Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Preseason Record: 1-3
Regular Season Record: 10-6, AFC West champions
Biggest question heading into the season: Can Charlie Weis fix Matt Cassel and the offense?
Entering the 2010 season, a lot of eyes were on the quarterback and the offense (which is a situation we are pretty familiar with – probably a little too familiar with). After a breakout 2008 season filling-in for an injured Tom Brady, Matt Cassel had a less than stellar 2009 as the Chiefs starting QB (2,924 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions). So in the offseason, Pioli determined the best way for Cassel to play like he did in New England, was to make Kansas City more like New England! Enter Charlie Weis.
The 2010 preseason, while unspectacular, brought with it a few glimmers of hope. Dwayne Bowe showed up kind of in-shape (which was a big deal) and seemed to have developed a rapport with Cassel, highlighted by a four-catch, 32-yard and one touchdown performance in the all important third preseason game. Another positive was Weis’ commitment to the run game (albeit, one that featured a little too much Thomas Jones), demonstrated by finishing the preseason second in rushing YPG. Finally, Kansas City’s rookies (Berry, Lewis, Moeaki, Arenas, and McCluster) were showing signs of making an impact right away, especially on special teams.
So how did these August developments translate to the regular season? Honestly, pretty well. Bowe hauled in a franchise-record 15 touchdown passes and was Cassel’s go-to receiver. Not to be outdone, Cassel flourished under Weis and turned in a Pro Bowl season with 3,116 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions! Charlie Weis proved that his dedication to the run in the preseason was no joke, taking his second-ranked preseason rushing attack to number one in the regular season. While the rookies didn’t quite live up to the preseason hype on special teams, Berry shone and went to Hawaii, while Moeaki gave us visions of another dominant TE named Tony.
Overall, the developments that occurred in the 2010 preseason turned out to be a pretty solid indicator of the kind of team the Kansas City Chiefs turned out to be.