Posted 09/04/2011 at 12:02 PM
After winning ten games last season this numbers clearly predicts a fall for Kansas City, even though the AFC West is considered one of the weaker divisions in football. Kansas City only went 2-4 in the division last year however and on the year the Chiefs outscored opponents by just 40 points despite the 10-6 record. Last season the Chiefs got to play all four teams in the NFC West, all teams that finished with losing records and that accounted for four wins on the season. The Chiefs also got to play the four teams in the AFC South which was a fairly mediocre division last season and Chiefs went 2-2 in those games. As a result of being a fourth place team in 2009 the Chiefs also drew Buffalo and Cleveland and though Kansas City barely snuck by in both of those games they did win both of those games. The Chiefs were a team that made the most of a favorable draw last season although it was clear in the playoffs that the gap between Kansas City and the top AFC teams was still quite large.
This season the Chiefs are due to fall significantly as the schedule will present serious challenges. The reward for being in first place last year the Chiefs draw games against Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, two teams that none of the other teams in the division will have to face. The AFC West faces the NFC North teams and the AFC East teams and the Chiefs and the Chiefs will have to play on the road against the Jets and Patriots. Only two road games all season will be against teams that were worse than .500 last season, and those two games are not easy situations, facing an improved Detroit team early in the year and then playing at Denver in cold weather in week 17. From week 11 to week 15 the Chiefs will face a brutal five-game gauntlet playing at New England, Pittsburgh at home, at Chicago, at the Jets, and then Green Bay at home. It would be an upset if Kansas City wins any of those five games and the early season schedule also has several tough games.
Kansas City has been a mess this preseason and while Coach Haley has proven to not put great emphasis on the preseason the numbers have been especially ugly this season. Kansas City has scored just 23 points in three games with no touchdowns from the first team offense. Matt Cassel has completed just 44 percent of his passes and after a breakthrough season Jamaal Charles has looked quite containable. The Chiefs have three very difficult road games before a week 6 bye and there have been a lot of negative reports from camp in Kansas City from players showing up out of shape to fights among teammates. Overall the Chiefs look like a team that was very fortunate last season and should take a big step back with a very tough draw this year.