During the 2010 season, the Kansas City Chiefs became of member of a unique club. By no means was the club an elite club but it is definitely a unique club. The Chiefs joined the worst-to-first club. A rare club that includes NFL teams that went from last in their division to first—in one off-season.
It was a great year for the Chief, their fans, and Kansas City. Last season almost appeared to sweep away several frustrating years when the Chiefs failed to even scratch the playoffs. The Chiefs went 2-14 in 2008 and 4-12 2009. After two straight years of being in the cellar, last season’s 10-6 record gave the Chiefs first place in the AFC West Division and earned them the privilege of hosting a playoff game.
Kansas City seems to have a knack for going from last to first, as 2010 was not the first time for the Chiefs to achieve this feat. The Chiefs first became a member of this club in 2003, when they finished the season with a 13-3 record after finishing 8-8 the year before.
Last year was a good year for the Chiefs and the expectations for this year are just as high. The Chiefs continued to build the team through the draft and free agency. The Chiefs drafted players like Jonathan Baldwin, who has done nothing beside have Thomas Jones put him in his place, Justin Houston, and Jerrell Powe. All three, among other draft picks, have tremendous upside and the Chiefs are hoping that they blossom into serious contributors.
After the retirement of Mike Vrabel and the release of Brian Waters the Chiefs also brought in some much need veteran leadership. The Chiefs added Kelly Gregg to improve the defensive line and mentor Powe along the way. The Chiefs also added offensive veterans LeRon McClain and Steve Breaston in hopes of making the offense more explosive then it was in 2010.
With all the additions the Chiefs made this off-season one would think that they should improve in 2010. However, based on the history of worst to first this is not a given. Looking at the history of worst to first teams since the NFL and the AFL merger in 1970 paints a pretty grim picture for the Chiefs in 2011.
Since 1970, teams have improved from worst to first place 28 times, including the Chiefs team of 2010. Here comes the bad news for the Chiefs in 2011. Of those 28 teams that went from worst to first only two teams were able to maintain their first place finish the next year. Two! The Baltimore Colts in 1976 and the Chicago Bears in 2006.
I believe that the Chiefs have the players and the coaches to repeat in 2011. History, however, is against the Chiefs and says that they will not be the third team to repeat. Two out of 28! Those are some unbelievable odds to face.
Chiefs Nation: What do you think about the Chiefs chances to repeat in 2011?