Kansas City Chiefs 2013 Schedule: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game

Benjamin AllbrightContributor IAugust 18, 2013

Kansas City Chiefs 2013 Schedule: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game

0 of 17

    The Kansas City Chiefs have a new head coach, a new starting quarterback, a new-look offense and a new emphasis on aggression on defense and special teams for the 2013 season, but what does that mean to a team that tied for a league-worst 2-14 record last season?

    With all of the new pieces in play, will this still-building team be able to eclipse its paltry two-win, franchise-low water mark from last year?

    There's certainly plenty to be optimistic about.  

    The 2012 Chiefs, and their league-worst-in-offensive-passing quarterback carousel of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn are both now gone; instead, the Chiefs will have the Super Bowl runner-up San Francisco 49ers cast-off quarterback, Alex Smith, at the helm. Star offensive weapons Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe return, though Charles has been injured most of the preseason.

    For a team that lead the league in turnovers on offense and found takeaways hard to come by on defense, an extra emphasis on ball security and the pass rush has been the focus of the team in camp.

     

    Without further ado, here is a game-by-game look at my projections for the Chiefs' 2013 season.

Chiefs @ Jaguars

1 of 17

    The Good

    The good news is the Chiefs defense has shown marked improvement in their pass rush this preseason and seem more aggressive to the ball. They should also have star running back Jamaal Charles back for this game.

     

    The Bad

    Though Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasn't been particularly effective in his first two seasons, he has shown improvement this preseason in his anticipation, his ability to work through his progressions and his throwing accuracy.  

    The Jaguars have two young receivers who are both starting to come into their own as well, in Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts (though Blackmon will be out).  

     

    Projected Game Plan

    The Chiefs will need to establish the run to set up the pass against the Jaguars and will need to generate a steady pass rush on defense to keep Gabbert from getting into a rhythm.  

    Even though the game will be played in Jacksonville, if the Chiefs can establish the run and keep Gabbert off balance, I don't think this game will pose too much trouble for them.  

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 24, Jaguars 17

Chiefs vs. Cowboys

2 of 17

    The Good

    This will be the Chiefs home opener, and it promises to be a raucous environment for Dallas to try to work in. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a gunslinger, who can be turnover-prone at times. He struggles with interior pass rush, and the Cowboys will be starting a rookie center in Travis Frederick, in his first away game.  

     

    The Bad 

    This preseason, the Chiefs have struggled with containing the quarterback, and Tony Romo is mobile, and, at his best, being effective on the move. The Cowboys defense has also looked more aggressive than in previous years, and with the Chiefs' preseason offensive line woes, it will be interesting to see how they handle newly minted Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 looks.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Once again, it will be imperative that the Chiefs establish the run and keep Kiffin's defense from pinning their ears back and coming after the quarterback. If the Chiefs can establish a disruptive interior pass rush, they may be able to force some turnovers, or put Dallas behind the down and distance and give themselves a legitimate shot at winning this game.

     

    Prediction: Dallas 27, Chiefs 20

Chiefs @ Eagles

3 of 17

    The Good

    After being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles after last season, new Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will have a chip on his shoulder and an intimate knowledge of a large part of the Eagles roster. The Eagles will be without their star receiver, Jeremy Maclin, who tore his right ACL this preseason. Philadelphia has also shown problems stopping the run in recent years, too.

     

    The Bad 

    The Chiefs have struggled containing mobile quarterbacks, and Michael Vick is still quite mobile even at this stage in his career. New head coach Chip Kelly's offenses are built to put up points, and I'm not sure this Chiefs team is built to keep up in a shootout. This will be a game played on short rest, as it is a Thursday night game where the Chiefs will be traveling to Philadelphia.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Containing Vick and forcing him to try to beat the Chiefs with his arm will be crucial. On offense, the Chiefs need to not waste any possessions in terms of producing points. Establishing a solid run game and allowing the defense to get crucial rest will go a long way in combating the up-tempo game plan Philadelphia will look to employ.

     

    Prediction: Eagles 31, Chiefs 21

Chiefs vs. Giants

4 of 17

    The Good  

    The Chiefs will at least get the benefit of playing this game at home. With the season at the one-quarter mark, the offensive line will have had time to start jelling as a unit, and the team will have the benefit of tn days to prepare for this game.

     

    The Bad  

    The Chiefs will be up against one of the premier quarterbacks in the league in Eli Manning and facing a defense that loves getting after the quarterback.  

