Arrowhead Wins! Flawless Victory

Most fans of the Red and Gold here at Arrowhead Pride love to make comparisons (mainly to make a point.)

Dwayne Bowe to Larry Fitzgerald.

Matt Cassel to Mark Sanchez.

Clark Hunt to Lamar Hunt.

Apples to Oranges... you get the idea.

Well AP? What about this comparison, the 2003 Chiefs to the 2011 Chiefs?

Uh Blinders, it has been done to death, why even bring it up?  Well, I'll tell you why.  Ever since the Chiefs opened up The New Arrowhead in 2010, I have had hopes that the Arrowhead advantage would make a come back.  In 2010 the Kansas City Chiefs did a good job of making that happen, winning 7 out of 8 home games for the first time in five seasons.

Though, in doing some research on this subject, I noticed that in 2002, the Kansas City Chiefs also won 7 home games that season.  Which got me thinking, who would I take?  Dick Vermeil's team going into 2003 knowing everything we know about that team now, or Todd Haley's 2011 team going into this season not fully sure of what it is capable of?

The 2002 team got me thinking more about what happened after their seven wins at Arrowhead.  That's right in 2003, the Chiefs went 13-3 and undefeated at home, a perfect 8-0 record.  It was a great season to be a Chiefs fan, they started out 9-0 and had a very exciting offense staring Priest Holmes.  

Dick Vermeil started out in Kansas with 14 wins (6-10,8-8) in two seasons, after a storied career.  

Todd Haley matched that total with 14 wins (4-12, 10-6) in two seasons as Rookie coach, and even added a playoff appearance to the tally. 

That makes me believe it is safe to compare their respective third seasons. Do you think that Haley can duplicate and surpass Vermeil's success in his own third season in Kansas City?  Which team is more balanced?  Let's take a look:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFENSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

2011

 

 

 

Green

QB

VS

Cassel

QB

 

 

Richardson

FB

VS

McCluster

W/R

 

 

Holmes

RB

VS

Charles

RB

 

 

Kennison

WR

VS

Bowe

WR

 

 

Morton

WR

VS

Baldwin

WR

 

 

Roaf

LT

VS

Albert

LT

 

 

Waters

LG

VS

Waters

LG

 

 

Wiegmann

C

VS

Hudson

C

 

 

Shields

RG

VS

Lilja

RG

 

 

Tait

RT

VS

Richardson

RT

 

 

Gonzalez

TE

VS

Moeaki

TE

 

 

DEFENSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

2011

 

 

 

Hicks

LDE

VS

Jackson

LDE

 

 

Browning

LDT

VS

Powe

NT

 

 

Sims

RDT

VS

Dorsey

RDE

 

 

Holliday

RDE

VS

Houston

LOLB

 

 

Fujita

LLB

VS

Belcher

LILB

 

 

Maslowski

MLB

VS

Johnson

RILB

 

 

Mitchell

MLB

VS

Hali

ROLB

 

 

Barber

RLB

VS

Flowers

LCB

 

 

Warfield

LCB

VS

Carr

RCB

 

 

McCleon

RCB

VS

Berry

SS

 

 

Wesley

SS

VS

Lewis

FS

 

 

Woods

FS

VS

Arenas

NCB

 

 

SPECIAL T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anderson

K

VS

Succop

K

 

 

Baker

P

VS

Colquitt

P

 

 

Hall

PR

VS

Arenas

PR

 

 

Hall

KR

VS

McCluster

KR

 

 

ROLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boerigter

WR

 

Bailey

DE

 

 

Dunn

TE

 

Brown

CB

 

 

Stills

DE

 

Studebaker

LB

 

 

Spears

OL

 

Gilberry

DE

 

 

Gammon

LS

 

Asomoah

OL

 

 

Bartee

CB

 

Wiegmann

OL

 

 

Truluck

DE

 

Jones

RB

 

 

Harts

DB

 

Smith

DE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chiefs Fans, doesn't looking at the offensive line of that 2003 team make you want to smile. Willie Roaf should really be in the Hall of Fame, but I digress... 

Can the Chiefs go undefeated at home in 2011, like the 2003 team? They only have to play these teams:

Buffalo Bills

Minnesota Vikings

San Diego Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Denver Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers

Green Bay Packers

Oakland Raiders

Sure they have to play the two Super Bowl teams.  However it can be done, in 2003 the Chiefs beat the Raiders twice coming off of their Super Bowl Appearance.  Also, just as an interesting tidbit, they did beat Pittsburgh and Green Bay that season as well.

If the Arrowhead advantage is truly back, then the Chiefs should be able to run the table at home in 2011, or at least come very close.  They have the talent, the balance on offense, defense and special teams. The number one rushing attack in the NFL and the greatest fans in the world.  It might be the recipe they need for the kind of success that Vermeil's team enjoyed.

Vermeil_medium

Who has the better offense?

Well this seems to be a no-brainer.  The 2003 Chiefs were ranked number one or two, in eight different offensive categories that season.  Plus, they had Roaf, Shields and Gonzalez, three guys that should all be enshrined in Canton someday.  It would be safe to say that the 2003 Chiefs Offense was better than the 2011 Chiefs Offense will be.

However, safe is boring.  The 2011 Chiefs are coming into it the number one rushing team with 2,627 yards (2003 had 1,929 yards.)  The problem is passing, the Chiefs threw for 2,968 yards (2003 had 3,981 yards.)  Even if Kansas City manages more yards passing the ball with all of the weapons they have, including Jonathan Baldwin and a healthier Dexter McCluster.  Are they going to be able to turn 44 TDS into 56 TDS (like 2003) off those two factors?  Hey, not every team can score 484 points in a season, but a fan can dream right?

4d3rc_medium

What about on defense?

The no-brainers are abundant today.  The 2003 team was known for having poor tackling, and being +19 in turnovers. They gave up more rush yards per carry than any team in the NFL (Thanks a lot Ryan Sims.)  Despite the 13-3 record, this defense was terrible.

Going into the 2011 season, it seems a lot better.  Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers are potential super stars in the making. While Derrick Johnson, Glenn Dorsey and Brandon Carr could all be Pro Bowl caliber players this season.  It is no contest, the talent is better, the depth is deeper, and the coaching staff on defense is in another world compared to in 2003. 

Which team would you want to go into the future with?

This question is a fun one to answer.  The 2003 Chiefs had a lot of talent on that Offensive Line, it was one of the best ever, with a Hall of Fame Tight End as an added bonus.

However, at the the time it was clear that Carl Peterson and Dick Vermeil were building for the moment and not the future.  A lot of the players were at the end of their prime, and Carl didn't do a very good job of preparing for the future through the draft.

Scott Pioli and Todd Haley on the other hand, have appeared to put together a very youthful team.  They are full of talent, and seem set up to make a run at a string of championships.  Instead of the one championship that Dick and Carl were trying to take with them into the sunset.  

Cimg0591_medium

Who is more balanced?

I will leave this question open for you to decide.

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