It is no secret the Chiefs have an easy schedule this year. Fans spout out predictions of 8-8 to 7-9 or up to 11-5 and thus the debates ensue. But with a keen eye and football understanding, one must view this opening game against the Chargers as the most pivotal game on their entire schedule.
As you read this breakdown, you will see how plausible it is for the Chiefs to actually make a legitimate playoff run and possibly, win this division.Week 1 at HOME against San Diego - The Chargers under Norv Turner have notoriously come out of the gate slow. With off season issues (VJax, McNeil, Merriman) the Chargers look poised to do it again. Personally, I would take the game planning trio of Haley, Weiss, and Crennell over the minds under Norv Turner any day and sadly enough, most San Diego fans agree. This is the perfect opportunity for the Chiefs to steal a game on their home turf under the hysteria of Monday Night Football against what is considered to be the better team. This absolutely will be "Vintage Arrowhead Noise" night and hopefully can rattle the O-Line and rookie running back the Chargers are depending on. Defensively, the Chargers lost Cromartie in their secondary and even though some are glad he's gone because of character issues, that doesn't mean they replaced his skill. The Chiefs had everybody in attendance for both OTA's and Training Camp. The Chargers did not. Being more prepared for this opening night, The Chiefs will win this game in a slugfest, 24-20. Chiefs 1-0
Week 2 AWAY to Cleveland - Both fans of these two teams remember the shootout from last year. Both defenses looked atrocious while the Chiefs let an unknown RB named Jerome Harrison run like he was Eric Dickerson. Do you know who also remembers that game? The Chiefs front seven. These guys will have to listen to it all week and you can bet that they will be licking their chomps at redemption. This game will also feature the skills of Tamba Hali who will create problems for Jake Delhomme. We know Delhomme is no Tom Brady and we know our secondary isn't that bad either. With the Chiefs stopping the run and creating INTs from a very likely candidate in Delhomme, look for a stellar defensive display against the Browns. Chiefs win 17-10. Chiefs 2-0
Week 3 Home against San Francisco - Boy I would hate to be a team coming into Arrowhead Stadium on a warm September day against an undefeated Chiefs team. Two things are going to be prevalent in this game. The rookies are getting better and the fans are back to being loud. Do you think Arrowhead could possibly scare a QB like Alex Smith? I absolutely believe so. Frank Gore will have a good game and don't underestimate the 49ers Defense. This will be close but a big defensive play and maybe an Arenas return TD could make the difference for a Chiefs Victory. This will be a close game and the Chiefs might even lose but for the time being, let's give them the benefit of the doubt being at home and going up against Alex Smith. Chiefs win 13-10.
Week 4 BYE - The Chiefs will have two weeks to prepare for their trip to Indy. Good, they're going to need it.
Week 5 AWAY at Indianapolis - Every Chief fan or even every football guru has this game circled as a win for the Colts. I would also agree. But with the luck of having this game after a bye week and knowing our coaching staff is great at game planning and scheming, the Chiefs will put up a respectable fight. Rookies will learn what it's like to defend Peyton Manning and all his weapons and the Colts will be introduced to KC's new monster, Tamba Hali. With a few Jamaal Charles runs and maybe a Dwayne Bowe TD, the Chiefs can and might make this close. However the Colts will prevail but one thing to note, the Chiefs will play well enough to not lose their 3-0 swagger. Chiefs lose 35-24. Chiefs 3-1.
