A year ago I wrote this blog entry to explain how I learned to cuss and preview the Chiefs 2011 Season. In that post I picked the Chiefs to go 7-9. While I didn’t pick the correct 7-9, they did go 7-9 and a lot of what I was worried about then came to fruition. I guess that looks good on me. Had I completely missed I would have written some self-depreciating piece on how I don’t know anything about sports.
I had a good feel for that Chiefs team even though it wasn’t a good feeling. I have no idea what the 2012 version of the Chiefs will do. And I don’t think the lack of feeling comes from a lack of paying attention to them. There’s a new coaching staff. Players that were injured last year are healthy, but are they all the way healthy? What is Matt Cassel going to do with a better offensive line and a new offensive coordinator? And if those questions weren’t enough, new injuries have cropped up, and rookies are starting because of those injuries. There is just so much no one knows about this team.
That’s what’s cool about sports, and the NFL in particular where roughly 50% of the playoff teams turn over every season. At noon on Sunday the Chiefs are going to tee it up against the Atlanta Falcons and we’re going to get some answers. As the season unfolds we’re going to get all the answers. It’s compelling for sure. I’m sure of a few things. I’m probably going to cuss some, and fist pump some. Below is what I think will happen. In four months we’ll know if I know anything or not. Hopefully I’m wrong, especially during Week 17.
Week 1: Atlanta : Since I’m not really sure what this team is going to be I’m going to rely on Arrowhead magic for a Chiefs win on Opening Day. 1-0
Week 2: At Buffalo : The Chiefs needed overtime to beat the Bills at Arrowhead in 2010. Last year they destroyed the Chiefs on Opening Day 41-7. Both teams should be improved but it’s a road game, which statistically means a loss. 1-1
Week 3: At New Orleans : Last time the Chiefs went to the Superdome is was embarrassing. Unless the Chiefs develop a pass rush without blitzing by this game it’s going to be embarrassing again. 1-2
Week 4: San Diego :For some reason the Chargers’ brains fall out when they come to Arrowhead. It’s a divisional game which means it’s the cliché “You can throw the records out when these two teams get together”. If the Chiefs look inept in weeks 1-3 I’m still calling this a win. 2-2.
That’s one quarter of the season. I have the Broncos at 3-1, Chiefs and Chargers at 2-2, and the Raiders at 1-3 through this point in the season.
Week 5: Baltimore : Baltimore is a popular pick to win the Super Bowl. They came into Arrowhead during the 2010 Divisional Game and took the Chiefs to the woodshed out behind Lot M. I expect the Chiefs will be seeing that woodshed again during Week 5. 2-3.
Week 6: Tampa Bay :Have no idea how, but the Chiefs win this one. Just call it one of those weird NFL things. 3-3
Week 7: Bye : Go to a pumpkin patch or something.
Week 8: Oakland : Divisional Arrowhead Magic strikes again. Win! 4-3. The Chiefs are above .500 for the first time this season.
Week 9: At San Diego : Full disclosure. Because of the ambiguity of this team I have the Chiefs winning all the division home games, and losing all the division road games. Because that’s normally how it works. Or like last year when they lost the home games and won the road games. Loss. 4-4.
We are halfway through the season. By now some of you have abandon your Fantasy Teams. Hopefully I’ll have won the office pool a few times. Here is how I have the division at this point. Broncos and Chargers at 5-3, Chiefs 4-4, Oakland 3-5. In Week 10 at all four AFC West Teams play on the East Coast.
Week 10: At Pittsburgh on MNF: I think this game is winnable. But I’m sticking to the script. Loss. 4-5
Week 11: Cincinnati : Cincinnati is supposed to be terrible. Win. 5-5
Week 12: Denver : I don’t care if it’s Peyton Manning. Division home game, Win. 6-5
Week 13: Carolina : Cam Newton at Arrowhead. I fear he will have a career game. Loss. 6-6
We are three quarters through the season now. We’ll be doing Christmas shopping while refreshing HardballTalk for news about the baseball winter meetings. Hoping the Royals have made a move that actually matters. By now, the Chiefs will have established themselves as a middle of the road team. With games at Oakland and at Denver remaining The Chiefs will hold their playoff destiny in their own hands. I have the rest of the division like this: Broncos 7-5, Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders at 6-6.
Week 14: at Cleveland : Cleveland should be the worst team in the league this season. The Chiefs should win this game to get to 7-6. Denver will lose at Oakland, and the Chargers will lose at Pittsburgh. There is a three way tie for the division lead. The Chiefs still have road games at Oakland and Denver.
Week 15: at Oakland : This is where knowing a team’s personality would go a long way in figuring out who they are. This is a game a serious playoff team should win to help lock up their division and prove that they can win big games in December. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this out of this Chiefs team. It might be there, but it hasn’t shown. All things being equal it’s a road division game. Loss. 7-7. Oakland is the only AFC West team to win this week. Raiders take the division lead.
Week 16: Indianapolis : Andrew Luck is going to be good. But not good enough to win at Arrowhead in December against a team in the playoff hunt. Win. 8-7. Everyone but the Chargers is tied for the division lead.
Week 17: at Denver : The Chiefs will roll into Denver with a chance to win the division. The first game against Peyton Manning and the Broncos the Chiefs got lucky. You only get lucky in the NFL a few times before things even out. I don’t see the Chiefs getting it done. They will lose and have a record of 8-8. Denver wins which puts them at 9-7 and that will be good enough to win the division. I will cuss a lot and see when pitchers and catchers report.