If the Kansas City Chiefs hope to meet the fairly lofty expectations most of their fans have for them this season, the offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is going to have ensure he has KC’s offense ready to hit the ground running when the Atlanta Falcons come to town in early September.
The Chiefs got off to slow starts on both sides of the ball in 2011 and Daboll, then the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, also saw his team get off to a terrible start. It was not until the Chiefs and Dolphins met in Week 9 that things changed for Daboll and Miami’s offense. Things finally seemed to click and the Dolphins hung 31 points on the Chiefs. KC only managed three points and the loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Chiefs while it ended an eight-game losing streak for Miami. The Chiefs would continue to sputter while the Dolphins went on to win five of their last eight games.
Both teams would go through regime changes in the offseason. Todd Haley got bounced to Pittsburgh and Daboll landed in KC.
In 2012, the Chiefs and Daboll can’t afford to get off to a slow start. The early schedule for the Chiefs is challenging and if the offense isn’t in synch with the defense, KC’s record is sure to suffer. The Chiefs’ first four games are against the Falcons, Bills, Saints and Chargers and none of those teams have problems scoring points. Romeo Crennel’s defense is expected to be strong but if the offense is flat, Eric Berry and company are going to have a tall order.
Can Daboll get the KC offense in synch quickly? Can he get Dwayne Bowe, who missed all of OTA practices in a contract holdout, up to speed if he shows up to camp as expected?
Most importantly, will he be able to get the most out of Matt Cassel? Charlie Weis showed in 2010 Cassel can ball in the right offense. Given Matt Moore’s success in Daboll’s offense in Miami, the new system may be even more Cassel-friendly than the offense Weis ran.
If he can’t, the Chiefs’ playoff hopes could be dashed by Halloween.