Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Preseason Record: 0-4
Regular Season Record: 7-9, missed playoffs
Biggest question heading into the season: Can the Chiefs build off of a solid 2010 while dealing with the lockout?
After the tremendous season in 2010, expectations were sky high entering 2011, especially on offense. With the budding rapport between Bowe and Cassel, a more experienced Charles, McCluster, and Moeaki, and the addition of receiver Jon Baldwin in the first round, not many people were expecting Weis’ departure to derail this offense.
Then the lockout happened; mini-camp and OTAs were sacrificed, and coaches had no way to know if their players were keeping in shape. When a new CBA was agreed upon and players finally got to camp, coaches were unsure how hard to work them. Todd Haley ran notoriously light practices that year, focusing on keeping his guys healthy and fresh for the upcoming season.
The first three weeks of the presesaon didn’t do much to quell the fear; anybody who watched the Chiefs couldn’t help but notice that the offense looked lethargic, ranking dead last in PPG and 25th in YPG. Was this because of the lockout, Haley’s camp strategy, or the absence of Weis? Determined to turn it around, Haley played his starters deep into the fourth preseason, resulting in Tony Moeaki tearing his ACL and the offense losing a key piece before the season even kicked-off.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs offense (and fans), that was only the beginning. The team finished the regular season with: the fifth-lowest YPG, second-worst PPG, Jamaal Charles on IR (torn ACL in Week 2), and a new head coach (not to mention the D lost Berry to a torn ACL in Week 1).
Once again, another preseason which gave us some clear signs of what was to come. Maybe this whole preseason thing isn’t as meaningless as we think…