In a way, you could say the 2019 NFL season has started.
Four teams opened training camp Wednesday: the Denver Broncos (rookies and veterans), the Arizona Cardinals (rookies), Baltimore Ravens (rookies) and Seattle Seahawks (rookies).
The Chiefs open camp next week, and the team on Wednesday packed up the trucks that will carry equipment to St. Joseph, Missouri. You can see that in the video above.
How will the Chiefs do this season after falling just short of the Super Bowl?
Well, one intrepid Sports Illustrated reporter set out to predict the outcome of all 256 NFL games this year, and sees good things for Kansas City.
Conor Orr wrote of his plan: “We’re still a full 50 days before the first game even takes place, and the sheer magnitude of this task feels insane — like doing a seven-round mock draft in mid-October with incremental saliva breaks. The number of rolling variables create a near mathematical impossibility. For example, will Aaron Rodgers stay healthy in 2019? Can the Air Raid fully translate to the professional game? When will Eli Manning cede the starting job? Will Jon Gruden coach the Raiders for 16 games or be tapped as the next secretary of defense sometime in mid-November? Anything is possible, sadly.”
Orr went through with the picks and calculated that two teams would finish with a league-best 13-3 record: the Chiefs and Rams.
Here is part of what he wrote about the Chiefs: “(T)he savvy game prognosticator might build in a bit of regression for the Chiefs in year two of the Patrick Mahomes era. Still, I don’t know if Oakland has gotten good enough to act as a significant speed bump, and Denver will either be playing a rookie quarterback or still pacing an offense with a player remarkably similar to the one who played the position last year.”
What of the Chargers, who have garnered some preseason love at the expense of the Chiefs?
Orr sees Los Angeles finishing 10-6. Here is an excerpt of what he wrote: “(T)heir pre-bye week run of Bears, Packers, at Raiders, Chiefs is tough, as is a finisher of Minnesota, Oakland, at Kansas City.”
The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots were picked to finish 12-4.
You can read more of Orr’s predictions here.
For what it’s worth, USA Today’s Steven Ruiz compiled a power ranking heading into training camp and the Chiefs came in at No. 6, behind the Chargers (No. 4). Here is part of what he wrote: “The problem is the defense, which was awful last year, looks even worse on paper this year. The pass rush is noticeably worse and the secondary isn’t much better — if at all. A defensive scheme change could be enough to push the Chiefs over the Super Bowl hump, however. With that offense, they don’t need too big of a push.”