Week 6 AWAY at Houston - Another stroke of luck playing against a great passing offense in the Colts the week before they take on another team who's offensive strength is the passing attack. The Chiefs secondary will have a better understanding and they're going to need it. The combination of Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson looks to be arguably the best in the NFL. Texans fans will pour into the stadium because the Houston Texans will be a good team this year. Their defense is in their prime with Mario Williams rushing the QB and DeMeco Ryans being a best as the MLB. Look for the Chiefs to have trouble with a good veteran team and come away from a tough loss. Chiefs lose 24-13. Chiefs 3-2
Week 7 HOME against Jacksonville - Every football expert is predicting a tough season for Jacksonville. They have no stand out players and have drafted poorly the last few years (see their WR choices). The Chiefs players are fuming at losing two in a row and are happy to return home to what is now a return of the Arrowhead Magic. The defensive emergence towards the middle of the season by Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, and Brandon Flowers have the Chiefs D returned to respectability. But the offense hasn't played as well as it would like to in five games. That changes against a poor Jacksonville team. Chiefs route Jacksonville 38-10 and return to their swagger. Chiefs 4-2
Week 8 HOME against Buffalo - The big story of this game will be Chan Gailey wanting revenge against the man that fired him, Todd Haley. The problem is, Haley fired Gailey because he was a dinosaur. Gailey will bring a subpar team into a loud Arrowhead stadium and find out why his offense doesn't work against a well executed 3-4 defense. The Bills have no weapons and like Jacksonville, are picked to be at the bottom of their division. Arrowhead Stadium is not a place you want to take a sub-par team into against a 4-2 Chiefs. The Chiefs momentum and fan base are starting to return. Chiefs route the lowly Bills 31-10. Chiefs 5-2
Week 9 AWAY at Oakland - I have no idea how good Oakland is going to be this year. Of course, you need to remember, it's Oakland. As long as Al Davis sits atop, there is nothing to fear. Although we all know that the picks thus far have ignored those games you thought the Chiefs would win and maybe the Chiefs could steal one in either Houston or Indianapolis, you never know. But for the sake of bringing this playoff run dream back down to earth, I will concede that the Chiefs can go into Oakland and lay an egg. An ugly game where the ball doesn't bounce their way and costly penalties exist in a hostel environment. We know the Oakland D is no slouch and we have no idea how Jason Campbell can effect this offense. But with the Chiefs having two easy games prior, the Raiders catch them off guard and pull out this victory 16-10. Chiefs 5-3.
Week 10 AWAY at Denver - All of us old timer fans remember that going to Denver was an automatic loss when Elway was there. The problem, there is no Elway, just a castoff named Orton. The Denver D without Dumervil is less than average. Ryan Clady coming off his injury doesn't scare me as much as he will in week 10 when he will be supposedly 100%. But it matters not. Our Defense is playing well with Eric Berry and gang firing on all cylinders. The Chiefs can't stand to lose another division game in a row. The Denver fans want revenge on the Chiefs from last year. However, has anybody really taken a look at Denver's team this year? Like Jacksonville and Buffalo, they are picked to finish at the bottom, and why not? Is Champ Bailey getting younger? Like the game before, we must have the Chiefs win a game that we normally circle as a loss. Chiefs pull one out in Denver 21-20. Chiefs 6-3.
Week 11 HOME against Arizona - Now comes a stretch of games that may prove my point to this whole post to begin with. Can either Derek Anderson or most unlikely Matt Leinhart come into Arrowhead at this point and lead an offense to a victory? You have to remember, the Chiefs are designed to get better every week and by week 11, a lowly Arizona Cardinals team with an average defense and poor QB play could be looking at a long day against a team who has now developed into a solid team like we knew they would by this point. The Chiefs players will be hearing the knocks about their easy schedule and therefore an overrated record. But remember, don't you think Todd Haley might know a thing or two about the Arizona Cardinals? Did Jon Gruden know a thing or two about the Raiders when he whipped them in the Super Bowl while with Tampa Bay? The what is now a potent offense combined with a respectable solid defense (and don't forget special teams) Chiefs team will roll the Cardinals and create the playoff buzz in Arrowhead. Chiefs win 35-16. Chiefs 7-3.
