Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in St. Joseph, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chiefs Looking to Improve after Impressive 2018 Campaign

The Kansas City Chiefs have the reigning MVP as their quarterback and are coming off of an impressive 12-4 season with the top ranked offense in the NFL. As the NFL season approaches, the team looks to improve in 2019.

Changes on Defense

Kansas City will look considerably different to fans of the franchise after releasing longtime players like defensive end Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry. The two players have nine Pro Bowl selections and 15 years of experience on the Chiefs combined. However, their age and injuries could not be ignored when preparing for the future.

The Chiefs also traded Pro Bowl outside linebacker Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick. The Chiefs will miss Ford, who had 13 sacks in 2018. However, Kansas City signed veteran safety Tryan Mathieu to a 3-year, $42 million contract to add experience to their secondary. They also hired Steve Spagnuolo as their new defensive coordinator to revamp the new-look defense.

The Chiefs were dominant on offense last season but were poor on the defensive side of the ball. They were 24th in the NFL when it came to points allowed.
Spagnuolo, along with the additions of defensive ends Frank Clark, Emmanuel Ogbah and Alex Okafor, should give the chiefs a much-needed boost in the pass rush.

Off-the-field troubles

There is no denying that the Chiefs were special on the ground and through the air last season. This is thanks to All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill and star running back Kareem Hunt. Unfortunately for Chief fans, their stars’ off-the-field issues have left a dark cloud over the team.

TMZ released a video in November 2018 of Hunt in a physical altercation with a woman back in February 2018. The video showed Hunt shoving and kicking the girl in a hotel hallway as friends attempted to separate the two.

As a result, Hunt was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and eventually was released. Hunt was missed throughout the rest of the season and the Chiefs have since signed running backs Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde. They also drafted Darwin Thompson in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft to fill the void in the backfield. They may not have a star running back, but the additions should keep the Chiefs consistent on the ground.

Hill had his share of issues this offseason. He was investigated for child abuse but was not charged because prosecutors could not provide conclusive evidence that Hill abused his child. This led to the NFL deciding to not suspend him for a single game. The lack of punishment has been criticized and has caused unwanted attention for the Chiefs. Still, Hill will keep the Chiefs offense potent in 2019 and quarterback Patrick Mahomes is excited to have his favorite weapon back.

Looking to the Future

Mahomes lit the league on fire in 2018. The 23-year-old MVP threw for 5097 yards and 50 touchdowns and led his team to the AFC Conference Championship Game.

The Chiefs would go on to lose to the New England Patriots 37-31. However, the Chiefs having a leader and franchise quarterback this early in his career poises the team to be formidable for years to come.

Being a leader is a role Mahomes cherishes.

The Chiefs have lost key pieces to their team and have used the offseason to compensate for them and even improve. Kansas City is projected to improve this season with a record of 13-3 in 2019.

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