January 13, 2013
After setting a new standard for awful by having the worst record in franchise history, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt acknowledges that changes need to take place. Need might even be an understatement. It was imperative that changes take place in order to restore the faith in the fans, but more importantly to win games. So Clark Hunt does what any logical franchise owner would do: find a new head coach and general manager with a proven track record.
Enter Andy Reid: Enter John Dorsey: Green Bay's Director of College Scouting for nearly two decades. It is no secret that the Packers have been stellar at finding talent in the Draft for longer than many of us have been around. Clark Hunt decides that Dorsey is his guy, and just like that we have ourselves a new General Manager of our beloved Chiefs. John left a consistently winning franchise that won the Super Bowl just three seasons ago to join a group of young men who managed to produce a whopping two wins last season. Not to mention the whole #59 tragedy. Why? For starters, the Chiefs sent six players to the Pro Bowl in 2012, tied for the most in the NFL. Many people considered the Chiefs the best 2-14 team ever (now we're the worst 9-0 team ever) with an impressive core group of underachieving young players. Mr. John Dorsey saw what everyone else saw and joined the Kansas City Chiefs in hopes of steering this ship in the right direction.
9-0. Yes, spellcheck is alive and well and yes, we're still talking about the Kansas City Chiefs. If someone had told me that the Chiefs would be the last undefeated team in the NFL through 10 weeks prior to the season, I would have recommended a handful of psychiatrists to help them sort their problems out. But seriously, let's all just take a moment to realize how far we've come as a franchise in less than a year. It's almost unfathomable. We literally went from worst to first. But here we are, the
second best team in the NFL entering week 11. We boast the best scoring defense in the league led by Bob Sutton. The best [puff puff] pass rush duo in the league. The best 3-4 NT in the league, The best rookie CB in the league, etc. We possess a competent (forgive me, I'm biased) offense led by Jamaal Charles. That's about all I have to say on that side of the ball. Let's not forget about Dustin Colquitt and Ryan Succop, both of whom have made their fair share of contributions to help lead this team to its 9-0 start. We also made history on October 13th by bringing the "Loudest OUTDOOR Stadium in the World" accolade (I'm looking at you, CenturyLink Field) back where it belongs: Arrowhead. Is. Back.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Woah, slow down Speed Racer. I may be jumping the gun a bit here, but is the idea of going to Super Bowl just one year removed from having the worst record in the NFL completely delusional and absurd? Possibly. However, we've known the potential this team has had for the past three or so seasons, but we're just now revealing it to the world. We thought we had a good team going into the 2011 season after making the playoffs as a wild card team in 2010. Thanks to injuries, we finished the year with a sub-.500 record. Surely, 2012 will be our year. Wrong. Incompetent coaching, lack of passion, and off the field distractions sent this team into a downward spiral. We HAVE to be good in 2013, right?! Wrong again. We're great. Throw out strength of schedule. Throw out the number of "starting" QBs we've faced. We have a great team here in Kansas City ladies and gentlemen. I'm not going to flood this post with stats to prove my point because I think I speak on behalf of every AP member when I say that I've seen how statistically great/mediocre we are on defense/offense. I'm here to say that we should be aiming for the Super Bowl this year. *Scurries off the stage while attempting to dodge chairs being thrown* I genuinely believe that this is the most realistic year for the Chiefs to hoist the Lombardi trophy over their heads come February and here's why:
- Many of our "veteran" players are currently playing on one-year contracts e.g. Quintin Demps, Husain Abdullah, while others have expiring contracts after this season e.g. Jon Asamoah, Kendrick Lewis, Branden Albert
- The chemistry this team has with one another is unparalleled. I don't recall a single time this season when one of our players has not talked about the chemistry they've formed in the locker room during an interview. Family on 3! 1...2...3...
- Our team has somehow managed to stay relatively healthy this season *knocks on wood* which is miraculous considering how dangerous football really is. There will almost certainly be an end to that feat
- We have a chip on our shoulder. Feel free to argue my point if you disagree, but next season won't be a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. How do I know this? Well, if you've ever played a competitive team sport, you know that your team almost always plays better when you're the underdog. The Chiefs more than likely feel as though they have something to prove, that last season was a fluke, that they are winners, etc. Next season we won't have that "luxury" so it is imperative that we use that to our advantage
- As a result of winning, we will face tougher competition next season. (Who knew?!) While I don't believe we have played any "easy" teams thus far, we will more likely than not go head to head with more upper echelon teams next season.
- WE'RE NINE AND OH! NO ONE CAN BEAT US!
...except maybe for "them"
In a normal universe, a 9-0 team would be all but a lock to win their division. But someone by the name of Peyton Manning isn't going down without a fight.
The _enver Broncos would like to buy a consonant. The Denver Broncos are currently our biggest threat to overtake the AFC West throne, sitting pretty at 8-1. The older Manning has been on fire so far this season, causing every NFL analyst to drool just thinking about him. He is on pace to break just about every passing record. I would bet money that we will end up facing off against them not two, but three times this season. Talk about rivalry...
I emphasized that we are a young team in the first paragraph because we are the 8th youngest team in football with an average age of just under 26 years old. That's great, right?! Well, for now it is. However, that means John Dorsey will have to break the bank over the course of the next few seasons to re-sign some of the young studs on our team. Guys like:
Jon Asamoah (Free Agent in 2014)
Justin Houston (Free Agent in 2015)
Eric Berry (Free Agent in 2016)
This team is great. This team is young. This team is family. But like they say, "All good things must come to an end." As much as us fans would like to retain all the young players on our team, it's virtually impossible barring a few extremely team-friendly contracts. But that's even more unlikely, as Justin Houston, for example, is still playing on his four-year, $2.786 million rookie contract. The man plays like an elite defender and certainly deserves to be paid like one. I trust John Dorsey to make decisions that are going to help our team in preparing for the future. It would be detrimental to lose any of our young superhuman-like athletes, and is a scary thought to think about. How long will our window of opportunity stay open? Well, no one knows. I would like to think we will have our core group of players around for a while, but anything can happen. So for now, let's just enjoy our undefeated season and look forward to being 10-0 when Monday rolls around.