Pitiful. Unprofessional. Listless. Beaten. All very appropriate descriptions of the current Kansas City Chiefs.
Despondent. Heartbroken. Cautiously optimistic. Also all very app...
Whoa there, Rrusty! What is this optimism thingy you speak of during these dark days?
Well, I understand the common practice is to wait a couple days after a thrashing to exam any ray of hope, but let's face it...this pile of poo is gonna smell just the same on Wednesday, so follow after the jump if you dare.
So what gives me any sense of optimism? The fact that we play in the AFC West which means even though we are 0-2, we are only 1 game back from the pack for now. That alone doesn't really help much, but let's look at the next 4 weeks:
Chiefs: At San Diego (1-1), vs Minnesota (0-2), at Indianapolis (0-2), Bye weekend
San Diego: vs Chiefs (0-2), vs Miami (0-2), at Denver (1-1), Bye weekend
Denver: at Tennessee (1-1), at Green Bay (2-0), at San Diego (1-1), Bye weekend
Oakland: vs Jets (2-0), vs New England (2-0), at Houston (2-0), vs Cleveland (1-1)
Looking at the division, San Diego has the best shot going into the Bye weekend. Barring a major miracle, they get a fast start arriving at their bye week sitting 5-1. Denver probably wins 1 game in the next 3 weeks to arrive at their bye week 2-3. Oakland is about to go on a brutal run and should lose three of their next four finishing week 6 at 2-4 or 1-5 depending on how beat up they are when the Browns come to Oakland.
Then there are the Chiefs. The next 3 weeks are "put up or shut up" games. An NFL season may be a marathon rather than a sprint, but even in a marathon you have to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. This is our window of opportunity and the source of my cautious optimism.
At San Diego: Next week is going to be very, VERY hard on the team. The Chargers gave the Patriots a strong run for the money today and that was at Foxboro. The only possible advantage for the Chiefs is that the Chargers will have absolutely zero film on what the Chiefs will do on offense or defense next week. Assuming that there is still an attached ACL remaining on the team, we return to Arrowhead for the 2nd home game of the season.
Vs Minnesota: The Vikings are facing Detroit next week, so I think we will have an outstanding idea of how we stack up in about 7 days. If this was an "away" game, I doubt we could pull it off, but in Arrowhead with backs against the wall...50/50.
At Indianapolis: Indy will be coming off a short week after facing Tampa Bay on MNF down in Florida. While the Colts always seem to find a way to defeat us, the lack of the Boy Wonder at QB helps. Jones and McCluster will have found their rhythm in the running game and perhaps we will have figured out how to hold the football without dropping it. Hmmmm...right now, I'd say 50/50 shot on this game if we beat Minnesota. If we go into this game 0-4 after yet another embarrassing loss at home, then I'd drop that down to slim (and the only reason I wouldn't drop it to none is the short week for Indy).
So there you have it. Cautious optimism that entering the Bye Week sitting at 2-3 in 2nd place in the AFC West. Come out of the Bye facing a beaten-up Raider team and win. Then get super pumped for Monday Night Football vs San Diego on Halloween at Arrowhead! Talk about a party! Win! Then Miami comes to town after getting man-handled by the Giants the week before...Win! And then the Donkeys come to town...Win! After that....well, we all know what comes after that and its not pretty.
Fellow Chief-lovers, our glass is still half-full! The only question is what is in the glass? That question will be answered over the next 3 weeks. Fire away!