Before the 2012 season, many critics thought the Kansas City Chiefs would be the class of the AFC West.
Instead, due to inconsistent play at the quarterback position, the Chiefs struggled through most of the year and finished with a record of 2-14.
Although Alex Smith is overvalued, his arrival in Kansas City brings a marked improvement at the quarterback position.
Look for Smith to fulfill his potential under Reid. Here are some members of the Chiefs who will benefit most from the improved play at the quarterback position.
Bowe had a great year in 2011. He had 81 receptions for 1,159 yards and was becoming an elite wide receiver in the NFL.
In 2012, Bowe’s production decreased along with the quarterback play. He only had 59 receptions for 801 yards.
Bowe inked a five-year contract on Monday and will see more opportunities for production in 2013.
Smith has experience playing in a West Coast offense, so look for a minimal learning curve and more balls thrown Bowe’s way in a pass-happy offense in 2013.
Charles was one of the few bright spots for the Chiefs in 2012. He rushed for 1,509 yards and accounted for six total touchdowns.
Smith will give the Chiefs a formidable passing attack, which will give Charles more opportunities to catch the ball out of the backfield and take more pressure off of the running game.
Charles had a career year in 2012 and did so with defenses stacking the box. The Chiefs’ opponents did not fear either Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn, so defenses often had eight guys in the box to stop Charles, and he still managed to have a Pro Bowl season.
This year, defenses will have to respect the Chiefs’ passing game more, which will open up running lanes for Charles.
Barring injury, Charles could exceed his 2012 production this season.
With Smith’s addition, the offense will score more points in 2013, which will also take pressure off of the Kansas City defense.
In five of Kansas City’s losses in 2012, the defense gave up 20 points or less. In the modern NFL, if your team gives up 20 points or less in game, you should expect to win that game.
With the addition of Smith and the presence of the weapons around him, the Chiefs have the potential to be a very potent offense in 2013 and will undoubtedly win most games in which their defense gives up 20 points or less.
Over the past decade, many teams have gone from worst to first, and the 2013 Chiefs could be the latest case.
Coaching and good quarterback play is crucial to success in the NFL. Kansas City has improved tremendously in those two departments this offseason, and those improvements will manifest themselves in 2013.