The Kansas City Chiefs are the perfect example of how the NFL is a "win now" league. They were expected to compete for the AFC West division title last season, and they bottomed out. The staff fully was replaced.
And now the Chiefs will be expected to win again.
Alex Smith through the yearsTake a look at photos of Alex Smith through the years.
The arrival of coach Andy Reid and a slew of smart free-agent pickups should have the Chiefs optimistic. We're not saying they're Super Bowl contenders, but there's no reason to think the Chiefs can't bounce back from 2-14 to, say, 8-8 or better. Quarterback Alex Smith knows this well.
"I think that's the case for every NFL team, and if it's not the case, it's a problem. We're trying to win right now. I think that's the great thing about the NFL," Smith said Monday. "You're out there and there are very few perennials. It's a battle every single year. You can go first to worst, worst to first. There is so much parity across the league. That's the mindset here, that's for sure. If it's not win now, then that's a problem."
We agree. The Chiefs easily are the second most-talented team in the division (though that's not saying much). With a raft of talented defensive players returning, this is a Chiefs team that can be in the playoff race. Smith knows that if he doesn't "win now," he might get replaced by someone who can.
As Chiefs fans can tell you, it's hard to compete consistently for championships. It's just not that hard to go 9-7.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.