Cynthia Frelund projects Chiefs will have NFL’s top offense in 2023
Even after the Kansas City Chiefs decided to focus on their defense in the NFL draft, experts are still predicting a monster season for them in 2023 as they defend their Super Bowl title.
When NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund broke down the numbers in a recent analysis of offenses around the league, she came to the conclusion that Kansas City was likely to have the highest projected win share of any team next season.
Last season, with Tyreek Hill exiting and JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling coming aboard, the Chiefs relied more on the short-passing game than they had in the past — and Patrick Mahomes proved he can adapt to any play style, logging 31 touchdown passes on throws of 10 air yards or less, 12 more than anyone else in the NFL (per Next Gen Stats). Kansas City, meanwhile, ranked first in the NFL in scoring and yards per play. I look forward to seeing what new plays, alignments and wrinkles Andy Reid folds into the offense this year, with the departures of Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman leaving room for Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore and rookie Rashee Rice to step up around perennial pass-catching anchor Travis Kelce.
At a mark of 8.7, the team Chiefs are predicted to set the standard with Patrick Mahomes under center and a cast of returning talent that should continue to cruise amid the AFC’s offensive arms race. She pointed to the additions of Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith to the team’s offensive line, and second-round selection Rashee Rice to the receiving corps as factors that could push them to the remarkably high number.
Another factor working in Kansas City’s favor: the additions of veteran tackles Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith. My models have shown that improved offensive-line play is not just correlated but causal to significant year-over-year increases in first-down and touchdown probabilities. Despite the loss of Orlando Brown, the presence of Taylor and Smith on the line projects to keep the Chiefs’ offense rolling, even if that success is achieved in different ways yet again.
Championship defense can be a fickle thing, though, and Kansas City will have a target on its back in every game they play in 2023, so they’ll face an uphill battle to win their second straight Super Bowl. Nonetheless, if the Chiefs’ offense lives up to these lofty expectations during the regular season, Kansas City should have a shot to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-field advantage for elimination games to add another ring to their collection.
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