I’ve been trying to ignore what is going on with the Kansas City Chiefs.
It hasn’t been hard to do. I’m no longer writing for AA on a regular basis. This past week, my wife and I packed up everything we owned and moved from New York City to Chicago (just a one-hour flight from Arrowhead!) so needless to say, I spent most of the NFL preseason planning the move, ordering and filling boxes and stressing over the moving truck.
I watched the first preseason game surrounded by boxes that were stacked nearly to the ceiling. The TV was only visible in a little alleyway of U-Haul branded supplied and piles of moving blankets.
enjoyed endured preseason game #2 in much the same way. Only there were more boxes, piled higher. The Chiefs didn’t look too good but I shrugged it off. I didn’t have any time to worry.
I missed the all-important third preseason game in its entirety. Saturday was the day we drove from my parents’ house in Ohio to my wife’s parents’ house in Chicago. We arrived and parked the car just in time for the sky to open up, dumping sheets of rain on us and slamming us with powerful winds as we switched from a moving truck to a car so that we could battle the traffic on our way to pick up the keys to our new home. A few hours later, I finally made it to a computer but was too exhausted to keep my eyes open long enough to watch Tyler Bray matriculating the ball down the field. I’d missed the first half and the score certainly didn’t provide me with an extra punch of adrenaline.
Before passing out, I made my way into the AA Live Game Thread and managed to ask “What the hell happened?” Here is a sampling of the responses I got from the AA faithful:
Chris Tarrants Patrick Allen • 3 days ago
Reality set in to Mr. Dorsey that letting all those pro bowl players go wasn’t the best of ideas
Calchiefsfan Patrick Allen • 3 days ago
To say it wasn’t our day is a gross understatement. The Raiders are starting to look scary to me.
Dave Patrick Allen • 3 days ago
micah stephenson Patrick Allen • 3 days ago
Tomorrow the Chiefs will play one more preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. While I would love to see a little more production out of KC’s starters, I don’t think I am alone when I say I’d be just fine if Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Dontari Poe, hell, everyone on defense except the corners because does it really matter(?) and even Travis Kelce (cause someone needs to catch the ball) don’t so much as sniff the field.
Yes, the Chiefs have had a miserable preseason. The starting offense can’t seem to put the ball in the end zone, the defense is giving up the same kind of big plays that led to KC’s horrific and NSFW exit from last year’s playoffs and injuries, free agency departures and stupid suspensions have the 2014 Chiefs looking like a weaker, less-deep version of their 2013 counterparts.
But you know what? The Chiefs still have to play the games. I’ve seen enough preseason games to know that a handful of snaps in games with vanilla play calling and minus the likes of Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry, is not always an accurate picture of things to come.
If you aren’t concerned about the 2014 Chiefs, you’re drinking too much of the Kool-Aid. If you think the Chiefs are going 4-12, you are probably forgetting that KC managed four wins in 2009 with Todd Haley coaching and with a washed up Larry Johnson starting seven games at HB.
The fact of the matter is that the 2014 Chiefs are likely to take a small step back, rather than a giant leap forward or a slide back off a cliff.
The Chiefs have a questionable secondary and an inexperience offensive line. It also has what projects to be a fierce pass rush, the best RB in the NFL and a smart QB that can run and protects the football. It has a brutal schedule and also one of the most successful head coaches and game planners in NFL history.
Reid and Dorsey are still in the beginning stages of building their team. Instead of blowing things up ala former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, Dorsey managed to come in and turn the Chiefs into a winner while trying to construct a roster he and his head coach think can win a Super Bowl. That means the Chiefs are being forced to continue to pay high-priced, proven veterans while the wait for some of their draft picks and under-the-radar moves to hopefully pan out. It is a smart strategy but not one without challenges. Veterans are expensive, young players are mistake-prone, and that will lead to some roster holes and depth issues. It could also lead to the occasional 7-9 or 8-8 season.
The NFL’s best teams take an occasional step backwards. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have been masterful at turning over their rosters and allowing expensive veterans to leave while developing young players. Those teams have the rings to prove that their approach works.
You can never predict what is going to happen in the crazy world of the NFL. Not many people predicted that the Atlanta Falcons would struggle as mightily as they did last season. I also didn’t hear too many people talking about how the Carolina Panthers were going to have a dominant defense. I certainly didn’t see many (any) predictions that the Kansas City Chiefs were going to win their first nine games.
There will be plenty of time to panic later. For now, I say, enjoy the remaining days of summer, schedule your fantasy drafts and get ready for some Kansas City Chiefs football!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some boxes to unpack.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs