season as the Chiefs could have at least two of these guys reach 1,000 yards.
Starter: Travis Kelce
The Chiefs not only have a great trio at wide receiver, but they also have the best tight end in the NFL. Travis Kelce is one of the greatest receiving options in Chiefs history and could put himself amongst the best in receiving yards this season. He just signed a big extension, locking him up, tying him to Kansas City through 2025. Kelce is coming off his fourth straight 1,000-yard season, becoming g the first tight end in NFL history to do so. He is also the fastest tight end ever to reach 425 receptions and 5,500 receiving yards , while being a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. Expect another big season from No. 87 as he looks to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the fifth straight season.
Starters: Eric Fisher (LT), Kelechi Osemele (LG), Austin Reiter (C), Andrew Wylie (RG), and Mitchell Schwartz (RT)
The Chiefs have a solid offensive line protecting Patrick Mahomes. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are one of the best offensive tackles duos in the league and are big pieces to the success of the offense. The Chiefs did lose starting right guard, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif as he opted out of the 2020 season to work as an orderly in a rehab center in Canada. In response to his opt out, the Chiefs signed All-Pro guard, Kelechi Osemele to a one-year deal. With his arrival, the Chiefs offensive line could improve as Tardif is coming off the worst season in his career. When healthy, Osemele has proved to be a great lineman, being selected to two Pro Bowls and is a former All-Pro.
Starters: Tanoh Kpassagnon (LDE), Chris Jones (DT), Derrick Nnadi (DT), and Frank Clark (RDE)
The Chiefs locked up Chris Jones this offseason, signing him to a four-year extension, worth $85 million. Jones is the second best interior defensive lineman in the NFL (obviously being Aaron Donald), and has 32 career sacks over four seasons. Jones and defensive end, Frank Clark, create a greta duo on the defensive line, getting to the quarterback and wreaking havoc on offensive lines. Derrick Nnadi is entering his third season after starting every game last year. Tanoh Kpassganon, the Chiefs second round pick in the 2017 Draft, stepped up big last year when Alex Okafor and Emmanuel Ogbah went down with season-ending injuries. He is now set to start opposite of Clark.
Starters: Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson
Anthony Hitchens has been solid against the run for the Chiefs since he arrived in 2018, recording over 220 tackles the past two season combined. He is entering the third year of his five-year deal he signed before the 2018 season. Damien Wilson returns after a solid 2019 campaign, recording 81 tackles for the Chiefs last year. The linebacker position is one of the Chiefs weakest, but second round pick from April’s draft, Willie Gay Jr., is set to play big role on defense this year.
Starters: Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton, and Antonio Hamilton
The Chiefs cornerback unit took a hit when Bashaud Breeland received a four-game suspension due to off the field issues this offseason. Charvarius Ward performed really well last year, ranking fourth amongst cornerbacks who played at least 800 snaps in passer rating with a 67.3 rating. He looks to take another step up this season and become one of the league’s best corners. Rashad Fenton played a big role late in the season and flashed his potential. He will take over Breeland’s spot while he is suspended. The Chiefs added Antonio Hamilton in free agency, and he is set to play role similar to Kendall Fuller last year to start the season.
Starters: Tyrann Mathieu (SS) and Daniel Sorensen (FS)
Tyrann Mathieu was a difference maker on defense last year for the Chiefs. When playing in the slot last year, Mathieu allowed a league-best 61.7 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks, while tallying 75 tackles, 12 passes defensed, and four interceptions. With the addition of Mathieu last season, the Chiefs defense jumped from 26th in DVOA in 2018 to 14th in 2019. He is one of the league’s best safeties and a leader of the defense. Daniel Sorensen looks to be the starter at free safety to start the season with Juan Thornhill still returning from a torn ACL late last season. Once fully healthy, Thornhill will take over the starting role at free safety. However, Sorensen played great in replacing Thornhill following his injury last season.
Starters: Harrison Butker (K), Tommy Townsend (P), and James Winchester (LS)
Butker has become one of the league’s best kickers since arriving in Kansas City in 2017. Since his arrival , he has converted on just under 90% of his field goal attempts, including a league-best 34 made field goals last season. This year the Chiefs will have a new punter for the first time in 15 years as Tommy Townsend takes over for Dustin Colquitt, who was released this offseason.
The Chiefs are in great condition to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. They have 19 of 22 Super Bowl starters returning and have added pieces to make the offense even scarier and more dominant this year. The Chiefs are set to win their fifth straight AFC West Division title and are the favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LV.