The Chiefs are seen as the team to beat in the AFC and will have a lot of people coming for that spot, here are three that actually can give the Chiefs headaches.
As reigning two-time AFC Champion, the Chiefs will have plenty of tough opponents coming to take the belt from the champs. But like any good champion, they have been able to work and come back ready for the next fight. The Kansas City Chiefs have plenty of tough opponents waiting for them in the 2021 season, and possibly the 2021 postseason. In all 17 of the 2021 opponents, three come to mind as the most threatening of the bunch. I’m not saying they are going to beat the Chiefs, but they are not to be taken lightly.
Honorable Mention: Tennessee Titans
Julio Jones and AJ Brown are amazingly talented receivers, so now there are two 6-foot-4- inch receivers who can both dominate on the outside, and they are now on the same team. Not to mention they also have a 6-foot-4 battering ram of a running back in “King” Derrick Henry in the backfield. The Titans seem primed to become the best team in the AFC South, but they have a lot of problems, mostly on the defensive side of the ball.
They had a horrible defense that lost some pieces in free agency, which should be one of the biggest concerns for their contention in a great AFC. They also lost their offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to the Atlanta Falcons, which might hinder the production of the offense of the Titans.
The Chiefs did struggle against tough running teams throughout the past couple of seasons, and the Titans should be seen as a possible threat, but I don’t think they can really dream of stopping Patrick Mahomes on defense. The Titans should be good and win the AFC South, but the holes are big enough to warrant them being on the outside looking in.
3. Baltimore Ravens
I think the Ravens are going to be a very talented team, that’s not really debatable. They have a great quarterback, running back, offensive lineman, defensive backs, and defensive lineman. Not to mention a very good head coach in John Harbaugh who has defined this current era of Ravens football. But they have yet to show up against the Kansas City Chiefs in the past three seasons.
Patrick Mahomes had way too much fun throwing all over the Raven’s secondary on Monday Night Football last season in which he torched them for four passing and one rushing touchdown. The Ravens were also somewhat of a disappointment last season finishing second in the AFC North behind the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens also were not able to throw the ball effectively with the lack of a pure number one receiver and the play calling of Greg Roman.
The Ravens should be able to bounce back and be competitive in the division again, they added Sammy Watkins to give them a reliable weapon in the redone and drafted Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota to give them another young option on the outside. Also, Lamar Jackson is no slouch at quarterback, his legs are dangerous, but the additions on offense should help him become the most dangerous weapon.
They have a good defense as well which should make them a really good matchup next to the Chiefs, but it has yet to be seen due to how easily Reid and Bienemy have dissected it over the past couple of seasons.
The reason they are the lowest of the three is the recent success the Chiefs have had against the Ravens and the lack of consistency by Lamar Jackson against the Chiefs defense. The Ravens are no joke, but they need to show they can be the team that is to be feared out of the AFC North.
2. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are incredibly talented, with an MVP candidate at quarterback and the reigning receiving champion at wide receiver. The Bills are going to be back at the top of the AFC again unless the New England Patriots can prove they are back in contention, but that is yet to be seen with Cam Newton at the helm. They made their first AFC Championship game since 1993 and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Instead of feeling bad about this situation the Bills went out and tried to improve themselves. They added Emmanuel Sanders and Matt Bredia to help be a more complete team on the offensive side of the ball. They want to become a dominant team in the AFC and they will have to show out against the tougher competition in the division. With the Dolphins having a very good defense and a young QB they should be somewhat of a threat and the Patriots shouldn’t be scoffed at either. They also play the AFC playoff teams this season and it should be a good test to see if they actually are as good as they appear to be.
They are bringing back almost every starter from the past season and have one of the best coaches in the game, and that did not bother the Chiefs in the slightest as the Chiefs won two out of two matchups vs the Bills last season. The Chiefs absolutely dismantled the Bills in the AFC Championship game with Tyreek and Kelce basically doing it themselves.
They had a lot of problems with running the ball and they need to be able to do so to beat the Chiefs. It should be interesting to see how they make adjustments in the 2021 season when they play the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football in Week 5 in Arrowhead. Josh Allen has not played well against the Chiefs and needs to show that he is to be feared in this matchup. The improvements the Bills made should be seen as serious and they are not to be taken lightly. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are an incredible duo and have shown that they are extremely dangerous and they got another possession receiver to help spread the wealth around.
The Bills are a very serious threat in the AFC and should not be taken lightly, but the best team is up next and it is sort of surprising.
- Cleveland Browns
Surprised? So am I.
I never thought I would type the words the “Cleveland Browns are a Super Bowl contender,” but here we are.
The Browns are one of the few teams that should scare the Chiefs and the only one in the AFC which could try to take the throne from the Chiefs and could really do it. They have one of, if not the best offensive line in the NFL and they play physical across the board. They have an incredible running back duo in Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb which loves having a great offensive line in front of them. The Browns play old-school beat-em-up football and thrive in it.
Then they have Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside who are two world-class athletes who happen to play wide receiver. They did play better without OBJ for most of the season last year, but he seems to be back to ridiculous catch status and has openly said he’s willing to take on a secondary role if that’s what the Browns need him to do. I haven’t mentioned the tight ends or even Baker Mayfield, who really has provided stability at the quarterback position. Baker may not be the sexiest quarterback, but he has been able to make plays and ran Kevin Stefanski’s system to perfection in 2020.
On defense they have the great Myles Garrett, I don’t know if I need to write much more, Myles Garrett is one of the most dominant athletes at his position and has shown no signs of major injury. They also have now added Jadeveon Clowney to the front and he hasn’t been that productive over the past couple of seasons, but he should pair nicely next to Garrett. They have some really good defensive backs too, Greedy Williams, John Johnson III, Denzel Ward, and Grant Delpit are all really good at their jobs.
When Travis Kelce said the Browns and Chiefs are neck and neck, he really wasn’t lying. The Browns lost in the divisional round to the Chiefs and the Browns went out and tried to get better. On paper the Browns are the most dangerous team the Chiefs have on their schedule, they are incredibly talented on both sides of the ball and play a style of football that is not great for the Chiefs on the defensive end.
This week one matchup in Arrowhead is going to be a test to see if the Browns really did catch up with the Chiefs, but they are a dangerous team to watch. The Browns are the most complete team in the AFC and the Chiefs should really be leery of them even though the Chiefs have shown they can beat run-heavy teams at any time.
The Chiefs are the best team in the AFC and have a lot of threats coming their way, and these teams are no laughing matter.