Aug 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kevin Boss (80) attempts to break between St. Louis Rams defensive back Rodney McLeod (38) and Rams linebacker Justin Cole (52) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Expectations For The 2012 Chiefs Season

It is the start of another Chiefs season. Merlin has been a very bad writer and, before Paddy gets out his whopping stick, I better get some thoughts out. Preseason started with a bang. The Chiefs looked great against the Cardinals. Then, things went downhill, fast. Generally poor play and a banged up defense is not how you want to start any season. With a tough early slate of games, the Chiefs do not have the luxury of easing into the season. For the preseason, I expected the defense to be ahead of the offense. However, the opposite has taken place. Matt Cassel looks far more comfortable with Brian Daboll than he ever did with Todd Haley. What are reasonable expectations and concerns for the offense and defense this season?

Matt Cassel has to manage the offense, getting the ball into the hands of the playmakers. He does not lack for them. This team has more playmakers than any Chiefs team since the Trent Green offenses. I expect Brian Daboll to do for Dexter McCluster what he did for Reggie Bush. With Charles, Bowe, Breaston, Boss, Moeaki, Hillis, McCluster and a solid offensive line, there are no excuses for failure. Expect the Chiefs to be a run-first team this year using a single back and two tight ends. Cassel better stay healthy. Stanzi isn’t ready and Quinn is not impressive at all.

I am concerned about the offensive line. Rodney Hudson has to establish himself as a starting center. Also, depth is a concern. Outside of Jeff Allen, there isn’t a ready talent available. I would not be shocked to see Allen back up both tackle spots as well as both guard spots.

This defense has the talent to be a top 10 defense. Even expecting little from a rookie Dontari Poe, the Chiefs are loaded. I am not sure I am buying Anthony Toribio as a good starting nose tackle, but still. I would like to see more of Jerrell Powe. I do expect Romeo to work his magic and get a ton out of the defense.

However, lackluster play and injuries to Flowers and Lewis are concerning. Those two players could end up with nagging injuries all year that limits the effectiveness. Secondary depth is not great, even though Scott Pioli continues to draft defensive backs. Chiefs fans need to hope that Flowers and Lewis are back to close to 100 percent soon. Also, they need to hope that the lackluster defense was a product of preseason vanilla defensive schemes. The Atlanta game should prove a huge early test.

I do expect the Chiefs to win 10 games and take the division. With a difficult opening set of games, I may be reaching for my antacids quickly. I don’t think the Chiefs can get far in the playoffs. Frankly, Matt Cassel hasn’t proven he can have good games against good teams. He can’t carry the Chiefs far, but the Chiefs can carry him far.

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  • Calchiefsfan

    Agreed Merlin on just about everything in this post including 10 wins and taking the division. I watched a lot of our division rivals this preseason and I have to say Manning does look good but Denver has too many problems on defense that hopefully we will be able to exploit with all of our weapons.
    My main concern is still our o line. Winston was a great pickup and we should be much better, but will it be enough? We have always struggled against big, powerful d lines like Baltimore, Oakland and Detroit. When our o line struggles Cassel doesn’t play well. I’ll be glad when Jeff Allen replaces Lilja. I think he brings more bulk and strength. I’m hoping that Hudson can play well from the start, he has big shoes to fill replacing Weigmann.
    I would also like to see more of Powe. I really have nothing more to go on but a gut feeling, I just feel that Powe is a guy that given more playing time will really be able to dominate at nose tackle. For me the verdict is still out on Dontari Poe. I know Crennel is crazy about this guy but I still have bust factor fears about him. The rest of the D I’m really high on and even with the uncertainty at NT I think they will be a top 10 defense by the end of the year.