Can the Chiefs repeat as AFC West champions this season? Or will they be a wild-card team? Or, gulp, will they miss the playoffs?
The answer is yes.
Confused? Well, the outlook for the Chiefs is mixed, according to people who cover the NFL.
I scoured the Internet for NFL preseason predictions and found 48 people who made picks for how things will unfold this season. There is little consensus about the Chiefs’ chances for the season, except for one thing: they won’t make the Super Bowl. None of the 48 picks had the Chiefs advancing to the big game. Heck, just one had them in the AFC Championship Game.
The good news is that 33 people think the Chiefs will make the playoffs. However, just 14 think they will win the AFC West again. A handful also think the Chiefs will finish last in the AFC West.
Here is the breakdown:
▪ At NFL.com, four of the 15 experts predict the Chiefs would win the AFC West. Nine went with the Raiders and two chose the Chargers. In the breakdown of wild-card teams, four people think the Chiefs will be the top wild-card team and three others saw they Chiefs as the second wild-card.
None of the 15 pick the Chiefs for the AFC Championship Game, although four think the Raiders will make it. Two also believe Oakland will win the Super Bowl.
▪ Three of the seven people who made picks for CBSSports.com believe the Chiefs will win the West: Ryan Wilson, John Breech and Sean Wagner-McGough.
Jason La Canfora and Pete Prisco think the Chiefs will finish last in the division. None of the seven believe the Chiefs will make it to Super Bowl LII.
▪ At Sports Illustrated, 10 people made predictions and the outlook for the Chiefs was all over the map. Two think the Chiefs will miss the playoffs. Four see the Chiefs as a wild card. Four believe the Chiefs will be AFC West champions.
One thing they have in common: none sees the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. Peter King has the worst scenario of all: the Chiefs win the West, get a bye and then lose to the Texas, who would be a wild card. At Arrowhead Stadium.
▪ There also is no consensus from the Boston Globe writers about the Chiefs. Three of the six see the Chiefs as a wild card. One thinks the Chiefs will win the division. Two don’t see the Chiefs in the postseason. But they all agree that the Chiefs won’t be in the Super Bowl. Oh, and they all think the Patriots will win Super Bowl LII.
▪ Four of the five experts at Athlon Sports and Life see the Chiefs as a wild-card team. The other thinks the Chiefs will miss the playoffs. Of the four, not one predicts the Chiefs will be in the AFC Championship Game.
▪ USA Today’s Nate Davis predicts the Chiefs will finish with an 8-8 record and place third in the AFC West. They would miss out on a wild-card spot by one victory and the Chargers, at 9-7, would make it ahead of the Chiefs.
▪ The Chiefs will finish with a 9-7 record and miss the playoffs, according to Alex Marvez of The Sporting News. Marvez thinks Oakland will win the West, with Denver taking second.
▪ Sports On Earth predicts an 11-5 finish for the Chiefs and a second-place finish (behind the Raiders) in the AFC West. In this prediction, the Wild Card Game would pit the Chiefs against the Patriots, and New England would win.
▪ How’s this for a bad memory? USA Today’s Steven Ruiz thinks the Chiefs will win the division with an 11-5 record. That’s good. But in the playoffs, Ruiz predicts the Chiefs would lose at home to the Colts. Ugh. Fans have seen that before.
▪ Here is perhaps the most bullish outlook for the Chiefs. Matt Verderame of Fansided predicts an 11-5 finish for the Chiefs and a division title. In addition, Verderame thinks the Chiefs will make it to the AFC Championship Game ... and lose to the Patriots. Of course, to do that, the Chiefs would win a divisional-round game for the first time.