It's amazing how quickly the tides change in the NFL. What once seems destitute and unsalvageable can quickly become exciting and promising. Yet for the Chiefs, one glimmer of hope - namely, the second half of the schedule - has morphed into something rather unsightly.
In the months leading up to the 2009 season, it was quite obvious that the early season rotation through the NFC East was going to be a scheduling beast. After all, in all time head-to-head match-ups against various franchises, teams like the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles rank among the toughest. In fact, if you include the Steelers and Jaguars, the Chiefs literally face the five teams with the worst all-time winning %:
Team, Chiefs All-Time Record Against (Win. %)
New York Giants, 2-10 (.167)
Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-6 (.250)
Pittsburgh Steelers, 8-17 (.320)
Dallas Cowboys, 3-6 (.333)
Philadelphia Eagles, 2-4 (.333)
So Chiefs fans braced themselves early for this, knowing the storms of this season would prove rough-going in various weeks. But as we watch the season unfold, some things only become more difficult.
Before the season, KC fans scoffed at the drama unfolding in the preseason in Denver. The Broncos were the laughingstock of the NFL after Jay Cutler successfully wormed his way out of the Mile High City and Brandon Marshall tried to follow suit. And we dreamed of playing Kyle Orton twice a year. Many believed that was a possible two wins on the schedule and opened up the AFC West wide open. Now, the Broncos sit atop the standings, even with the current losing streak.
Another game that seemed to bring hope was the second to last game - a road trip to Cincinnati to play the Bungles, er, Bengals. Once a desperate franchise that housed every shady character this side of the Mississippi (i.e. the Portland Trailblazers from five years ago), now they are dominating the absolutely brutal AFC North division and just defeated the Steelers twice this season. That late game could now have home turf playoff implications for Cincy and that spells bad news for Kansas City.
Of course, the Browns and Bills still linger on the schedule and you just never know what can happen week to week in the NFL. But what once was a beam of light on the back nine of 2009 now becomes as potentially frustrating as the front.