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Given how the New York Giants defense loves to get upfield, I'd like to see the Chiefs offense exploit the screen and draw game, in an effort to exploit New York's defensive aggressiveness. Keeping Eli Manning off balance will also be critical in this game, and the Chiefs will need to generate a strong pass rush to do so.

     

    Prediction: Giants 31, Chiefs 17

Chiefs @ Titans

5 of 17

    The Good  

    The Tennessee Titans don't have a proven passing game under third-year quarterback Jake Locker. Locker has some mobility, but has shown himself to a liability when the team is behind on down and distance. The offensive line has been suspect in pass protection in recent years, and the Chiefs should seek to exploit that.

     

    The Bad  

    Titans running back Chris Johnson is a legitimate home run threat every play. If Tennessee can establish the run game, it'll open up looks for the otherwise shaky Locker.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    The key here will be keeping the run game contained and forcing the Titans into obvious passing situations.

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 27, Titans 17

Chiefs vs. Raiders

6 of 17

    The Good  

    With an astounding $49 million in dead cap money the Oakland Raiders' efforts to fill and field a competitive roster this offseason were severely hampered. This preseason has shown an Oakland team that will struggle on the offensive line and across the board on defense.

     

    The Bad  

    Oakland does have weapons at the skill positions and a highly athletic quarterback in backup Terrelle Pryor. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team abandon its offensive base, given the dearth of talent on the line, and try some read-option looks with Pryor and Darren McFadden to give the team a spark.  The Chiefs have struggled with athletic quarterbacks, and that could cause some concern.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Overall, I don't see a scenario where the Raiders win this game, unless the Chiefs just come out absolutely flat. This is an Oakland team that's trying to clear a decade's worth of bad deals from their ledger and build for the future.

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 16

Chiefs vs. Texans

7 of 17

    The Good 

    The Chiefs should be coming off back-to-back wins, in the second of a three-game home stretch. 

     

    The Bad  

    The Houston Texans are an extremely balanced offensive team and have several disruptive playmakers on defense, including the venerable J.J. Watt.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    The Texans like to pound you with the run to set up play action. In order to make this a competitive game, the Chiefs will need to stop the run and put the Texans "behind the chains" in terms of down and distance. On offense, the Chiefs will have to find a way to neutralize Houston defensive tackle J.J. Watt and ensure they keep themselves "ahead of the chains."

     

    Prediction: Texans 24, Chiefs 16

Chiefs vs. Browns

8 of 17

    The Good  

    The Chiefs have seen the offensive style and game plan the Cleveland Browns will bring to the game before, as new Cleveland offensive coordinator Norv Turner was previously division opponent, the San Diego Chargers head coach. The Browns have a very young and inexperienced offense, with the exception of the offensive line unit.

     

    The Bad  

    The Browns have one of the top offensive lines in football, and their defense, specifically the pass rush, has looked much better this preseason.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Norv Turner offenses traditionally use a strong running game to set up vertical play-action concepts. It will be imperative that the Chiefs shut down the run early, in order to keep the Cleveland offense one-dimensional.

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 24, Browns 21

Chiefs @ Bills

9 of 17

    The Good

    The Buffalo Bills will likely be starting their rookie first-round quarterback, EJ Manuel, who has shown some issues on the offensive line this preseason. If the Chiefs can get after Manuel, frustrating him early, they can give themselves a better margin for swiping a game on the road.

     

    The Bad  

    The winds and temperature in Buffalo in November can be brutal. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith doesn't have the strongest arm, so it will be important to run the ball effectively and keep him in manageable situations.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Getting after EJ Manuel early and forcing him out of his comfort zone, making sure they contain Manuel in the run game and trying to stop C.J. Spiller will all be key concepts for the Chiefs in this game. Leaning heavily on the run game when driving into the wind and ensuring they leave themselves in manageable third-down situations will be essential for a win. 

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 21, Bills 17

Chiefs @ Broncos

10 of 17

    The Good 

    The Chiefs will be coming off a bye week, giving them two weeks to prepare for the likely, heavily favored, home team, the Denver Broncos.  The Broncos will be coming off a trip out to the East Coast to take on the New England Patriots.

     

    The Bad

    Peyton Manning is playing at home.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    The Chiefs have traditionally struggled playing at Denver, and I don't think this game is going to be any exception. Denver has a lot of weapons on offense, though they have shown some susceptibility on the offensive line.  

    For Kansas City, establishing the run on offense, so the defense can get much-needed breaks in the altitude and forcing turnovers are going to be necessary if they hope to steal this game from a division foe.

