I asked Chiefs managing editor/columnist, Tyler Greever, some questions about dealing with the playoff loss and the outlook for the Chiefs in 2014. Hopefully, San Diego can pull another season sweep on K.C. next year.
1) How are Chiefs fans dealing with going 11-5 and losing in the first round of the playoffs?
There’s certainly a great deal of heartbreak around the Chiefs Kingdom. The overall feeling is that while this year was a rousing success, it had a very bitter ending. Going from 2-14 to 11-5 is a remarkable accomplishment, but blowing a four touchdown lead to extend a 20-year playoff drought leaves a horrible taste in your mouth. They have turned their attention to the offseason now and are gearing up for next year.
2) What advice would you give Chargers fans on dealing with a heartbreaking loss?
The same advice I give to Chiefs fans: look at the whole body of work. Nobody expected the Chargers to be a playoff team, at least I didn’t. Philip Rivers is back to playing like one of the top quarterbacks in the league and Mike McCoy seems to be the right choice at head coach. You may have fell short against Denver, but there is plenty to be optimistic about.
3) What position will the Chiefs likely address in free agency and the draft?
I have to say wide receiver. Jamaal Charles was the leading receiver in Kansas City, which is a problem. Dwayne Bowe got a big contract before the 2013 season and followed it up with just over 600 yards and five touchdowns. No other Chiefs receiver broke 600 yards or caught more than two touchdowns. This team needs a dynamic playmaker to improve downfield opportunities and create separation.
4) Does Alex Smith appear to be the “franchise” quarterback or will Kansas City look at other options moving forward?
From all of the extension buzz, it seems like he will be the guy. I can’t help but think his performance against the Colts in the playoffs helped convince Kansas City’s front office that he is the guy. He threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns, which broke Joe Montana’s record for most passing touchdowns in a playoff game in team history. He definitely improved in the second half of the season and held down his spot. If he gets his payday, expectations will be raised though.
5) Is the team frustrated with getting swept by the Chargers in 2013?
I’d say that first meeting was pretty rough. That 41-38 loss was the beginning of the downfall for the Kansas City defense. But that second meeting was actually pretty impressive for the Chiefs, considering they played their backups and should have won the game. There’s no doubt though that Chiefs fans will never accept being swept by a division rival.
John Pagano has been given another chance in 2014. He needs to improve this defense.