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The Importance of a Momentum Win

Here's hoping the Chiefs win. We'd all say that, of course, around these parts, but I'm actually hoping that we win this game for more than anything it can bring this season. Instead, I'm hoping the Chiefs defeat the Broncos this weekend for the sake of 2010.

It all comes down to wins and losses. But within that framework, I believe that are momentum wins and momentum losses. Sure, the Redskins and Raiders wins were nice, but Pittsburgh was a momentum win. And sure, every loss hurts, but the Raiders loss early in the season was a momentum loss. The former became key for believing in the future direction of the franchise; the latter became a rallying cry wondering if the Chiefs were ever going to turn the corner.

Every team plays a rotating schedule of opponents each year except for one thing - divisional match-ups. Each season, we get the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders twice and since everyone else rotates, the best we can do is to build ourselves to match up well against those clubs at the very least. Thus, you always hear about teams drafting or acquiring players based on their division opponents. This might seem an odd strategy, so here's an example:

Remember the Mario Williams draft? The Texans became the pinata to slam because they passes on Vince Young (home state hero) AND Reggie Bush (supposedly would revolutionize the RB position) to take the much-maligned Williams. Not to long after, GM Charlie Casserly is canned and Williams was booed. The reason the Houston Texans took such a PR hit and made the defensive line such a priority in the draft was because they knew they had to hold the ability to beat the Colts year in and year out to make any real headway in the NFL. Pressuring Peyton Manning twice each year is the only way the Texans would climb out of the cellar of the AFC South.

You see this all the time in the NFL and the Chiefs will be no different in the way they are constructed. Thus, the way we respond to the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders this season gives us an idea of how far we have to go, where we are weak and what our greatest needs (and assets) currently are. We split with the Raiders already, however that should easily have been two wins. The Chargers offered the opposite, outscoring the Chiefs 80-21 in the season series. Obviously, we have a long way to go on that one.

But in the middle sit the Broncos, who themselves split with the Chargers, but most recently were embarrassed 32-3. There are holes in the armor after the 6-0 start to their season and the Chiefs now sit and wonder how they will fare against their rivals.

A win against the Broncos, even at home, would represent a momentum win. It'd be a sign that the Chiefs aren't just the better of the two basement dwellers, but that the nucleus holds a real ability to climb in this division. Of course, it doesn't mean the Chiefs are going anywhere this year, but defeating the Broncos at least once in these last few games would show the distance between the two isn't that great. And that upon further roster building, the Chiefs will be players on a bigger platform.

Of course, losing twice to the Broncos might be what many expect - pundits and fans. And it would only confirm the worst of fears that the Chiefs, no matter what new players and coaches have arrived, are still farther away from truly competing than what any of us would like. Hence the reason that a strong showing and win on Sunday (or the last Sunday of the season) against Denver would give fans another momentum win to cling to.

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