The Chiefs were tied for the league lead in turnovers last season, with 37. They threw the 2nd most INTs, with 20. Only the Cardinals threw more, with 21. When Andy Reid took over in Philadelphia way back in 1999, LT Tra Thomas was entering his 2nd year in the NFL. In the Eagles’ heyday under Reid, they didn’t throw interceptions:
The 3 bad years of note above are 1999, 2005, and 2008.
- In 1999, Donovan McNabb was a rookie, and he split time with Doug Pederson.
- In 2005, McNabb got hurt, and guys like Mike McMahon had to play QB.
- In 2008, Tra Thomas was clearly a declining player, and it would turn out to be his last year in Philly. He would spend one bad season in Jacksonville before retiring.
In other words, when the Eagles had McNabb and Thomas in place, they averaged just 14 INTs per season, or less than 1 per game, and only 12.3 if you exclude 1999, 2005, and 2008.
The Chiefs traded for Alex Smith, and while some people think the compensation for Smith’s services may have been too high, at the very least Reid is getting a QB who will protect the football. Smith threw 10 INTs, total, the last two seasons combined (26 games). That is outstanding. Of course, he had Pro Bowl LT Joe Staley and easily one of the best offensive lines in the NFL protecting him.
The Chiefs were reportedly in talks to send Brandon Albert to the Dolphins for a 2nd round pick, which should be a clear window into their thoughts on the #1 pick. Luke Joeckel is the best pass blocking OT in this draft. By trading Albert and drafting Joeckel, the Chiefs get a lot younger, cheaper, and hopefully for them, better along the OL. They can also possibly get back into the 2nd round.
Additionally, should the Chiefs trade Albert, here’s a snapshot of the Chiefs projected starting OL heading into 2013, with the ages (by the end of the 2013 season) and draft position of each player:
That would be an average age of 23.8 and an average overall draft position of 48.4. This OL can grow together and form a long-standing continuity that is rare.
The Chiefs had 5 Pro Bowlers last season. They have some nice pieces in place on defense. If they can stop turning the ball over, they could be legitimate contenders in the AFC West. Additionally, the Chiefs only have 3 players who are over 30 years old.
With the Raiders in the process of turning over their entire roster, the Chargers having the oldest team in the NFL as of September 2012, and the Broncos eventually losing Peyton Manning, the Chiefs are in a prime position to rule the AFC West in the next 2-3 years. Joeckel and that young ascening OL can be a major piece to that puzzle.