     

    Prediction: Broncos 31, Chiefs 21

Chiefs vs. Chargers

11 of 17

    The Good  

    The Chargers had a lot of turnovers this offseason, and they look like a team in the middle of a significant rebuild this preseason. The Chiefs get the first of their matchups at home.  

     

    The Bad  

    Kansas City will be coming off a tough game out in Denver. This figures to be a 'trap game"—one potentially overlooked by the team—as they head into the home stretch of the season.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    The Chargers roster just doesn't carry the talent it used to; the core of this team has aged, is injured or has moved on. The team looks to be just short of a major rebuild with their brand new head coach and general manager.

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 31, Chargers 17

Chiefs vs. Broncos

12 of 17

    The Good  

    The Broncos will be coming off a potentially draining trip out east to play New England. The Chiefs will be very familiar with Peyton Manning and the Denver, having played the Broncos only two weeks prior.

     

    The Bad 

    Again, it's Peyton Manning.

     

    Projected Game Plan 

    The Chiefs are more likely to grab this game—since the Broncos traditionally struggle in Arrowhead—than the game in Denver two weeks earlier.  The Broncos will be coming off a taxing game two time zones east of them, against the New England Patriots, the previous week. Kansas City will want to be very physical up front and see if they can take advantage of that.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Broncos 28, Chiefs 27

Chiefs @ Washington

13 of 17

    The Good  

    The Chiefs are likely still in contention for a playoff bid, this late in the season, which is a dramatic improvement on the previous season.

     

    The Bad

    Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan, who always seemed to have Kansas City's number when he coached the Broncos.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    Kansas City has shown to have a struggle with containing mobile quarterbacks this preseason, and in this game here, the team gets to face, arguably, the most athletic quarterback in the league on his home turf.  

    This game will put a lot of pressure on the defense. The secondary will have to cover impeccably well, while the Chiefs figure out how to generate a pass rush that will rattle Griffin, all while keeping him contained in the run game. On offense, Kansas City will want to slow the pace of the game to give the defense plenty of time to rest between plays involving chasing Griffin down.

     

    Prediction: Washington 27, Chiefs 24

Chiefs @ Raiders

14 of 17

    The Good 

    The Chiefs get what figures to be an "easier" game at home, late in the season, while still peripherally in contention for a playoff spot.

     

    The Bad  

    Consecutive down-the-stretch losses to Washington and the Denver Broncos may demoralize the team, causing them to lose focus.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    As we've already discussed, the Raiders are a thin roster, devoid of a lot of top-tier talent because of all the dead cap money. The Chiefs should experience a "pick me up" of sorts, getting a win to put them back on track here.

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 17

Chiefs vs. Colts

15 of 17

    The Good

    The Indianapolis Colts are still a team in transition. Andrew Luck is likely to be a great quarterback, but the team itself still has holes. The Colts pass rushing isn't what it once was, they're undersized at certain places on defense still and there still isn't a definitive rushing threat on offense.

     

    The Bad  

    Luck is very athletic and capable of beating you with his arm. The Chiefs will have to generate a strong pass rush and keep solid run contain in place.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    This is a winnable, and likely a "hinge" game for Kansas City. A win here puts them in solid position in the wild-card race; a loss likely eliminates them. Shutting down the Colts air attack and forcing their unproven run game to carry the load will be key here.

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 24, Colts 22

Chiefs @ Chargers

16 of 17

    The Good  

    The Chiefs will be playing a previously mentioned Chargers team in transition and will likely be in the thick of the hunt for a wild-card playoff spot.

     

    The Bad  

    Kansas City will be coming off an emotional game against Indianapolis and travelling cross-country to play San Diego.

     

    Projected Game Plan

    The Chiefs need to stay focused and come out working on building a big lead in this game. It will establish tone with the team and allow them to rest the starters in the second half.  

     

    Prediction: Chiefs 31, Chargers 17

Season Wrap-Up

17 of 17

    Going over the Chiefs schedule, I envision this team finishing at 8-8 or 9-7 on the season. There are two or three games that appear to be pivotal games in the quest to get back to the playoffs.

    It's important to remember this Chiefs team is one that is still building. They won't be as bad as the 2-14 record last season, in terms of personnel anyway, but they don't appear to be a division winner-type team just yet either.  

    The team still has some holes on the offensive line and at receiver. The strength of this team appears to be the defense and special teams units. The offense should probably be focused on moving the football and not turning it over. They don't need to be explosive, just steady.

     

    Season Outcome Prediction: 9-7; wild-card bid, first-round playoff loss