"PLAYOFFS? YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS?"
Well Jim Mora, maybe just a little.
Okay, let me start by saying that I know its WAY to early to be talking about the playoffs for this team. So what am I going to talk about this week? Making the playoffs, of course.
Now let me clarify, I'm not predicting that we will make the playoffs. Before last weeks game I was still thinking 8-8 for this season and probably the playoffs in 2011. However, after last week's performance and a little fact digging, things are looking pretty good. After the break I've got a little bit for everyone: statistics that prove we are on track for the playoffs and some "awesome" pictures that make fun of some of our AFC West rivals. What's not to like?
Okay, let's start with the serious stuff.
I think we've all heard by now that since 1990 75% or teams that start 3-0 make the playoffs. Now that percentage doesn't take any other info into account. Good QB or not, good defense or not, etc. It's just based off the record. So let's dig a little deeper and see if teams with similar strengths as the Chiefs have made the playoffs recently.
Now I didn't go all the way back to 1990, but I did look at some stats for the last three seasons (2007-2009). I looked at four stats that the Chiefs are doing well in: rush offense, rush defense, penalties, and sacks allowed. The rush offense and defense really seem to be our focal point and I was also wanting some stats that would show our focus on not shooting ourselves in the foot. Haley has really stressed cutting out the negative plays and so far this year it is working. We are currently in the top 10 in the league in all four of those areas.
Over the last three seasons:
53% of teams that were in the top 10 in rushing made the playoffs. Meh....
67% of teams that were in the top 10 in run defense made the playoffs. Better....
40% of teams that were in the top 10 in fewest penalties made the playoffs. Not very impressive.....
60% of teams that were in the top 10 in sacks allowed made the playoffs. Pretty good.....
Now the run defense and sacks allowed are pretty good, but nothing ground shaking, but let's see what happens when we pair some of these together. In that same time span:
73% of teams that were in the top 10 in rushing AND rush defense made the playoffs.
70% of teams that were in the top 10 in fewest penalties AND sacks allowed made the playoffs.
That's now looking even better. In those three seasons there wasn't a single team that was in the top 10 in all four areas. I did find this:
80% of the teams that were in the top 10 in rushing AND rush defense AND EITHER penalties or sacks allowed made the playoffs.
Now keep in mind the numbers above don't have anything to do with the original 75% number for teams that start 3-0. These are separate stats. I think these stats show that you don't need Manning, Brady, or Brees at QB to make the playoffs. The teams I found that made the playoffs included teams QB'd by the likes of Tarvaris Jackson, Kerry Collins, and rookies like Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. The 3-0 start, the rushing attack, the run defense, the lack of negative plays, they all point to a possible playoff run.
I think my point is that it is okay if the Chiefs still have some worts. They seem to have picked a few key areas and are focusing on making them great. The stats above show that this can be enough to get you to the playoffs. You throw in a few other things that we have going for us like outstanding special teams, the return of the Arrowhead homefield advantage, and an easy schedule and I don't think this is too far fetched.
So then the question becomes, can we stay in the top 10 in these areas?
Here's why I say yes, the coaching staff.
Last Sunday's game was the biggest smack down I've seen in the NFL in a long time, and I'm not talking about on the field. I'm talking about the guys with the headsets on. Our coaches had our team ready mentally, physically, and from a detailed gameplan perspective. The 49ers coaches did not. The beat down Romeo Crennel put on Jimmy Raye was so bad that the 49ers canned him. That's bad.
At this point I was going to post a picture of Jimmy Raye looking confused with the caption "What the hell just happened?" followed by a picture of Romeo smiling with the caption "Sorry about that man." However, in my search for a Jimmy Raye picture I stumbled across this......
I'm not even sure what that pic means, I just know I love it and had to share.
Okay, let's keep moving.
So if the coaching smack down last weekend wasn't enough to give you faith that our coaching staff can lead us to a division title, let's see what they are up against.
That's right, it's time for goofy pictures of other AFC West coaches! WOO-HOO!
Let's start with the defending division champs.........
In this pic San Diego assistant coaches misunderstand Norv when he tells them they are being robbed by their special teams.
Now how about those wonderful Raiders........
"Porkchop no make fun me....me hit you with fist.....eat porkchop"
Moving on to our good friends the Donks......
If that's not a Caption This pic for the week we play the Donks, I don't know what is.
So there you have it AP. Some reasons to feel good about our Chiefs having a shot at the playoffs this year (some serious, some not so much). Who would of thought it? Not even yours truly, the Kool Aid man thought it could happen this season. I know its early. I know anything can happen. Some will say that we're setting ourselves up for disappointment, and that could be true. For now though, I'm going to enjoy it and I hope you do to. Dream big, enjoy the Kool Aid, and if you get a chance to go out to Arrowhead and scream your head off, do it.