The Chiefs haven’t had a losing season since 2012 — the year before Andy Reid was hired — and Rank doesn’t think that will change in 2022.
Rank has Kansas City finishing with a 10-7 record this upcoming season. And he doesn’t think that will be good enough to get the Chiefs into the playoffs. Which means he has KC missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2014 season (Kansas City went 9-7 in Reid’s second season at the helm).
Here’s the game-by-game breakdown of Rank’s predictions:
- Chiefs @ Cardinals Loss
- Chiefs vs Chargers Loss
- Chiefs @ Colts Win
- Chiefs @ Buccaneers Loss
- Chiefs vs Raiders Win
- Chiefs vs Bills Loss
- Chiefs @ 49ers Win
- Chiefs vs Titans Win
- Chiefs vs Jaguars Win
- Chiefs @ Chargers Win
- Chiefs @ Bengals Loss
- Chiefs @ Broncos Loss
- Chiefs @ Texans Win
- Chiefs vs Seahawks Win
- Chiefs vs Broncos Win
- Chiefs @ Raiders Loss
There are a couple of things that stand out here.
For one, I don’t see the Chiefs starting 1-3 in 2022. I’d be extremely surprised if they lose the season-opener against the Cardinals — especially with all the drama surrounding Kyler Murray right now.
The other thing that stands out is that Rank has the Chiefs losing two AFC West games on the road. And one of those losses is to the Broncos.
Patrick Mahomes is 12-0 on the road against the AFC West in his career. And he’s never lost to the Broncos (Denver hasn’t beat Kansas City since 2015 when Peyton Manning was the Broncos’ quarterback).
Patrick Mahomes is a perfect 12-0 in his career on the road against AFC West opponents, easily the longest such streak against divisional foes to start a career since 1950.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 8, 2022
He's 8-0 against the Broncos at any location, his best record against any single opponent. pic.twitter.com/HCuwUC1QF2
Maybe that streak ends this season, but it’s hard to see Mahomes suddenly losing two AFC West games on the road.
Rank and others seem to be down on the Chiefs a bit because wide receiver Tyreek Hill is no longer on the roster.
Losing Hill to the Miami Dolphins certainly hurts the offense — Hill is a great player who puts a lot of pressure on defenses — but the Chiefs are still in great hands with Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and some of their new additions, like JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Chiefs are the kings of the AFC West until they’re not. And I see no reason why they shouldn’t be the favorites to win the division for a seventh straight season.
Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports