Who doesn't want to be hopeful? I think every person floating 'round these parts looks in every possible corner and opening for signs of life, for some glimmer of hope on the horizon. And we all write and discuss such things ad nauseum, all for the sake of future glory and hope that our Chiefs are turning the proverbial corner.
But it can also be maddening. In this bye week, a quick glance back at the stat sheets from each game only reveals a team that can't find it's footing. It's a schizophrenic team, these Chiefs. There's no identity. There's no foothold. There's no real traction. Perhaps it's all off of the stat book. Perhaps words like chemistry, integrity, attitude, work ethic, et al are coming together. But a closer glimpse at the numbers reveals that there's nothing predictable about our Chiefs.
Offense: It's no secret that the offense here is pathetic. The Chiefs are ranked 27th (out of 32, remember?) in total points and 31st in Total Yardage. Both in passing yards and rushing yards, the Chiefs rank near the bottom and the reasons (and culprits) are many. Yet a look at the schedule reveals some possibilities.
For all the jokes about the Raiders, their defense is quite impressive. Greg Ellis, Richard Seymour, Kirk Morrison, Michael Huff and all-world corner Nnamdi Asomugha form a good-to-great unit (coaching kills this team, I believe - aside from their already deceased owner, Al Davis). Yet the Chiefs put up an impressive 25 first downs and 400 yards of total offense against them. And against the Cowboys, another 20 first downs and 300 yards were put up. Not mind-blowing by any means, but certainly signs of life against two teams with better defenses.
And let's not forget Matt Cassel's 8 to 5 TD/INT ratio. Of course, that completion percentage is pedestrian (at 54%), but what do you expect with the overall surrounding cast.
Turnovers: This is what will kill a team and yet it's amazing the Chiefs aren't significantly worse in this category considering our record. The Chiefs didn't commit a single turnover in three of the contests thus far and only one turnover in two others. In fact, the only multiple turnover games on the Chiefs calendar weren't against any NFC East opponents. It was against the Raiders and the Chargers! Five of our seven turnovers on the season came in those AFC West battles.
The crazy thing is that the Chiefs have forced more turnovers than they've committed themselves. Normally, pundits and experts point to turnover differential as the mark of the better teams in the NFL standings, but here you have the Chiefs playing well in terms of holding onto the football and limiting devastating mistakes and yet they're 1-6. Yet here again is another question mark: The only two teams the Chiefs didn't get to turn the ball over are the Raiders and the Chargers.
More to come tomorrow with a look at the defense and special teams.