Vegas loves KC, but what about all of those talking heads and sportswriters? We break it down here.
With only days remaining until that 3:25 PM kickoff at Arrowhead for Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, it is always nice to know where you stand according to the national prognosticators. So we’ve compiled the season picks for relatively reputable sources like The Sporting News, ESPN/ABC, and CBS.
The Sporting News (KC 15-2, wins the AFC West): “The Chiefs have Mahomes and the rest of the league is chasing that level of special QB play. They always have a high floor and as long Mahomes is healthy, they will be on the short list to get to the Super Bowl. His two elite weapons also are in their prime and Mahomes should get better support from Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the running game. The defense remains a complementary playmaking force.”
There is only one BYE week for playoff teams this year, which goes to the #1 overall seed in each conference. The Sporting News predicts Mahomes and the Chiefs to compile a 15-2 record, runaway with the AFC West, and secure the BYE. They will face the 5th-seed Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round, beating Lamar Jackson yet again to advance to the AFC Championship (yet again). There, they will defeat the 2-seed Cleveland Browns to earn the Lamar Hunt Trophy and advance to the Superbowl (yet again). To take it one step further:
The Sporting News (KC def. Tampa Bay in Superbowl): “This would be the first Super Bowl rematch in 28 years and there’s good reason for it, as both teams have special quarterbacks, loaded rosters, veteran offensive-minded coaches and playmaking defenses. This time, expect a classic where Mahomes and the Chiefs learn well from how the Buccaneers played them so well last February. Mahomes losing the biggest game of them all twice in a row just doesn’t seem likely.“
ESPN (KC the favorite according to FPI): “Yes, the Chiefs — not the Super Bowl-champion Buccaneers — are projected to be the best team and also have the best chances to hoist the Lombardi trophy next February. Kansas City would be favored by 1.3 points over Tampa Bay on a neutral field if the teams were to suit up for a rematch tomorrow, FPI believes. And the Chiefs would hold at least a 3.5-point edge over every team outside of the Bucs, Bills and Ravens.”
ESPN also had this to add to the likelihood of another Chiefs Superbowl ring: “The Chiefs rank No. 1 in just about every projection you can imagine, including projected wins (11.5) and chances to reach the playoffs (89%), win their division (72%), be the No. 1 seed in the AFC (32%) and reach the Super Bowl (30%).”
CBS Sportsline has picked the Chiefs to win the most regular season games this year (12), and in any other year that would seem like an accomplishment. But it would seem like a disappointment if KC had 5 losses during the regular season.
No matter how you slice it, or where the prediction is originating from, there is definitely a good feeling around those that follow and analyze the league that despite last year’s Superbowl loss, the Chiefs are still the best team in the NFL.