Bengals News

NFL Worst to First: AFC

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December 02, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs the ball in the first half of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

4) Jamaal Charles – Charles is one of the best RBs in the NFL. In 2012, Charles was coming back from an ACL tear and was the only offensive option teams focused on, yet he still rushed for 1,509 yards. Now he has a coach in Andy Reid who builds his offense around small quick backs – take a look at the stats put up by Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy over the years. Scary to think what Charles can do in 2013 with a good QB and a system likely to be built around him.

5) Receivers – Other than Bowe (and even he may be a stretch), there is a lot of unproven talent at the WR and TE position. However, there is talent. Jon Baldwin is a 6’4” 230lb 1st round pick in his 3rd year waiting to break out; Donnie Avery gives them an explosive play option; Dexter McCluster gives them a gadget guy and slot WR; and Moeaki (if his knees hold up), is a pretty good TE. And I go back to the difference a guy like Alex Smith will make – all of these WRs and TEs will look exponentially better simply because of the presence of Smith.

6) The Defense – The numbers from 2012 may not look impressive, but they never will when your offense turns the ball over 40 times! You can’t have your defense on the field that much and expect good numbers. However, with a greatly improved offense and 5 top 20 picks on defense (Jackson, Poe, Hali, Johnson, Berry) including 2 top 5 picks (Berry and Jackson), this is a unit that has top 10 potential. Derrick Johnson is a stud MLB; Eric Berry is a Pro Bowl safety; Tamba Hali is an elite pass rusher; Flowers and Smith are solid CBs; and the DL has 2 top 11 picks (Jackson and Poe). 

7) Andy Reid – His last few years in Philadelphia were disappointing to say the least, but Andy Reid is still one of the best head coaches in the NFL and he has not had this much talent since his 2004 Super Bowl runner-up Eagles team.

The Chiefs are the hot pick amongst many to be the big risers in 2013, and I agree. Rarely do you see a team go 2-14 have so much talent and the addition of Smith and Reid alone should add 4-5 wins to this squad.