Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

AFC West Rankings-Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs- 7-9
Alex Smith, the former Niners’ star and next Chiefs’ Quarterback can be the messiah to all of the Chiefs’ problems.

The Chiefs’ past two seasons have been plagued with poor Quarterbacking play, injuries and lack of coaching ability. The chiefs superstar Jamaal Charles, out for the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL, had a comeback season comparable to that of Adrian Peterson or Peyton Manning (1,509 yards 5 touchdowns).

Despite Charles’ absolutely dominant performance last season, the Chiefs offense still sputtered to a monotonous (24th) in the league, averaging 319.3 yards per game and a league worst 13.2 points per game.

The lack of offense can be traced back to two factors, Coach Romeo Crennel’s ineffective offensive play-calling and lack of a consistent quarterback. The situation was so out of hand that in week 9, when starting QB Matt Cassel was knocked out of the game with a concussion, the home Kansas City crowd actually applauded.

Unfortunately to Chiefs fans disappointment, backup Brady Quinn was of no help whatsoever averaging 114.1 passing yards per game along with 8 picks and a fumble.

With such receiving talent as Dwayne Bowe (1,162 yards, 15 touchdowns in 2010), Dexter McCluster (844 combined yards in 2011) and Rookie Devon Wylie out of Fresno State (56 receptions, 716 yards ), it was disheartening to see such failure from Quinn and Cassel.

But no fear cavalier, with the Chiefs signing of former 49ers QB Alex Smith (3,144 yards 17 touchdowns in 2010, including a NFC championship berth), the Chiefs are assured of a quality QB for Bowe and Company. Although Smith does not have the breakaway speed of Charles, he can still evade pass rushers and if called upon, can take the ball for a QB option (631 rushing yards in at Utah).

The key for this team is to be consistent and trust the expertise of new Coach Andy Reid who has turned young backs like LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown into premiere backs in the NFC.

The problem last year with Crennel was that when the Chiefs were in red zone situations, Crennel would rely on rookie Shaun Draughn and burned out Peyton Hillis to punch it in.

It is no wonder that the chiefs only averaged (13.6) points per game, Charles only had 5 touchdowns last season even though he rushed for 5.3 yards per carry, ranked 3rd among running backs.

In order for the chiefs to be really successful this season, they need to trust Charles with the ball, especially in goal-line situations and not rely on Draughn 3.9 yards per carry to get first downs on 3rd and long situations.

The offensive line as well had some problems last season, giving up 40 sacks. However, the Kansas City Coaching staff has worked with this offensive line and should hold up in 2013.

This should give Smith adequate time and Charles adequate holes to rush through.

All in all, this Chiefs team has some superstars but Andy Reid’s chief concern with this ball club should be to strengthen his supporting cast to make this once super bowl winning chiefs team important again.

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