I posted this on Friday, before Sunday's game against the Ravens. http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2009/9/11/1026129/hope
I thought, with all of the criticism floating around, that I'd revisit some of these points and see what has changed or been reaffirmed after game 1.
The bottom line is that not much changed based on the Ravens game, and the season is FAR from Hopeless.
* The team is still a work in progress, and 5-7 wins is still a realistic prediction (though, 9-7 is the hope) Think about it... 2 wins against the Raiders, 2 against Denver, 2 from Washington/Dallas/Cinci/Cleveland/Buffalo/Jacksonville and the Chiefs are 6-10....
* I still hope they bring in a RT (Runyan and/or Walker) and a KR/PR.
* Special Teams TD came true... but not much else vs Baltimore. I really think that the ST squads are much improved, and they are a KR/PR away from being a great unit.
* My "run the ball, stop the run" prediction seems to have taken a step back this week, but should be back on track vs the Raiders.
* We KNEW that this game was likely going to be a loss, and that the Ravens were tough and physical on both lines... I think everyone wanted to see some signs of life from the Chiefs, and I'll argue that they WERE there:
Signs of life:
* better ST play, including a TD
* Turnover on Defense from DJ
* some big passing plays to Bradley and Bowe
* decent play from Croyle
* acceptable pass protection, keeping Croyle alive and allowing him to throw downfield
* NO running game: Yeah, the Ravens are tough against the run, but I thought they'd at least get to 100yds
* too soft on D: soft coverage, soft in the 2nd half
Obviously I hope the Chiefs beat the Ravens... but I really hope they do it in a particular fashion...
* Show a defense that is vastly improved, stuffing the run, holding them under 100yds as a team. (200yds rushing)
* Pressure the QB, getting at least 3 sacks on lanky Joe Flacco. (1 sack)
* Get at least 1 turnover, and take it to the house... which is how the Ravens usually beat people. (DJ's INT... almost to the house)
* Do the opposite on offense... run for 200yds as a team, not turn the ball over, not give up any sacks. (NO running game, 3 sacks)
I hope the Chiefs improve their 53 man roster in the next 7 days
* sign a WR that can return kicks and potentially take one to the house now and then (Wade?) (still a need)
* sign an OT that can either start at RT, or backup both Tackle positions... or even better, get BOTH (Runyan and Walker) (still a need)
* trade Thigpen for a draft pick, clearing roster space for one of the above (still hope it happens)
In order for that last one to happen... I hope there's a substantial injury to a starting QB somewhere in the league, other than KC. And, I hope that Thigpen can go to that team and have a chance to play... and the Chiefs can get a draft pick back out of the deal. (McNabb is hurt, they are looking for short term help...other than that, not much change)
I hope that Cassel performs well, just to silence any critics who say he "should rest against a tough defense" or is "overpaid" (didn't play)
I hope that Dorsey, Jackson and Tank establish themselves as the best young DL in the league. That'll silence the Dorsey haters, or those who think the Chiefs drafted Jackson too early, and those that say the Chiefs don't have the right personnel to run the 3-4. (not there yet, based on game 1... Tank and Dorsey did OK, Tyson not so great)
I hope the Chiefs find a way to score a TD on special teams at least once this season. It's amazing how much of a boost a ST TD gives to your team (not to be confused with an STD..that doesn't help anyone) (DONE... big play McGraw)
I hope that Arrowhead sells out the majority of the home games. But not yet, because I still have to buy some more seats for the Raiders game. (we'll see)
I hope, that EVEN if the the Chiefs only win 5 games this year... they go 5-1 within the division. I admit San Diego can be a challenge, so maybe they split that series, but sweeping the Broncos and Raiders is essential and doable. (Still a good hope, and 5 wins may be realistic)
I hope that Todd Haley wins coach of the year for helping to turn this franchise around. But, I also hope that he finds someone else to be the OC soon, so he doesn't take on too much. I think I'll like his playcalling, but he needs to delegate a little. (I think he seemed a little timid in his play calls, probably due to how well Baltimore played on D)
I hope that Brodie Croyle never sees the field this year. Nothing against the guy (other than the fact that I think he sucks, and is more brittle than a glass baseball bat) But, if he's on the field, it means Cassel is hurt, or terrible... and that's about the worst thing I can think of for this year (after this week...he did OK vs Baltimore)
I hope that all 3 things in my signature line turn out to be true. Not just because I want to give a big "i told you so" to UCrawford and others... but because these 3 things could turn into 6 more wins for KC... an improved OL, LB as the strength of the defense, and a solid Kicker. (53yd FG helps, LB play still needs work, as does the OL)
Anything I've missed???? I know I won't get EVERYTHING I hope for, but I'd rather hope for the best and prepare for the worst, rather than go through a hopeless season.