We are basically two months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams get ready for mini-camps and OTAs, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Now it’s time to check out the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs.
This past season, no team in the NFL did a better job forcing turnovers than the reigning AFC West champions. But that wasn’t always the case when it came to Andy Reid’s club, whose Kansas City Chiefs captured a division title for the first time since 2010. Just two seasons ago (2014), the club finished with a mere 14 takeaways. That total more than doubled one year later (29). In ’16, cornerback Marcus Peters, free safety Eric Berry and company harassed the opposition courtesy of a league-best 33 takeaways.
Only six teams in the NFL gave up more yards on the ground than Bob Sutton’s opportunistic but susceptible defensive unit. The Chiefs surrendered 127.3 yards per game rushing – allowing 120-plus yards in eight of their 16 regular-season outings. Five of those eight performances came in the final six weeks of the season. Then came the 18-16 home playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which saw Mike Tomlin’s club run for 171 yards – all but one of those by Le’Veon Bell. With the likes of Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders), Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) and ex-Chief Jamaal Charles (Denver Broncos) running around the division this season, there needs to be some quick improvement here.
Tyreek Hill was a controversial fifth-round pick a year ago. The West Alabama flash made his presence felt all over the field as a rookie, earning All-Pro honors as a kick return artist. Hill racked up a total of 1,836 combined yards and led the team with 12 total touchdowns in 2016, scoring on the ground (3), through the air (6) and via both punt (2) and kickoff returns (1). It was quite the debut, to say the least.