The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl at 8/1 odds, but is Patrick Mahomes ready to take over the reigns as the best quarterback in the AFC? It will not officially happen until the Chiefs pick off Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Patrick Mahomes
KC Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes evades a defender during a preseason game against the Bengals. (Image: Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports)

The Chiefs (12-4) lost to the Patriots in overtime in the AFC Championship game and missed a shot at a Super Bowl berth.

Patrick Mahomes is a year wiser and the Chiefs are a little hungrier. If the Patriots suffer a Super Bowl hangover with an off year, the AFC Championship should come down to the Chiefs and LA Chargers.

To quote Ric Flair, “In order to be the ‘Man’, you gotta beat the ‘Man’. Wooooo!”

If the Mahomes wants to be the Big Dog in the AFC, he has to knock off Brady and put away another starving dog in Philip Rivers. Brady wants to win a seventh title, while Rivers is still seeking his first.

Kansas City Chiefs 8/1
LA Chargers 16/1
Denver Broncos 66/1
Oakland Raiders 80/1

At worst, the Chiefs are expected to finish 11-5. They’ll need a couple of huge road wins if they expect to finish 13-3. If they can pull off that 13th win, they should lock up home field advantage easily. At 8/1 Super Bowl odds, the Chiefs are the second-biggest favorite on the board.

Phil Rivers and the Chargers are 16/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. KC is the favorite to win the AFC West once again, but the Chargers are their only competition. The Raiders are a disaster waiting to happen, especially with AB’s feet issues and a lingering issue involving his helmet.

KC Schedule

The Chiefs have a slightly harder schedule than the LA Chargers. They also have to face each other twice in AFC West action. KC ends the season with an uphill climb.

KC’s schedule is backloaded with three difficult games after their bye in Week 12. They host the Raiders and Broncos at Arrowhead, but even playing a bad Oakland Raiders team is difficult because they love to bring the pain in division games.

The Chiefs’ biggest test of the season with be two road games at New England in Week 14 and at Chicago in Week 16 against a stingy Bears defense. The Pats will be a rematch of the AFC title game, while the Chiefs head to Solider Field in late December, which is always challenging weather.

In the first ten games, the Chiefs have really two difficult games with a road game against the LA Chargers and home game with the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Hill Returns Without Suspension

Tyreek Hill will not have to miss any time after the NFL reinstalled him after a domestic child abuse incident. Hill is the one player that Mahomes needs the most. Hill is a deep threat on every possession, which makes the Chiefs exciting to watch. You never know when Mahomes is going to go deep to the Cheetah.

Hill and Sammy Watkins will be Mahomes 1-2 WR punch. Mahomes also has one of the best tight ends around with Travis Kelce.

KC lost Kareem Hunt last season after a videotaped assault surfaced. Hunt and his legal troubles head to the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, the Chiefs relied on their next man up. Damien Williams stepped into a starting position at RB when the team initially suspended Hunt.

KC also added veteran RB Carlos Hyde as a backup to Williams. They drafted Georgia WR Mecole Hardman and Andy Reid’s offense and Mahomes execution will probably turn him into an All-Pro caliber wideout.

“Hardman’s a smart kid,” said Reid. “Just him getting used to the speed of the game. And then every route here, there’s no route that’s off. Not with a quarterback like we have. You have to run hard on everything. It might look like a clearing route, but you can’t take it that way. That’s not how it works.”

On defense, KC picked up DE Alex Okafor. They also paid safety Tyrann Mathieu a boatload of cash to plug huge holes in the secondary.

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