2011 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Expert Predictions, Picks, 2012 Vegas Super Bowl Odds and Schedule – Kansas City Chiefs NFL Football Season Preview: Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs emerged from obscurity to become the surprising AFC West champions. Although the season ended with a disappointing 30-7 blowout loss in the playoffs, the Chiefs sudden success has the franchise on the rise. That being said, repeating as division champs may not be easy. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis did not return this year. Weiss’ system played a major role in Kansas City’s success last season. Now, the Chiefs must prove they can win without Weiss’ playbook while facing the added pressure of being the hunted team in the division.

There is no denying that the strength of this Chiefs’ team is the ground game. After all, Kansas City led the NFL in rushing yards last season and nearly produced a pair of 1,000 yard rushers. Jamaal Charles is the focal point of the attack, coming off a season when he ranked second in the league in rushing and finished just shy of 2,000 total yards of offense. More impressively, Charles averaged more than six yards a carry. With power back Thomas Jones a year older, Charles will take on an even bigger role this season. He could easily lead the NFL in both rushing yards and total yards from scrimmage. Newly acquired offensive lineman Jared Gaither and fullback Le’Ron McClain should only bolster the best running attack in football.

Dexter McCluster could be an X-factor for the offense. He has explosive speed, and he gets touches as a rusher, receiver and on special teams. McCluster is a player that can find the end zone every time he touches the ball, and quick scores are always a plus for any offense.

The downside of having the best running game in the NFL is that the Chiefs ranked 30th in terms of passing yards. Quarterback Matt Cassel had his moments last season, but for the most part, his big games were followed by disappearing acts. The same can be said for his main target Dwayne Bowe. Bowe was the best receiver in football for a three-game stretch, but he then failed to record more than one catch in three other games. When the passing attack was clicking, the Chiefs were a better team. The addition of receiver Steve Breaston does put another explosive weapon in the mix, but the loss of Weis could be a big step in the wrong direction.

Defensively, the Chiefs were solid but not spectacular last season. The good news is that Kansas City does have some star power at every level of its unit. Glenn Dorsey is slowly but surely turning into a dominant defensive lineman, and Derrick Johnson is a playmaker at the linebacker spot. In the secondary, safety Eric Berry could be Chiefs’ best defender. After totaling 92 tackles and four interceptions as a rookie last season, he could be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in 2011-12.

The Chiefs face a couple of major question this year. For starters, will the ground game remain effective now that the rest of the NFL knows that Kansas City is more or less one dimensional? More importantly, will the passing attack become even less effective without Weis in the mix? The good news is that with the exception of San Diego, the AFC West is far from the toughest division in football. However, they will likely have to win the division in order to make the playoffs. Kansas City will likely be at or just above the .500 mark this year, but a healthy Chargers team will likely surpass them.

Preseason 2011 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Odds:
Odds to Win 2012 Super Bowl: +5000
Odds to Win 2011 AFC Championship: +2050
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2011 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Football Schedule
1 Sunday Sep. 11 1:00 PM Bills - - Tickets
2 Sunday Sep. 18 1:00 PM at Lions - - Tickets
3 Sunday Sep. 25 4:05 PM at Chargers - - Tickets
4 Sunday Oct. 2 1:00 PM Vikings - - Tickets
5 Sunday Oct. 9 1:00 PM at Colts - - Tickets
6 Bye Week
7 Sunday Oct. 23 4:05 PM at Raiders - - Tickets
8 Monday Oct. 31 8:30 PM Chargers - - Tickets
9 Sunday Nov. 6 1:00 PM Dolphins - - Tickets
10 Sunday Nov. 13 1:00 PM Broncos - - Tickets
11 Monday Nov. 21 8:30 PM at Patriots - - Tickets
12 Sunday Nov. 27 8:20 PM Steelers - - Tickets
13 Sunday Dec. 4 1:00 PM at Bears - - Tickets
14 Sunday Dec. 11 1:00 PM at Jets - - -
15 Sunday Dec. 18 1:00 PM Packers - - Tickets
16 Saturday Dec. 24 1:00 PM Raiders - - Tickets
17 Sunday Jan. 1 4:15 PM at Broncos - -

Check out NSAwins.com’s official 2011 NFL Over Under Team Wins Odds and Predictions and 2011 AFC West Odds and Predictions articles.

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