Training Camp is over in St Joe and now the Chiefs season is ready to start. Let's look at the biggest questions from the Missouri Western University portion of the Pre-Season.
First and foremost, where in the world is Chris Jones and when will he show up? The general thought is that once the practices move back to Arrowhead he’ll show up. I think that is true but only after the Pre-Season game this Saturday against Arizona. He’s going to have a 5-day acclimation period when he does show up and I think that will conveniently make sure he doesn’t play the final Pre-Season game against the Browns either, which is fine he doesn’t need to but he does need to be ready week one because without him the Defensive Line is a Weakness not a strength.
The next question is the D-Line again as no matter what Chris Jones does, we know that Charles Omenihu, the big Defensive Free Agent is out for the first 6 games on an NFL Personal Conduct Suspension. So now the pass rush is going to need jumps from George Karlaftis, Mike Dana and on the inside Derrick Nnadi and get solid play from 1st round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah. This isn’t the ideal to say the least. I think they’ll pick up a veteran on the day after cut day but either way this position group is a big question.
Next up let’s move to the Wide Receiver Room. For the second straight year the Chiefs #1 Receiver is gone. Two years ago it was Tyrek Hill taking his talents to Miami and this year it’s a refreshed Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster going to the Patriots. The Chiefs are going to go with the Giants Receivers from last year Richie James and Kadarius Toney, your returning leader Marquez Valdes-Scantling who almost got to 700 yards last year and Justin Watson, who has now gotten Super Bowl rings with Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, but still only had 315 yards receiving.
Then there is the youth of the position with second year 2nd Round pick Sky Moore and this year’s 2nd Round pick Rashee Rice who will both need to have an impact. The final question mark of the position is Clemson product Justyn Ross. He was a breakout star as a Freshman for the Tigers where he had 46 catches for over 1,000 yards and 9 TD’s in the regular season plus 12 catches 301 yards and 3 TD’s in the College Football Playoffs! Great, right? The only problem is he did that in 2018 and battled injuries to miss 2020 after Spinal Surgery and then missed the end of the 21 season with a foot injury. Last year he was on the injured list for the Chiefs.
Which just adds another question to the position. Could it go right? Sure, MVS and Justin Watson could take another step forward, Moore and Rice could be big pieces as young players. Richie James could be a solid addition and Toney and Justyn Ross could stay healthy. Will all of those happen? No. At least they have numbers here so slightly less of a question than the D-Line.
As the Chiefs ramp up for the season now at the Arrowhead complex do these questions mean the season will disappoint? No, because you also have some solid answers. Number 1 is the QB. Mahomes will do what Brady and Aaron Rodgers have done before him and elevate these receivers. The Offensive Line may well be the best in Football and took a step up at both of the Tackle positions. Travis Kelce is Travis Kelce and he is the Number 1 receiver on this team. The Special Teams with Harrison Butker and Tommy Townsend are All-Pro Level and finally there is Andy Reid directing the team and getting ready to pass Tom Landry on the All-Time Coaching Win chart early this season.
The Questions just mean that the year will not be easy and the games will be entertaining. As a fan of the Chiefs you’re going to want to be along for the ride and remember only 6 teams have ever won Back to Back SuperBowls so the goal is going to be a challenge.
We’ll follow it all season on TimeOut with Gerald Bentley here on the FiredUP network and I am looking forward to finding out some of the answers along the way,