Was last year a smoke-and-mirrors mirage? Did the Kansas City Chiefs go from 2-14 to 11-5 and the playoffs on the strength of dumb luck?

There's an argument to be made for it after their season-opening loss to Tennessee.

Alex Smith threw three interceptions after receiving a big contract extension. Running ball Jamaal Charles touched the ball 11 times after getting his own new deal. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was suspended. First-round draft pick Dee Ford got on the field for just three snaps.

Defensive starters Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito were lost to season-ending injuries, too.

Now, the Chiefs will have to pull out of a downward spiral at arguably the toughest place in the AFC: Denver. They visit the Broncos in Week 2 on Sunday.