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Bleacher Report Predicts ‘Slight Backslide’ for Chiefs in 2022

The Chiefs will be challenged this season, but not enough to throw them off track in the AFC.

The 2022 NFL offseason is still technically going on, but teams are currently making preparations for training camp and will soon be gearing up for the preseason and beyond. That's no different for the Kansas City Chiefs, as the team is looking to maintain its stronghold on the AFC West and get back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years. 

With the current timing of the offseason, major outlets' predictions for the upcoming campaign are in full swing. Bleacher Report recently made its calls on over/under win totals for 2022, and the Chiefs' mark was set at 10.5 by DraftKings. Kansas City posted a 12-5 record last year, although some losses this spring and subsequent scrambling for a backup plan have left a sour taste in the mouths of many. That isn't quite the case with B/R, though, as it has the Chiefs securing the "over" on that win total but still potentially taking a minor step back. Here's more on the reasoning behind that decision: 

The Kansas City Chiefs have been the AFC's premier franchise since the start of the 2019 campaign, but they're going to be pushed this season. The Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers all made landscape-changing roster moves this offseason, while Kansas City might experience a slight backslide.

The Chiefs' decision to trade Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins changes their offensive dynamic. Patrick Mahomes must become more of a distributor to take full advantage of his wide receivers, including the newly acquired JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore.

It's difficult for a 12-win team to experience a "slight backslide" while still winning double-digit games the following year, especially when the prediction calls for a minimum of 11 victories. With that said, the Chiefs' projected 11-plus wins here may come in a different fashion in 2022 and every member of the Arrowhead Report staff also cashed in on that over of 10.5. Despite having Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Chiefs still face an uphill battle to replicate last year's success. They will undoubtedly be challenged along the way.

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The Chiefs' schedule this season is brutal, and it features an early slate headlined by several matchups with playoff contenders from last year. On top of that, the aforementioned loss of Hill will force Mahomes and company to find new ways to win this year offensively. On defense, Kansas City experienced a near-complete overhaul of its defensive backfield and has some fresh blood entering the mix up front as well. This is far from the "run it back" Chiefs group from a few seasons ago, as the franchise is opting for youth and athleticism instead of experience and wit this time around. 

Of all the teams in the AFC, the Chiefs' over/under of 10.5 trails only the Buffalo Bills, a team that is coming off a productive offseason and boasts an 11.5 figure. Within the AFC West, the worst over/under belongs to the Las Vegas Raiders at 8.5. Between offseason shuffling and the emergence of so many promising quarterbacks, both the conference and division project to pose as threats to the Chiefs' standing in the top tier of the AFC. It's unclear whether the club can regain its crown in 2022, but this projection isn't putting too much faith in either end of the spectrum turning out to be the case.