With Alex Smith getting voted onto the 2014 Pro Bowl roster, this year's Kansas City Chiefs have some similarities to the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, who also had a Pro Bowl quarterback and made the playoffs. Back then it was Matt Cassel filling in for Tom Brady in the Pro Bowl after he had a season that was very similar to what Alex Smith put up this year.
Just stats, but: Cassel's Pro Bowl year: 58%, 3,116 yards, 27 TDs, 7 INT, 93.1 passer rating, 52.2 QBR. Smith's: 61%, 3313, 23-7, 89.1, 49.4— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) January 21, 2014
In 2010, the Chiefs started 3-0, the last undefeated team. In 2013, they were again the last undefeated team after starting 9-0.
Obviously, we all feel this year is different than 2010, mostly because we know what happened after the 2010 season -- the Chiefs endured two straight losing seasons before firing two head coaches and their GM.
But here's what I wrote after the 2010 season when talking about how those Chiefs team should be remembered:
But there's an argument to be made that the 2010 Chiefs will (or should) be remembered for how they started. The excitement from Monday Night Football and the 3-0 start never really left -- for me at least. I had a hard time getting out of the we-shouldn't-be-here thought process.
Ideally, in the future, the Chiefs are remembered for how they finish, even if it is another playoff loss. That means they would be expected to be in the playoffs which is the goal. It'll be interesting to see how the Chiefs transition from the we're-just-happy-to-be-here feeling to being in the playoffs year in and year out.
I mean, this does sound an awful lot like the 2013 Chiefs. Read the comments section, too.
After going 2-14 last season, there was absolutely the "just happy to be here" feeling from some in the fan base in this year's playoffs. Just like there was in 2010. The last 20 years of playoff losses have eliminated some of that feeling -- Chiefs fans just want to win a damn playoff game -- but the feeling I have looking at the future now is similar to what I felt about the Chiefs back in 2010. That's not a knock on this year's team; I was just optimistic after the 2010 season, too.
Of course, there are differences as well. Alex Smith has played good football for three straight seasons now. Cassel played well in 2008, struggled in 2009 and then played well in 2010. Statistically, their regular seasons were very similar in 2010 and 2013. In the playoffs, however...
Mike Thomas (@sigepmagicmike) January 21, 2014
That makes a difference when you're talking about the future of your team. Alex Smith played the best game of his career in the biggest game of the season for Kansas City. I'm not sure how much, but that does matter. One other thing we weren't doing back in 2010 was debating a contract extension for the quarterback because he was already signed to a long-term deal by that point.
Just because this feels similar to 2010 doesn't mean it actually will be. The Chiefs could make the playoffs the next five years; or they could fire their coach in three years.
OK, I've done some rambling. What are the differences between the 2010 and 2013 Chiefs?
- Chiefs are in the top 10 for 2015 Super Bowl odds
- Alex Smith, Derrick Johnson added to 2014 Pro Bowl roster
- In Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston, Chiefs have two of the best values in the NFL
- 10 thoughts on Broncos vs. Seahawks
- Super Bowl: Date, time, TV schedule, odds, halftime show and more
- Is Jerrell Powe the interior pass-rusher the Chiefs need?
- A wide receiver or a safety for the Chiefs? Take your pick
- Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 1/21