Chiefs projection for 2022 season

Charles Goldman
Chiefs Wire

USA TODAY’s Nate Davis has released his annual record projections (subscriber only), this time for the 2022 NFL season.

Davis has the Kansas City Chiefs going 11-6 on the season, which is one more loss than he projected for their 2021 record. According to Davis’ projection, the Chiefs will make division history, winning the AFC West for the seventh consecutive season. It will extend the team’s record of six-straight AFC West titles, but this time they’ll get the win via tiebreaker. They’ll also earn the third seed in the AFC in the playoffs, but Davis predicts they’ll lose in the wild-card round to the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Chargers. They’re the only other AFC West team to make the playoffs, also with an 11-6 overall record.

Davis puts to bed concerns of regression in a very logical way — the Chiefs still have their head coach Andy Reid and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes — the two most important pieces to a winning NFL team. While departures of Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill will be felt, they have the pieces in place to overcome those losses through a 17-game season. The playoffs, however, seem to be a different beast in Davis’ mind.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid celebrates with fans after KC's overtime victory against the Bills on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Kansas City didn’t just lose players this offseason, but they lost a lot of players with NFL playoff experience. That can matter when the win-or-go-home games start in January. The Chargers look great on paper, but that’s been the case for several years and they still manage to disappoint come playoff time. Look no further than 2021, when they lost a win-and-in game to the Las Vegas Raiders.