2020 Kansas City Chiefs Predictions and Season Win Total Picks
When you have Patrick Mahomes, you really don’t need any more advantages beyond that. Yet in the strangest and most uncertain offseason in NFL history, Kansas City’s enters the 2020 season with impressive stability throughout the roster and coaching staff. And that leaves the Chiefs in a dominant position to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Continuity is key for the Chiefs, who welcome back 20 of 22 starters on offense and defense and 21 of 22 coaches on staff. They are essentially the exact same group that rolled to the Super Bowl Championship. Mahomes, the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback in the league, and Andy Reid, who punctuated his Hall of Fame resume with his first Super Bowl win, provide steady leadership for this organization.
Speed is the name of the game for the Chiefs. They have built a juggernaut offense by surrounding Mahomes with explosive playmakers that are threats to take it to the house at any given moment. Receivers Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman are all back. And the running back room is even stronger with rookie Clyde Helair-Edwards looking like a potential star.
It sounds strange to say, but the Chiefs actually have some room for improvement on offense. After finishing No. 1 in the league in both scoring and total yards in 2018, the Chiefs skipped back to No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in both categories last season. Also, after converting 73 percent of their red zone trips into touchdowns in 2018, the Chiefs saw their efficiency drop significantly last season, turning just 60 percent of their appearances in the red zone into six points.
Kansas City is a mediocre defensive team. And “mediocre” is good enough with the offensive firepower this team is packing. After finishing No. 24 in points allowed and No. 31 in total defense in 2018, the Chiefs improved to No. 7 and No. 17, respectively, last year. Turnovers were crucial. Kansas City’s No. 8 passing defense generated the fifth-most interceptions in the league.
In a way, the disjointed nature of the NFL offseason could be a positive thing for the defending champions. Besides their stability being a huge advantage, no offseason program meant the Chiefs had extra time to rest and recover this offseason. They’ve played deep into the postseason each of the past two years. Extra rest and recovery time is welcome and also means the Chiefs enter the season with a healthy roster.
Also, the isolated nature of the preseason allows the Chiefs to focus solely on themselves. They don’t have the natural distractions that other champions have had to deal with. And a master like Reid will use that to focus his players on becoming the first team to go back-to-back since the 2003-2004 Patriots.
Defending Super Bowl champions have been a bit of a mixed bag against their Las Vegas season win total. Over the last 20 years, the returning champions have gone 10-10 against their win total the following year. However, the Patriots (who are a cheat code) have gone 5-1 during that stretch. That means the rest of the defending champions are just 5-9 against expectations the following season.
I’m not in a hurry to bet against Mahomes and Reid. And this is not a season win total that is on my radar as a high value play. If I had to play this number, though, I would actually lean on Kansas City being even better this season. They’ve won 12 games three times in four years, and Mahomes is only going to get better and better.
Take the Kansas City Chiefs ‘Over’ 11.5 Wins.
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