A Closer Look at the Chiefs 2009 Stats...
I've been looking over the team stats/rankings from last season, and I think there are two areas that stand out as reasons for optimism. If the Chiefs make slight improvements in these two areas (and I think they will) they should have a winning record in 2010.
STRONG RUNNING GAME
Last year the Chiefs were 11th in Rushing Offense at 120.6 yds/game. If they increase their Rushing output by only 10% (up to 132.7) they would rank around 6th in the NFL in Rushing (comparing to last years stats for all teams) Its very reasonable to think that with Jamaal Charles playing a full season, adding Thomas Jones (and Dexter McCluster carrying a few too) they will have at least a slight increase in their Rushing yards. Probably more.
The one redeeming stat about the 2009 Chiefs Defense was they were tied for 12th in the NFL for Takeaways with 28.I think this number will increase a little in their 2nd year of the 3/4, along with the additions of Eric Berry, Javier Arenas and Romeo Crennel. Say they just got 4 more for a total of 32; that would be good enough for 7th in the NFL in TakeAways.
On the other side of that coin, the Chiefs Offense turned it over 27 times last year (15th in the NFL.) 16 of those turnovers were Matt Cassel INT's. With Charlie Weiss on board, Cassel with have an O-Coordinator and QB Coach this year, and I think he throws a few less picks. Let's say he throws 13 INT's (3 less than last yr) and the fumbles stay the same; that would equal 24 total turnovers and would rank 10th best in the NFL in Giveaways.
If we combine these two stats (32 takeaways - 24 giveaways) we get a +/- Turnover Ratio of +8 and would rank around 6th best in the league.
-----------------------------*Looking over the past few seasons, I can't find a single team who ranked in the Top10 in both of these categories that had a losing record.