February 5, 2022
By Fred Liggett
As the book closes on another season of Kansas City Chiefs football fans of all ages will be able to recall many memories the 2021 Chiefs team gave them with their play on the field. From the Patrick Mahomes long 75 yard TD pass to WR Tyreek Hill without seeing him to help the team score a regular season win to a dramatic overtime come from behind post-season win against Buffalo the Chiefs provided everyone with plenty to talk about throughout the off-season.
When the Chiefs kicked off the season against the Cleveland Browns the team’s goal was to return to the Super Bowl and erase the memory of a very disappointing loss in Super Bowl 55 to Tampa Bay. While the Chiefs came up one game short of that goal there was a lot to like about the season that ended in OT in the AFC Championship game.
The schedule saw the Chiefs play every division champion in the AFC and the top seeded playoff team from the NFC. While on national television playing in primetime the Chiefs took opponents best shot as they wanted to take what the Chiefs had in being the back to back AFC Champions. After week seven of the season loss on the road at Tennessee things looked bad for the Chiefs prospects for a successful season. At 3-4 the Chiefs were in last place in the AFC West Division. From that point which came on Oct. 24th the Chiefs only lost to one team the rest of the season, that being the Cincinnati Bengals. When the regular season came to a close it was the Chiefs claiming a sixth straight AFC West Division title.
The Chiefs on offense were hoping they had shored up their offensive line with an entire new starting five playing in front of Mahomes. Free agent signing of Joe Thuney proved to be a valuable pick up. The trade for Left Tackle Orland Brown ended up well as he helped keep Mahomes blind side clean. Rookie Center Creed Humphrey somehow graded out as a top center in the league even though he wasn’t a top draft pick. The Chiefs offense had to do without starting RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire but the team had no drop off thanks to the efforts of Darrel Williams in the regular season and Jerick McKinnon in the post-season.
Defensively the Chiefs spent heavily on the D-Line and got production from Chris Jones who finished the year with nine sacks. Rookie LB Nick Bolton led all NFL rookies in tackles finishing with over 100 tackles making his second round selection look pretty good. The Chiefs got solid play from their secondary despite injuries led by All Pro Safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Now it’s time for the front office to put together a team that in 2022 is capable of the goal for a Super Bowl appearance. The task won’t be easy with free agents like Orlando Brown and Mathieu and veterans like DE Frank Clark and LB Anthony Hitchens who may not fit in the Chiefs salary cap for next season.
Thankfully the Chiefs will return their championship core of Hill, Mahomes and Kelce along with a coaching staff led by Andy Reid. Chiefs fans won’t have to worry as the team will be very exciting to watch again next season led by some very talented players who all want the same thing, winning another Super Bowl. That’s What I REID Into it for this off-season.