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Chiefs should aim for reload, not rebuild, in 2018

The Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs for the fourth time in five years under head coach Andy Reid. Yet the throng at Arrowhead Stadium is calling for a change. After blowing an 18-point lead to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round, it’s hard to blame them.

Life is an awful lot about perspective, and the Chiefs’ fans have a unique one. Some franchises would be thrilled about the resumè Reid and Co. have put forth since coming to town in 2013. However, the same story has gotten stale. In his first year, Kansas City fumbled away a 28-point lead to the Indianapolis Colts in its playoff opener. Last year, the Chiefs scored two touchdowns, allowed zero, and still lost in the Divisionals to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Titans defeat was the latest in a long line of postseason failures, many of them predating Reid. Since the 1993 AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs are an almost-impossible 1-11, only beating Brian Hoyer and the Houston Texans in 2015.

With Alex Smith all but traded, Kansas City will finally be going with a franchise quarterback of its own drafting. If that sentence is jarring to Chiefs Kingdom, it’s because it has never been true to this point. This is an organization that has never drafted and developed a quarterback. Though they only truly tried once with Todd Blackledge in the 1980s.

Now, Patrick Mahomes is expected to be the savior in the City of Fountains. Mahomes, who the Chiefs traded up 17 spots in the first round for last year, looked terrific in a 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 17. The rookie threw for 284 yards while making an array of phenomenal throws, beating a large chunk of Denver’s first-string defense with Kansas City’s substitutes.

Incredibly, that was the Chiefs’ first win with a quarterback they drafted since 1987.


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With all that in mind, there are some that believe despite Mahomes’ considerable talent, 2018 could be a year of transition for Kansas City. However, with Reid entering his sixth year and a roster that includes Marcus Peters, Justin Houston, Eric Berry, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, that’s not good enough.

The Chiefs can rid themselves of a few expensive cap hit to open up plenty of free agency dollars. In that vein, general manager Brettt Veach should be targeting defensive help, particularly corners and pass-rushers. If Aqib Talib or Richard Sherman get cut, believe Veach will come calling. Otherwise, Trumaine Johnson and Malcolm Butler will be high on the list. Sheldon Richardson, who went to the University of Missouri, would also be a natural fit.

Come September, the Chiefs should be well-stocked for another run at the AFC West and more, hoping to finally exorcise the postseason demons that have haunted them for so long.

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