Kansas City Chiefs performed impressively at times during the 2014 NFL campaign, but in the end the AFC West team fell short of the playoffs.
Ahead of their Thursday night game against Oakland Raiders in Week 12, the Chiefs were in a promising position after amassing an impressive 7-3 record, but four defeats in their last six games left them in obscurity.
Kansas City looked destined for the playoffs after their 24-20 home win over the Seattle Seahawks, but four days later a shock 24-20 defeat to the Oakland Raiders derailed their campaign.
Houston was awesome
The running game was again strong for the Chiefs in 2014, with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis combining for 1,496 rushing yards. But it was the passing game that cost Kansas City big, with quarterback Alex Smith failing to find a receiver in the endzone last campaign.
However, issues on the offensive side of the ball were softened somewhat by the strong play of the Chiefs' defense - and outside linebacker Justin Houston in particular.
Houston was the NFL's leader in sacks, and as a result of his continued strong play over the last four seasons, the outside linebacker understandably wants to get paid market value for his efforts.
But the Chiefs are hell bent on making him sweat, with Houston having already been franchise tagged by Kansas City. This decision has now left Houston holding out for a new contract, with head coach Andy Reid admitting this week that he doesn't expect to see the linebacker at the Chiefs' mandatory minicamp.
“He probably won’t be [here],” coach Andy Reid said last week, via the Associated Press. “We just move on.”
This is a relatively worrying development for Chiefs fans, with the team playing with fire right now. Houston is a top quality three-time Pro Bowler, and he deserves to be paid as such.