Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs tell people they are going to the Super Bowl this NFL season.
Fans said the same things last season.
However, the Chiefs came up short in the AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But those fans will tell you this season is different.
They would be correct, but it’s different in a bad way.
There are three reasons the Chiefs will decline in 2022.
3. Chiefs Lost Key Players To Free Agency And Trades
The Chiefs lost Tyrann Mathieu to free agency, their best safety.
They also traded their best receiver, Tyreek Hill, to the Miami Dolphins.
That puts the Chiefs in a bind, losing those players.
However, the Chiefs tried to replace those players during free agency.
But Juju Smith-Schuster and Justin Reid aren’t at the level of Hill and Mathieu.
Those players were key in back-to-back Super Bowl runs of the Chiefs.
Now they aren’t with the team, hurting their chances of another great season.
Smith-Schuster isn’t the number one receiver some fans thought he would be when he was in Pittsburgh.
Juju Smith Schuster has had only 1 game over 100 yards receiving (104 in week 8 last year) since 2018 when he played with Antonio Brown but yeah, let’s keep calling him a WR1 if that makes you feel better.
— HammerJacks⚒ (@HammerJacks1) October 19, 2020
Reid isn’t a smash mouth safety like Mathieu.
These are the things that Kansas City will miss without their former top players.
2. Patrick Mahomes Interceptions Have Been Increasing Each Year
While most of Mahomes’ passing numbers have been fairly consistent, his interceptions haven’t.
2021 had him throwing 13 interceptions, a career-high.
He also had an interception in the AFC Championship game during overtime.
That interception cost the Chiefs the game.
It could make for a long season with his increasing interception totals.
However, if he can keep away from those costly mistakes, it could keep the Chiefs in games.
Without Hill, he might regress with some of his other statistics.
He had 37 touchdowns for 2021, down only one from the previous season.
Hill made up a nice chunk of those touchdowns for him in the season.
While they believe in Smith-Schuster to make up for losing Hill, he never did well without a number one receiver by his side.
Games with Antonio Brown as teammate 30
Games w/o Antonio Brown as teammate 33
100-yd-rec games with Brown as teammate 11
100-yd-rec games w/o Brown as teammate 1 pic.twitter.com/XqR4nNv3LY
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) February 24, 2022
However, the Chiefs could be wrong looking at the history of Smith-Schuster.
1. Teams In AFC West Went All Out In 2022, Spelling Trouble For Chiefs
The Denver Broncos got Russell Wilson as their new quarterback.
Las Vegas would make take a gamble and win with a trade for top receiver Davante Adams.
The Los Angeles Chargers even made a trade to build up their defensive front line.
These teams are teams the Chiefs will face six games in 2022.
So if the Chiefs can’t make it through these division opponents like they have in years past, it could mean trouble.
All three of their division opponents went out this season to improve their team.
However, those improvements came at a price for the Denver Broncos.
While they improved at quarterback, they traded away their future to Seattle for him.
But it doesn’t take away from how everyone in the AFC West wants the division title.
With those teams hungry to dethrone the Chiefs, that might make for the biggest reason the Chiefs regress in 2022.