2016 Kansas City Chiefs Will Be Hotter Than 2015

The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the hottest teams in the NFL in 2015, winning their final 12 games (11 regular season, plus a wild card win over the Houston Texans) before falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round.

2016 Kansas City Chiefs Will Be Hotter Than 2015

Offense

The Chiefs won these games without running back Jamaal Charles, who is one of the best running backs in the league. Charles tore his ACL in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears and was lost for the season.

Before tearing his ACL, he ran for 364 yards and four touchdowns. If he had stayed healthy, he was on pace for 1,165 rushing yards and scored 13 touchdowns. That doesn’t include receiving touchdowns, either. Charles can also make plays on screen passes.

Even without Charles, the Chiefs’ offense was one of the hottest in 2015. Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 3,486 yards and 20 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

He had some help in wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and tight end Travis Kelce. Maclin caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. Kelce caught 72 passes for 875 yards and five touchdowns.

Maclin didn’t find the end zone in ten of the 16 regular season games in 2015. Being Smith’s favorite receiver on the team, Maclin will see a lot more action in 2016. His numbers will increase, especially in the touchdown category.

Kelce could break out to have a better season himself. Two of his first five touchdowns came in Week 1 in the Chiefs first meeting against the Texans. After that game, Kelce did not catch a touchdown in six straight games.

He will be a bigger target for Smith next season, so fans of the Chiefs and the NFL can expect Kelce to have a much bigger season than he did in 2015, when he made a name for himself.

Defense

The defense was a hot one, too. Justin Houston had another fantastic season, recording 7.5 sacks. He has proven to be a sack machine for the Chiefs throughout the years. He recorded 22 sacks in 2014 and also recorded at least 10 sacks every season from 2012-2014.

Cornerback Marcus Peters is also a big part of the Chiefs’ defense. He ended the season with eight interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. He also recorded one forced fumble. The Chiefs will be looking for him to duplicate that in 2016.

As a team, the Chiefs recorded 47 sacks in 2015, which is impressively more touchdowns than the team scored on offense (45).

In light of Smith getting hurt at any point during the season, the Chiefs also have a great backup quarterback in Kevin Hogan. The Chiefs drafted Hogan in the fifth round (162nd overall) in the NFL Draft back in April.

During his senior season at Stanford University, Hogan threw for 2,867 yards in 14 games played. If Hogan played in 18 games in the NFL, that would be the equivalent of 3,686 yards. Having Maclin and Kelce as his receivers could easily see him eclipse the 4,000 yard mark.

With the team that they have, including a healthy Charles, the Chiefs could be a team that makes it all the way to Houston for Super Bowl LI. While they may not win 11 games in a row, they could easily get to ten wins and possibly more in 2016.