On the one hand, they praise them. Then the next, they say they’re overrated. There’s no winning with ESPN’s current set of articles looking at the pre-season power structure and expectations in the NFL.
ESPN released their preseason rankings earlier today, placing the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 14 overall in the NFL heading into the season — this comes after a 10-6 season and an AFC West title under their belt on such a young roster. However, it also came against one of the league’s easiest schedule and the team crumbled late in the year.
This must be the thinking behind Chris Sprow placing the Chiefs on his Overrated teams list heading into the 2011 season. He says, “It’s impossible to have a serious NFL conversation this offseason without a discussion about whether the Chiefs are likely to regress. Bottom line: The simulations seem certain that in reaching the playoffs, the Chiefs benefited far more from San Diego’s regular disasters than from their own youthful progression. But it’s also hard to see the league’s best rushing game falling off too much.”
The Chiefs are certainly aware that the schedule before them is much tougher, but they’re also a developing team with burgeoning talent on both sides of the field. Not to mention, they’ve also addressed several perceived weaknesses with free agent and rookie additions in the off-season. It’s hard to tell what will happen for the Chiefs this year, but it seems last year’s good fortune hasn’t convinced the mainstream.