In one of the more surprising developments of the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs are not where most people thought they would be at the midway point.
They’re currently a .500 team, and just climbed back to that threshold after a struggle of a contest against the New York Giants on Monday night.
Given the exceptional track record they’ve put together over the last few seasons, it’s still too early to panic about Kansas City’s slow start.
With that being said, there are certainly cracks in the armor for a team that seemed to be a shoe-in for the AFC title game, at worst.
The Chiefs did acquire Melvin Ingram before the trade deadline from the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it should help a defense that has struggled so far in 2021.
However, there were a couple of other moves out there Kansas City would’ve been well advised to pursue that could have helped them just as much.
2. Marlon Mack
Patrick Mahomes is one of the most naturally gifted quarterbacks the game has ever seen, but he’s uncharacteristically forced some things that have led to turnovers.
There’s not much concern that he’ll revert back to the MVP-level form that we’re all accustomed to seeing.
However, every quarterback benefits from a solid supporting cast, which includes a viable running game.
Starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still not ready to return after suffering a knee injury in Week 5.
Even though Edwards-Helaire is the clear leader in that room, he probably hasn’t been as good as the draft capital invested in him (first round in 2020) would suggest.
For injury-related or competition-related reasons, the Chiefs would’ve been wise to bring on Marlon Mack from the Indianapolis Colts.
He appears to be fully healthy after his Achilles injury in 2020, and would’ve served as a viable option for carries over Williams and Gore.
The #Colts and RB Marlon Mack have agreed to mutually seek a trade, per sources. Mack is fully healthy after last year’s Achilles tear. But Jonathan Taylor as the bell cow and Nyheim Hines recently extended, Mack is hoping for opportunities elsewhere.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 28, 2021
1. Odell Beckham Jr.
To be clear, bringing on the likes of an Odell Beckham Jr. would have been a luxury add for Kansas City, and would’ve cost a lot more to bring in than a rotational back like Mack.
But if the Chiefs are interested in getting back to the AFC title game, and perhaps a Super Bowl in a possible rematch with a loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, a move like that would have been justified.
Beckham has been released by the Cleveland Browns, and it’s possible the Chiefs knew this would happen, and didn’t want to part with compensation due to that prediction.
With that said, a day-three draft pick probably would’ve been accepted by Cleveland.
While fellow supremely talented wide receiver Josh Gordon is playing more each week, the chances of him recapturing anything close to his old form after two years away are slim.
Beckham doesn’t figure to be the same player he once was either, but he has at least been in the league competing consistently.
Kansas City offers Beckham a team with a well-defined structure, and an offense that loves to air it out.
Happy Friday ! pic.twitter.com/S9MzZAgz1S
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) August 13, 2021
Perhaps we’ll see this pairing unite if/after Beckham clears waivers.