Week 12 AWAY at Seattle - The Seahawks are very well in the running for the top pick in the draft next year. Pete Carroll is not a good coach and Matt Hasselbeck will be dealing with injuries at this point and maybe out. Seattle simply doesn't have any weapons and their record entering this game could be 3-8 easily. They will be going against what is now a solid Chiefs team that is firing on all cylinders with the emergence of their rookies and offense. Does anybody disagree that the Chiefs will be even better in the second half of the season based on their personnel? Chiefs roll in this one 27-14. Chiefs 8-3.
Week 13 HOME against Denver - What luck it would be if we are now facing Tim Tebow in a loud Arrowhead Stadium. Even if it is Kyle Orton, the Broncos at this point will be no better than 5-7. The absence of Elvis Dumervil will have taken it's toll on what is to be a poor defense. The Chiefs, on the up, will bring their top of the league rushing game and grind out a win against a hungry Denver team looking for respectability at this point. Matt Cassel has finally opened up his long passing game with most teams scheming to stop his check downs to TEs and HBs. Look for an offensive field day at Arrowhead against a poor Denver team. Chiefs win 30-17. Chiefs 9-3.
Week 14 AWAY at San Diego - We all have circled this as a loss and I will do as well. The Chargers are back to form from their poor out of the gate display and are running behind what is now a respectable back in Ryan Matthews. The Chiefs, with their easy schedule precluding this game might get a reality check here and send them packing with the Chiefs scratching their head as just how good of a team they are. It could be close but the Chargers are ready to scrap with who is now their divisional rivalry of 2010. Chargers flex their muscle 38-24. Chiefs 9-4.
Week 15 AWAY at St. Louis- Like the game before we have all circled this as a win. And why not? Is Sam Bradford the next coming of Peyton Manning? If so, he might have the same rookie year as Peyton (3-13). The Rams, believe it or not, were worse than the Chiefs these past years and still have a long way to go. Although we all know this is the kind of game the Chiefs can blow, I believe our running game gets us through this one. Chiefs win a scary one 17-14. Chiefs 10-4.
Week 16 HOME against Tennessee - Like the Raiders, I have no idea how good the Titans will be this year. It all hangs on Vince Young. Jeff Fisher always brings a solid defense and we know what Chris Johnson can do. The Titans could very well be 11-3 as well entering this game thus making it a national spotlight game. Did you really think the Chiefs were going to win every home game this year? Neither did I. A solid Titan team comes in and reminds the Chiefs of their easy schedule 28-14. Chiefs 10-5.
Week 17 HOME against Oakland - Can Oakland sweep the Chiefs this year? Probably not. Remember, they're Oakland. No respectable coach wants anything to do with that organization. The morale of the Raiders could be easily diminished if by this time they are eliminated from the playoffs. I gave Oakland the earlier win this season but the Chiefs are now a formidable team by this seasons end. Their running game combined with what is now a solid defense puts the Chiefs over the top of a playoff eliminated Raider team. Chiefs win 30-13. Chiefs 11-5.
Conclusion: Wow! 11-5? How can that be? The Chiefs do not have the talent for that record! And you would be right. The problem is, the Chiefs schedule is that easy and the teams they face have no more or less talent than the Chiefs do. However, I'm willing to concede two games in the win column to bring this pipe dream back to earth. That's 9-7. After reading this breakdown, would anybody be willing to completely rule out 9-7 and a wild card berth? That is why the San Diego game this Monday is so important. It will set the tone by giving the Chiefs a winning attitude thus needed for a playoff run. I can envision the top five teams in next years draft as Buffalo, Jacksonville, Seattle, St. Louis, Cleveland, and maybe Denver. All teams that represent 7 games on the Chiefs schedule. Maybe the Chiefs will be a playoff team based on an easy schedule but hey! They'll be there. Especially if they can pull out a victory Monday Night. If the Chiefs win, it very well could mean playoffs. Now excuse me, I have to go pray to the "No Injuries for the Chiefs" God. I look forward to all your thoughts.