As NFL training camps get set to open later this month, NFL Power Rankings are going to become a regular column to look at from several news outlets and NFL analysts trying to determine who the best teams are when pitted against each other. As Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk recently made his top 10 known, it made us wonder: do the Kansas City Chiefs warrant top 10 consideration?
The Chiefs finished 7-9 last season and last in the AFC West. Or could you say that they were just one game away from repeating as AFC West champs for the second year in a row. While the thin line between losing and winning in the NFL was clearly seen for the Chiefs last year, it's also clear that there is plenty of talent on Scott Pioli's roster. In fact, even after firing head coach Todd Haley, the team rebounded well with a strong defensive unit with two of three wins under Romeo Crennel.
The reality is that every team is only "on paper" at this point, so you can't slight the Chiefs for not seeing the on-field product just yet. Every team is that way, which means that the Chiefs stack up rather well compared to others. Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki return from injury to an offensive unit with a significantly better offensive line, a deeper roster and new additions like Peyton Hillis and Kevin Boss.
In addition, the defense was already top-10 without Eric Berry last season. Combine his return with much greater secondary depth across the board and you have a unit without a real weakness. The front seven will be more mature given a full offseason for players like Justin Houston and Allen Bailey, and Dontari Poe is the new man in the middle for the Chiefs after being selected at No. 11 overall.
The bottom line is that the Chiefs have a lot of great young talent coming into their prime years on both offense and defense and there are playmakers at every position. The team could do a lot of damage in 2012 and they're likely to warrant high spots in NFL Power Rankings come season's end. The only question is whether or not someone will acknowledge that before the season starts.