I'm a little late on bumping this but I want it to hit the FP anyway. -Chris
I'll start by saying that I am, by nature, somewhat pessimistic. I think the reason for that is the kicker that shall not be named, Greg Robinson, and people like Eric Warfield. I try to keep my hope tempered because it's easier to avoid the inevitable letdown, but for this post, I'm going to be honest with you and myself....I really think the Kansas City Chiefs can win the AFC West. Read that again, even I need to.
I'm not just some radical fool rambling on about unrealistic ideas. The reasons below are why the Chiefs can pull it off, and also a few things that must break their way.
1) Our schedule: As we all know the Chiefs had a brutal schedule last year. Four games in a row against the NFC East, opening and closing on the road, and facing other quality teams such as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. This year, Kansas City has the worst division in football to play against. The Chiefs have a legitimate chance to go 4-0 against those teams. I'm not saying they will, but they could. With the additions to this team on and off the field, it's not outlandish to say we SHOULD beat the Warner-less Cardinals, the Rams, the Pete Carroll Seahawks, and the 49ers at home. We also get Buffalo at home again, but this should be a different story. Buffalo is IMO the worst team in the league, and we have substantially improved. This should be a slam dunk win. Cleveland is on the docket again, this time on the road. This will be a tough, yet winnable game.
Of course, we do face the AFC South, which will prove a challenge. Our young Chiefs won't beat Indianapolis on the road, and will probably struggle against Houston, although that team has the tendency to play like garbage at times. Jacksonville should be beaten at home, and then we're just left with our divisional games. I honestly believe we should beat Denver/Oakland 3 out of 4 games. In my eyes, we should sweep Denver, they stink. They have zero offensive ability and an aging defense. Nobody has talked about Mike Nolan leaving, but that's a huge hit to them.
When talking about San Diego, it's all about that season opener. We probably won't beat them in San Diego, but we have a chance Monday Night. This team isn't the same old Chiefs, they can win. Arrowhead is going to be an asylum, and hopefully the crowd can urge the boys in red to a win. This game may be the single most important game the Chiefs have played in four years.
2) Coaching: By adding Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, and Emmitt Thomas, the Chiefs are infinitely better. In most sports, coaching is vastly overrated. The opposite is true in the NFL. Phil Simms has said that mediocre talent with great coaching is better in this league than great talent with mediocre coaching. Just look at San Diego and Dallas. This team will be a few games better just because of this influx of intelligence.
These moves have given me a ton of hope, and it should do the same for you. So much of the NFL is won and lost during the week, and I'm venturing to say that we will not be outcoached at any point this season. That's something we haven't been able to say since Schottenheimer was here.
3) Offensive Weapons: Kansas City comes into this year with a bolstered offense that can actually scare some teams. The last time that could be said was when Trent Green and company were making the skies dark. We have, IMO, a talented quarterback. I know Cassel has been a point of heavy conjecture on this site, but hear me out on a quick tangent. He had zero blocking in front of him for a good portion of last year, the worst receivers in the NFL, and no running attack to keep teams honest before Charles came on the scene. Not to mention, the team was constantly trailing, so the opposition knew they were passing. I don't think anyone will argue that he's tough, and that when the game was on the line late in the 4th, he played great. If you look back, he constantly brought that haphazard offense down the field in critical situations. That folks, is a winning player. I live in New York, and he is a carbon copy of Eli Manning, with a better arm and more emotion. Tangent over.
We have added Dexter McCluster, who I think will make an immediate impact, perhaps even more than Berry. Add Chambers for a full year, hopefully Bowe returning to 08' form, and Charles for a full year. Then you put Wiegmann and Lilja on the line, and this team has serious potential offensively. Weis has to be feeling good. Think about it, who has more offensive weapons, the 03' Patriots or the 10' Chiefs? I'm not saying we're as good as that team, we aren't even close, but we do have an offense.
Now, the wild cards....
1) How much of an impact can Crennel make?: If Romeo can get Derrick Johnson to play, that's a huge step forward. If he can't, Johnson should be dealt or just released. We also need to hope that a rotation of Shaun Smith and Ron Edwards isn't the death of our defense. While I'm actually high on Tyson Jackson, and really high on Glenn Dorsey, I'm terrified of our NT position. I'm equally terrified about Corey Mays. He needs to learn how to tackle. How much of this can Crennel fix?
2) Jarrad Page: If he doesn't come back, that is a major problem. Whether you happen to like or dislike Page, he's much better than Langford or Kendrick Lewis at this point. Starting two rookies or in Langford's case, a second year player with no experience next to a rookie, is a disaster waiting to happen. Even if Berry turns out to be Ronnie Lott, he's going to make rookie mistakes, it's life. With Page, the Chiefs can get away with some of them, but if Lewis or Langford are out there making the same mistakes, God help us. Let's all hope #44 is back soon.
3) Luck: This is always overlooked. We, like any other team, need luck. Maybe that punt bounces out of the end zone instead of pinning us at our own three yard line. Maybe Antonio Gates drops a critical pass on Monday Night, and maybe the Chiefs stay healthy throughout the season. At the end of the day, luck plays a huge factor in these games. Unless you have JaMarcus Russell, in which case no amount of good luck can help because, well, you ave JaMarcus Russell.
Here's to hopeing the Chiefs can make a run that we all remember. I believe they can make the playoffs this year if things break right, and that would be some turnaround from two years ago. Have hope Chiefs fans, because for the first time in years, I'm letting myself have some.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.