Perusing all the Chiefs websites today has given me the feeling that the sky is falling. Personally, I'm not one to start yelling for the Lombardi Trophy or calling for the first pick in the draft after Preseason Game 1. However, for those of you devoid of confidence after last night's meager performance against the Atlanta Falcons, follow me to a land of more realistic expectations and cautious optimism...after the jump.
So, yeah, last night wasn't the greatest. But these following points should remind you of what to expect, how to know when you've seen improvement, and to remind yourself that Rome wasn't built in a day.
1. Almost everyone's Chiefs 2010 predictions this year fall between 6 wins and 10 wins. That said, the most often listed expectations are 7-9 or 8-8. So how does this affect last nights game?
We're a 4 win team, with fans hoping (expecting, maybe) to be a .500 team. We just played a team that made the Playoffs in '08 and were disappointed with a 9-7 season last year. Remember, we would be jumping for joy to hit 9-7 this year. To play them to a 3-3 tie at halftime (while missing two field goals) is not toooooo bad. Again, remember our expectations.
2. Our expectation is that the offense should be better than the defense this year. In fact, most believe that the D is our potential liability (besides Matt Cassel).
The defense looked ok last night guys. Drive one for the Falcons offense had me pulling out hair, expecting much of the same stuff that we saw last year. However, the pass rush was pretty darn good considering we surely aren't gonna show our best blitz packages in the first game of the preseason. T-Jax and Dorsey looked good. Edwards was what we thought he was...a bit of a liability. Lokey played well minus one play and Smith played well on the plays I focused in on him. I still believe the NT position will be run committee style. The secondary played pretty darn good, if you ask me. If you don't ask me, take a look yourself at the game tape. The ILB looked lost last night. I'm still wondering if that is related to the fact that they are in such a fight for their starting jobs that they are overthinking everything. The only major question mark I have from Game 1 is the interior of the front seven.
On to the flipside of point two...
3. The offense struggled. Sort of.
The O-line still needs to gel. Zone Blocking takes time and I'm not overly concerned with that. I know this point isn't one that will convince many people to step off the ledge, but that's simply where I am at this point in the year. Cassel was fine, for me. I don't expect him to be a Pro Bowler and running that vanilla offense doesn't do him any justice for me to judge him. JC looked like the guy we expect. Thomas Jones will be a change of pace back, IMO. There was another quality plus from the O, but I wanna discuss that separately...
4. Draft 2010: Epic.
Dexter Freaking McCluster. Dude looks like lightening.
Asomoah looked like the Guard of the Future to me. Would have loved to see Moeaki out there, but oh well.
So that Arenas guy can return kicks, huh?
Seriously fellas (and possibly some ladies), remember what our expectations are. A "fingers-crossed for 8-8" team shouldn't expect a ton out of the first preseason game. A fanbase that consistently knocks its starting quarterback should not be too upset with 6-8 passing for a tiny amount of yardage when the playcalling was so vanilla it was water flavored. An fanbase that is worried about the D should be ENCOURAGED by a performance of holding the first team Falcons O, a quite high-powered offense, I might add, to three points and only one really good drive. A fan with high expectations for a draft class should be exstatic with their play last night.
Come back down to earth, it's nice down here.