Harrington Gardiner | Contributing Writer
Early in the season, the Kansas City Chiefs were considered by many to be a potential Super Bowl favorite and a threat to the always dominant New England Patriots in the AFC.
The superior play of Alex Smith at quarterback as well as the emergence of rookie running back Kareem Hunt caused many to believe that this team has what it takes to be a Super Bowl contender.
Lately, though, they’ve been inconsistent and have taken losses in their past games.
In the first five weeks, they looked to be the NFL’s hottest team, but now they are 6-6 and in a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West.
What happened with the Chiefs, and can they rebound to save their season?
With the talent on their roster, it’s definitely possible.
Kansas City started off with a 5-0 record and was the last remaining undefeated team in the league. Early in the season, the Chiefs suffered a huge loss, losing pro bowl safety Eric Berry to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Even with this loss, other Pro Bowl-caliber players on the roster have made an impact, including tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill.
The two men have been making plays all year.
However, the struggles for this team are a serious concern, especially since the Chiefs are competing for a playoff spot.
The inconsistencies on offense have resulted in failure to put enough points on the board. This has led them to question of whether or not Alex Smith should be benched for rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
While it’s unlikely that Smith will be benched this late in the season, it’s important for the Chiefs to figure out the solutions to their problems.
Otherwise, things could get even uglier in the final weeks of the season.
Kansas City’s offense this season has been dangerous at times. Unfortunately for them, their issues lie on the opposite side of the ball.
The defense, which looked legit the first few games of the season, currently sits in the bottom half of the league.
Having a subpar defense this late in the season heading toward postseason play is a huge red flag.
The Chiefs may no longer be a Super Bowl contending team, but it’s not too late for them to save their season.
They can still rebound from their inconsistencies with the remaining games that they have on their schedule.
Andy Reid and his coaching staff will be put to the test late in the season. It’s time to see if this Kansas City team is the real deal or just all hype.
The Chiefs must remember this: It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.