2023 AFC West Division Preview: Kansas City Chiefs Face Super Bowl-Hangover Challenge This Season

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With less than one month left until the 2023-24 NFL season kicks off, OutKick is unveiling its team-by-team preview series. We are going division-by-division, covering all 32 NFL teams. The series continues with the AFC and NFC West, now taking a look at final team in the AFC West, the defending division and Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs 2022-23 Record: 14-3

Kansas City Chiefs 2023-24 Win Total Over/Under: 11.5

Offseason Moves

The Chiefs let tackle Orlando Brown walk in free agency and signed Jawaan Taylor (Jaguars) to replace him. They also brought in former Texans defensive end Charles Omenihu, one of the bigger names on this year’s free agent market. However, the NFL suspended Omenihu for the first six games of this NFL season.

The team also brought in linebacker Drue Tranquill from the rival Chargers and longtime Buccaneers offensive tackle Donovan Smith. They let wide receivers Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster walk, opting to rely on free agent signee Richie James along with 2022 UDFA Justyn Ross and 2023 second-round pick Rashee Rice. They also lost safety Juan Thornhill and defensive end Frank Clark.

As mentioned, the team selected SMU receiver Rice in the second round after taking Kansas State edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah with the final pick in the first round. They also grabbed Oklahoma tackle Wanya Morris in the third round.

Season Outlook

The defending champions had a busy offseason, signing or re-signing six players in free agency and losing five players in the process. Plus, the picked once in every round of the NFL Draft. But, none of it matters as much as retaining MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and future Hall of Fame coach Andy Reid. And although I’d like to hear him talk less, Travis Kelce is pretty important, too.

The biggest question mark for the Chiefs is their young, inexperienced receiving corps. This is one of those seasons where fans will see if it really matters — if having Mahomes throwing those passes mitigates the lack of skills from the receivers. It probably does.

As long as the Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, they're a threat to win the AFC West and the Super Bowl in any given NFL season.
As long as the Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, they’re a threat to win the AFC West and the Super Bowl in any given NFL season. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The other question is if they can stave off a Super Bowl hangover, at least in the early part of the season. The Chiefs have one of the toughest schedule in all of football and start the season with three young, hungry opponents in the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears.

Plus, the Los Angeles Chargers are primed for a big season and the Denver Broncos got better in the offseason. The Raiders are still the Raiders, but the AFC is difficult this season. I still think they go over their win total because it’s hard to envision Mahomes & Reid winning fewer than 12 games, but I think 12-5 is the most likely outcome.

Kansas City Chiefs Predicted Win Total: OVER 11.5

LISTEN: Dan Zaksheske and Geoff Clark Break Down The AFC and NFC West On The Latest Episode of “OutKick Bets”

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Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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