When is it too much to ask?
Going into this season there was a lot of optimism, and for good reason. We watched a young team compete, arguably, in all of but three games. With a top new GM, and a fired up young coach, we expected to start seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. After a bad start the optimism is starting to turn to worry. Are we headed in the right direction?
There seems to be a consensus that this is going to take time. No one can argue with that. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day, but neither was Detroit. ( Sorry lion fan, but I'm sure you've got thick skin too.) My point is this; Time doesn't guarantee success. The only guarantee time gives you in the NFL is that if you're around long enough, you will be fired. Winning is the culmination of many things, and time isn't one of them.Time is a constant. Time dictates that you should be a .500 team if you just compete! That is the average winning percentage of all the teams combined. That is a fact! ( Sure, I'm dumb enough to have done the math.) The winning-est teams of all time ( Dallas/ Chicago) are a mere .079 above .500
So, what does that mean? History tells us that if you just compete you should be average, or win half your games. Knowing that, how many should you expect to win? As a player, or coach, or fan, you should expect to win all of them. If you don't believe that you should find something else to do. Naturally, we don't expect as much from our rivals. The real question is; at what point do you become disappointed? For me the only important game is the next one, (or current). The wins and losses should take care of themselves. The biggest disappointment is when your team fails to compete to the best of its abilities. You never give up on a season before it starts, regardless of the changes. Here is a list of worst to first teams since 99'
99-00 Saints 3-13, 10-6 00-01 Bears 5-11, 13-3 00-01 Pats 5-11, 11-5 02-03 Panthers 5-11, 11-5 03-04 falcons, 5-11, 11-5 03-04 chargers 4-12, 12-4 04-05 Bears 5-11, 11-5 04-05 Bucs 5-11, 11-5 05-06 Saints 3-13, 10-6 06-07 Bucs 4-12, 9-7 07-08 Fins 1-7, 11-5 Note: 6 out of 11 played .500 over the two years.
How do you turn it around? In 03 Pitt went 6-11, add big Ben and the following year they go 15-1. IN 99' the Pats went 8-8 under Pete Carrol. In 00' Bill Belichick comes in and goes 5-11, followed by a 11-5 season and the start of a dynasty. ( Maybe all that losing they used to do finally paid off. They are barely over .500 all time) In 98 the Colts went 3-13 again, with a new QB named Manning. The following year they go 13-3. In 99' a new coach named Andy Reid goes 5-11. A year latter, and with a new QB named Mcnabb, they go 11-5. Rarely in the NFL is the talent so bad on a team that it takes wholesale changes. Typically it takes the right coach, and a few key players. Why? Because great players make everyone else around them better; and, in a similar manner, coaches aren't great from applying pressure on players, but by knowing how to take it off. They build on their teams strengths, and exploit other teams weaknesses, all the while protecting their own weaknesses. A great example of this IMO is Andy Reid. Granted, there are a large number of factors contributing to a teams fate; chemistry, trust, attitude, injuries, dedication, cheating, and so forth.
So, what do I expect from KC. this Sunday; A WIN! I expect the team to compete. I expect them to improve. I expect them to have a game plan. I expect them to adjust. I expect them to play intelligent, fear-less, hard-nosed football. If I don't see this, win or lose, I'll be disappointed. Coming off the bye, this is a big week for this staff. If things keep declining I expect wholesale changes next year. What do you expect?