Dec 16, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant (90) extends for Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 15-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs At The Halfway Mark

Last week, I predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would complete the first quarter of the season with a winning 3-1 record. Let’s take a look at the second quarter of the season, which rounds out the easier half of our 2013 season.

Once again, here’s the entire 2013 schedule, with last year’s records in parenthesis:

Quarter 1

  1. @ Jaguars (2-14)

  2. Cowboys (8-8)

  3. @ Eagles (4-12)

  4. Giants (9-7)

Quarter 2

  1. @ Titans (6-10)

  2. Raiders (4-12)

  3. Texans (12-4)

  4. Browns (5-11)

Quarter 3

  1. @ Bills (6-10)

  2. Bye week

  3. @ Broncos (13-3)

  4. Chargers (7-9)

  5. Broncos (13-3)

Quarter 4

  1. @ Redskins (10-6)

  2. @ Raiders (4-12)

  3. Colts (11-5)

  4. @ Chargers (7-9)

How much can the Chiefs improve upon their 3-1 record? Let’s take a look!

Week 5: @ Tennessee Titans: The Titans were 6-10 last year but had three significant upgrades in the offseason. First, they drafted guard Chance Warmack in the first round, who most say will be an All-Pro guard for years to come. Second, they brought in two individuals who will change the tempo and attitude of the defense – former Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard and Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty-gate fame, who is now the “Senior Assistant Defensive Coach” for the Titans. Pollard said last week: “Our responsibility is to protect LP Field, and our responsibility is to steal wins on the road. And our responsibility is to (beat you up) as a defense, and that’s what we’re going to do on every single play. You have to have that mentality because nobody cares about the Tennessee Titans. Nobody. So you have to take the respect. That’s what we have to do. … Yeah, this team can get to the Super Bowl.” Are words alone enough to make the Titans a contender in the tough AFC South, fighting the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts? Probably not. But the Titans will play tough this year, on the shoulders of running back Chris Johnson and a new defense (as an aside, the Titans picked up one of my favorite defensive end backups – Ropati Pitoitua from the Chiefs!). Playing at home, I think the Titans win 14-10 in a defensive struggle.

Week 6: Oakland Raiders: This is the year the Chiefs sweep the Raiders. Earlier this summer, Owner Mark Davis fired one of the most respected PR guys in the country, Zak Gilbert, for a story that Davis found unflattering. That tells me that the more games Davis gets under his belt, the more he will start meddling, just like his father Al did. New GM Reggie McKenzie is smart and talented, but smarts and talent only go so far when you’ve got an owner with a twitchy trigger finger who thinks that the mere fact of owning a team means you know football the best. There’s a darn good chance the Raiders will enter Week 6 with a 1-4 record. The finger-pointing will have begun, and that’s more than new quarterback Matt Flynn, new free agent and future Hall of Fame defensive back Charles Woodson and injury-prone Darren McFadden will be able to overcome. Chiefs destroy the Raiders at Arrowhead 38-13 and Jamaal Charles rushes for 200 yards.

Week 7: Houston Texans: Damn, this game is going to be rough. The Texans are stacked with great players, like Arian Foster, Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt, linebacker Brian Cushing, left tackle Duane Brown and cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Although the game is in KC, I fear that the Texans’ elite offense and defense will be too much for the Chiefs. As good as their offense is – and I love watching Arian Foster run – their defense is downright scary. The Texans take it to us, 24-10.

Week 8: Cleveland Browns: This game is a must-win for the Chiefs for the first half of the season. We have to win the games we “should” win – against inferior opponents, at home. The Browns were 5-11 last year, with rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and rookie running back Trent Richardson. I’m not sure Weeden is going to be successful, and apparently, neither are the Browns, because they brought in veteran Jason Campbell to back him up. Meanwhile, receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for two games and returner Josh Cribbs is no longer there. The most interesting offseason upgrade was bringing in former Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner as Offensive Coordinator. The biggest story though, is the potential indictment of owner Jimmy Haslam for fraud. It’s quite possible that by the time the Chiefs play the Browns, Haslam will be out or this controversy will be at full boil. It’s no wonder the Browns took a pass on this year’s draft, trading away picks for additional picks in 2014. The Chiefs will put an Arrowhead-style smackdown on the Browns, 42-7.

I have the Chiefs finishing Quarter 2 with a 2-2 record, bringing them to a 5-3 record at the halfway mark. Here’s where I think our divisional rivals will be:

Team

Opponents

Quarterly Records

Overall Record

Denver Broncos

Ravens (lose)

@ Giants (lose)

Raiders (win)

Eagles (win)

@ Cowboys (win)

Jaguars (win)

@ Colts (lose)

Redskins (win)

2-2

3-1

5-3

San Diego Chargers

Texans (lose)

@ Eagles (win)

Titans (win)

Cowboys (win)

@ Raiders (win)

Colts (lose)

@ Jaguars (win)

BYE

3-1

2-1

5-2

Oakland Raiders

@ Colts (lose)

Jaguars (win)

@ Broncos (lose)

Redskins (lose)

Chargers (lose)

@ Chiefs (lose)

BYE

Steelers (lose)

1-3

0-3

1-6

At the midway point, the Chargers lead the division with a 5-2 record and the Chiefs and Broncos are tied at 5-3. Addicts, what’s your prediction for the second quarter of season play?!

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