The schedule is so brutal (again, and always, on paper) for these Falcons in 2016 that a home game against a very tough Kansas City Chiefs team looks like one of the more winnable matchups they have all year. That is, uh, not optimal.
The Chiefs fly under the radar a bit, which is something that happens when Alex Smith is your quarterback, but they have a strong ground game, improved receiving options, and an incredibly dangerous defense, so please don’t think I’m taking them lightly. If you want to learn more about how the Chiefs are rolling into 2016, though, we need to hear from the folks at Arrowhead Pride. Let’s do so now.
Notable free agent additions: RT Mitch Schwartz, WR Rod Streater
Notable free agent departures: CB Sean Smith, S Tyvon Branch, QB Chase Daniel
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: The Chiefs could end up having one or two starters (G Parker Ehinger, CB KeiVarae Russell) the first year with a bunch of role players or those replacing someone else down the line. DT Chris Jones, WR Demarcus Robinson and WR Tyreek Hill could have a regular role on the team in the first year too.
Biggest offseason addition: RT Mitch Schwartz
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: In the short-term, it will be replacing Justin Houston, who is likely to miss part of the season coming back from February ACL surgery. In the long-term, can the Chiefs take the next step on offense? They’re on the doorstep after a divisional round loss last season to the Patriots. What they lacked was explosiveness on offense. RT Mitch Schwartz will help solidify the line while Jamaal Charles’ return hopes to add that explosiveness that was lacking last season.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: How old is too old on defense? Key players like Tamba Hali (32) and Derrick Johnson (33) are up there in age. No Justin Houston early on or Sean Smith, now with the Raiders.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: RB Jamaal Charles and CB Phillip Gaines are coming back from an ACL tear early on last season. They should be ready. Justin Houston is likely to miss part of the regular season after he’s coming off of ACL surgery.