The Kansas City Chiefs trounced the Green Bay Packers last night (putting up 30 points, even—their most in a preseason contest since 2003), thereby completing the most uninteresting time of the year: The Time When Games Don’t Count.
It doesn’t really matter that they end August with a record of 2-2, or that Tyler Bray threw three touchdown passes, or that Chase Daniel looked horrid against mostly backup defenders. No one should care that the starters didn’t play a lick, or that the Packers finished the preseason 1-3, or that Cyrus Gray had a standout effort in the victory. (Well, except for Gray; he’s battling for a roster spot on a squad fairly heavy in the RB department.)
All that REALLY matters is that the Chiefs remained relatively healthy (save Tony Moeaki, who I’m now convinced would be able to injure himself reading a periodical, or, I don’t know… standing completely still) and primed for the season opener September 8th against the miserable Jacksonville Jaguars.
You know, When Games Start Counting.
To be honest, I’ve spent more time aimlessly staring at my socks over the past month than I have watching any of the preseason games. I know that I SHOULD care about what on-the-bubble third string wide receiver shows promise, but come on. The Royals have been playing (mostly) winning baseball, and that’s a whole heck of a lot more intriguing than whether some scrappy young kid from the mean streets of Duluth can lock down a spot as backup, backup left guard/emergency long snapper.
HBO’s Hard Knocks make this kind of thing compelling, but just watching the games is a total waste of time.
Additionally, every Keyboard Quarterback from Liberty to Lawrence has hard-hitting, well-informed analysis that they’re ALL too willing to share with the world through various social media platforms. Here are some takeaways that I’ve culled from aimlessly wandering the internet:
1) Alex Smith is the worst.
2) Alex Smith is the best.
3) Alex Smith is dreamy.
4) The offensive line is going to be awful.
5) Tight End depth is an issue.
6) Andy Reid—what a fatty!
7) Hey Andy Reid, nice mustache, fatty!
8) The defense will be much better this year (but we’re not sure why).
9) This team will finish (insert anything between 2-14 and 11-5).
11) Andy Reid: Still fat.
I don’t recall the last time I’ve seen people so wildly speculative before the beginning of any Chiefs season. That’s a testament to roster turnover, mostly, but it’s also indicative of a fanbase’s disappointment, conditioning, and years of shattered hope.
The thing is, Andy Reid can coach players, and there’s a lot of talent on this roster. Yes, he has problems with game management, but did a questionable timeout kill this team last season? Hardly. You’ve gotta be IN games to have in-game decisions matter; my hope is that Reid can coach his talent pool into situations where his time-clock concerns might actually count. That would mean that the team is in a position to win. And that’s exciting.
My analysis is this: The Kansas City Chiefs will play at least 16 games this season, and they’ll win more than they did last year. (And yes, I recognize that this is a perennial “D” student celebrating a solid C in Current Events, but whatever.) I think Alex Smith will be much, MUCH better than his predecessor—again, D Student Syndrome—and I think that they’ll keep things interesting until late in the season, at least.
And although anything short of a Super Bowl IS COMPLETE AND UTTER HORSESHIT, THIS ISN’T BALLET YOU PUSSIES AND THERE AIN’T NO SECOND PLACE, ETC.—I think that after last year’s carnival of terror (both on the field and, sadly, in the parking lot), most people will be happy with something a little better than mediocrity.
I know I will.
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