Welcome to the third edition of the Kansas City Chiefs 2011 'Choose your own adventure'. I know many of you were waiting on pins and needles last Monday afternoon and were supremely disappointed when there was no July 4th adventure. The combination of work, real life, no internet and the 4th all wrapped themselves into a nice little ball-o'-no-post. For those who are in the this-is-stupid-and-pointless crowd it was a welcomed relief for you as you didn't have to worry about skipping over a post to read.
The third quarter of the Chiefs 2011 season is where the big dogs come to play. This part of the season isn't for the faint of heart and shouldn't be taken lightly. The Chiefs take on Denver in Kansas City, then travel to New England for Monday Night Football, followed by a Sunday night game against Pittsburgh in Kansas City, and then wrapping up with a game against Da-Bears in Chicago.
The Chiefs take on Denver in Week 10 in what will become an absolute must-win. The Chiefs cannot afford to lose games they are supposed to win with a schedule like they have in 2011. The Chiefs did a great job in 2010 of winning the games they were supposed to win. A lot of that may have had to do with the schedule but the good teams win games they are supposed to win, and in 2011 they are supposed to beat Denver. For each game they are supposed to win and don't, means a victory against a New England or Green Bay becomes a must.
Week 10 - At home against the Denver Broncos
Denver is a team in transition that spent their 2011 first-round pick on Von Miller. Despite personally having no problems with Von Miller, the fact that they have been comparing him to Derrick Thomas already AND that he is playing in Denver has me wanting this guy to bust in a Jamarcus-type-fashion. Probably not fair to him but sue me, I'll just get Harvey Specter and Mike Ross.
The practice week leading up to the game against the Broncos saw Matt Cassel tweak an ankle. His mobility in the pocket is questionable, and it is his left foot. So without being able to fully step into a throw his passes might tend to sail (18 if you have a snarky comment right here).
Choose your own adventure.
Week 11 - At New England on Monday Night Football
This is the game that we all knew was coming at some point and the already-played-out-expressions of New England West, Patriot-way, and In Pioli I Trust will be used exactly 1,756 times combined on AP this week. Joel, Chris and company at Arrowhead Pride have vaulted to the top of the SB Nation blogosphere and find themselves with a few perks coming into this Monday night game. Not only are they both attending the MNF game in New England with box seats, they get to bring along 10 AP'ers.
This news becomes public and a frenzy breaks out. We'll all just assume everyone can make it....mmmmkay? It comes down to a poll on a Tuesday afternoon post as to whom will join Joel and Chris in New England. You weren't allowed to vote for yourself, they'd know, and the top 10 vote-getters get the trip. The winner's included Aiken, Kalo, Craig, MNChiefs, Upamtn, Steve, Mills, HIV, RAWKC and Stagdsp. Quite the group and something tells me that this trip should be videotaped. Oh yeah, and it's a bus trip from Kansas City. Does everyone make it back?
The Chiefs find themselves behind heading into the 4th quarter by a score of 24-10. Matt Cassel threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Devin McCourty that prompted a crash of the SB Nation server because the gameday thread on AP was bombarded with anti-Cassel hate comments. Luckily, the server came back before too long so the hate could continue.
Choose your own adventure
The Chiefs just get the ball back to start the 4th quarter and find themselves down by two touchdowns. Do they change-up the game plan of giving Jamaal Charles the ball as much as possible and let Cassel try and pass them to victory, or do they continue giving JC the rock? If you change it up and put it on Cassel's shoulders click here, or if you continue to give Charles the ball click here.
Week 12 - At Home against Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football.
The Chiefs play their second featured game in a row with a Sunday night showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the Chiefs want to steal a game in the third quarter of the season, this game would be their best chance. They are at home in front of what will be an electric crowd.
The key to this game for the Chiefs is very simple. Stop Rashard Mendenhall. It's easy for Big Ben to manipulate the pocket and pick up 3rd and 4's, and 3rd and 5's. But when you start making him wait that extra split second you have a chance to disrupt their offensive flow. One of the low-radar story lines this week is the Chiefs short-week before this matchup. The Chiefs just got done playing on Monday night on one side of the country and then have a short-week before taking on another AFC power on Sunday. The Chiefs will find out what they're made of during this two-game stretch.
The first quarter was a quarter that Matt Cassel would love to forget. Two interceptions and a fumble led to a Pittsburgh 10-0 lead. The defense actually did a pretty impressive stand on two seperate occasions after having their backs against the wall to start off this game.
Choose your own adventure
Week 13 - At Chicago
The Chicago Bears mortgaged about 7 years of their organization with the Jay Cutler trade. While I'm sure they weren't completely disappointed with their season last year, the hot-and-cold motor of the signal caller has got to be frustrating. The Bears host the Chiefs in week 13 in a game that could set the stage for both teams heading into the final stretch of the season.
With the solid, not spectacular season thus far from the Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, Chiefsfan85 writes a post that has over 500 comments within 24 hours titled, "Should the Chiefs have gone with Cutler instead of Cassel?" A few things would have to had to be changed looking back but the carefree gunslinger against the (insert Cassel description here). Obviously Pioli's ties to New England and all that played a role and CF85 explains all of that in his post so I won't delve any farther.
The Chiefs find themselves behind 21-20 with five minutes remaining in the game. The Bears have the ball at mid-field with a 3rd and 9.
Choose your own adventure
That's it for the third quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs season. How'd you do? Does your team have a chance at making the playoffs still?