It’s a question that’s been debated since Jamaal Charles dashed for the franchise record in rushing yards last January in Denver.
A lot of fans like to stamp a record by their expectations, as wins and losses are the most important statistic in ANY sport. Is it fair? Somewhat. As fans, expectations are what drive us to be fans. So what’s it gonna be? 5-11? 6-10? 11-5, as some crazed fans are suggesting?
For me, wins and losses aren’t that important this year. Of course, they’re important overall, but they aren’t going to be how this team is judged in the end. In the NFL, a game can be won or lost on the first or last play of the game. Momentum is huge. Playmakers are the lifeblood of any team. Like Al Pacino said, “It’s a game of inches”. So if the Chiefs catch a few bad breaks, it could be another season in the dumpster for the Chiefs. If they catch a few good ones, then we’re going to have one hell of a Fall and Winter here in KC.
But expectations are important.
I want this team to improve in every facet. I want to see Brandon Flowers go from the best cornerback on the Chiefs, to the best cornerback in the AFC West. He has tremendous talent and instincts. He’s the best corner to don the Red and Gold in decades. After the atrocities of Eric “EWI” Warfield and Dexter McCleon during the Dick Vermeil days, it’s been a joy to see Flowers develop into a star. The third year out of the draft for any young player is the big one and we could see Flowers go from local star, to the type of player that opposing teams scheme around. This is a big year for him. I don’t need the big interception numbers. He’s going to make plays. Spectacular, gamechanging plays.
I want to see Matt Cassel go from nervous sack magnet, to confident field general. He takes too much time delivering the ball to receivers. But he’s got the skills. He marched this team down the field several times during the final stages of a few games last year and we saw it in the game against Atlanta last week during the first quarter when the Chiefs offense marched the ball downfield for a touchdown. He has a good abilty to see the play develop in front of him, but he takes too much time. He’ll never put up big numbers, but his bread and butter will be the way he distributes the ball to playmakers like Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster.
I want to see marked improvement from Tyson Jackson and the defensive front seven as a whole. They were terrible last year. 22 sacks in total. Derrick Thomas once had 20 in a single season. Elvis Dumervil had 16.5 last year. We need to establish a pass rush if this team is going anywhere. Andy Studebaker is showing some real promise. I hate the race-similarity comparison that we see so often with white wide receivers to Wes Welker, but Studebaker could be a player like Mike Vrabel was for New England. Vrabel was an undrafted rookie free agent and fought his way to the top of the list as far as linebackers go. Tyson Jackson HAS to improve. He doesn’t seem to get it. He’s a physical specimen to say the least.Maybe he’s similar to Mario Williams and needs a few years to really reach his potential. Glenn Dorsey…nevermind.
I want to see a calmer demeanor from Todd Haley on the sidelines. Haley was a psycho on the sidelines last year. Maybe it was a little bit of nervous energy combined with frustration and insecurity. The quiet confidence shown by a coach can work wonders for their team. It’s alright to get fired up, but Haley definitely went overboard last season. Gotta keep that temper in check at least until halftime. I like Todd Haley a lot. I just don’t want him shooting himself in the foot.
So there’s the short list. I’ll go into detail when I write more posts, but for now, that’s what I’m looking for this year. As far as a record goes, if everything goes horribly wrong for the Kansas City Chiefs this year, I say 4-12. If everything goes to plan, I say 6-10. If things go incredibly well for the Chiefs…ha, well then I think we could see a winning record from our boys. But we’ll see. The season starts September 13. I’ll be there, hoping the ball bounces our way.