There’s simply no way to sugar coat horse plop: last year’s 2-14 Kansas City Chiefs were abysmal. We all know this, and we all know why. Godawful quarterback play. A worthless coach. Players failing to play to their potential. Players who played to their potential not playing cohesively as a unit. Suicide.
Quite honestly– particularly when considering the whole Jovan Belcher thing–it really couldn’t have been much worse.
So owner Clark Hunt went out this offseason with the sole purpose of turning a bunch of bullshit into… bull salad? He got a fresh-faced general manager, a change-of-scenery-faced coach and armloads of new players: Anthony Fasano. Mike DeVito. Sean Smith. Dunta Robinson. Some quarterback guy.
But will it be enough? Can the lowly Chiefs cast off the shackles of abject failure and once again become the team the city knows and loves?
Here’s my game-by-game prediction. I think some of you may be surprised. (And then again, maybe you won’t. I suppose it really just depends on what you think the Chiefs are going to do this year.)
On with it!
The Jaguars are terrible. In fact, there’s a very real chance that they’re as bad as last year’s Chiefs. That said, they’ve got Maurice Jones Drew and some good, young wide receivers. (Good thing they don’t have a quarterback who can get them the ball with any sort of consistency. LOOKING AT YOU, BLAINEY.) I don’t think this is a blowout, by any means, but I think the Chiefs take a close one to start the season. W
Sunday, September 15th, 12:00PM, vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are one of the NFL’s biggest enigmas, year-in, year-out. Just when they seem on the precipice of putting everything together, they drop a mediocre 8-8 season. They still don’t have a running game that can adequately compliment their passing efforts, but Dez Bryant finally coming into his own certainly lessens some of that blow. But this is kickoff at Arrowhead, and that still means something… maybe. I think the Chiefs win a close game that never really seems all that close. W
Thursday, September 19th, 7:25PM, at Philadelphia Eagles
ANDY REID OVERDOSES ON CHEESESTEAKS DURING HIS RETURN TO THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE. I don’t think the Eagles are a very good team. Mike Vick is and forever will be Mike Vick, which is either pretty amazing (not all that often these days) or mind-blowingly terrible. They’re a team in transition—perpetually, it seems—but I don’t think they choke on a national stage. I think Vick gives the Chiefs’ defense fits, and Philly wins big. L
The Giants are always good. Even when they start off the season looking like sautéed garbage, they somehow manage to win their last five, secure a Wild Card, and breeze through the playoffs, making a conceptual mockery of “home field advantage.” But this is still early in the season, when a Giants game can go either way. So call me crazy, but I think KC frustrates Googly-Eye Manning early and often, and the Chiefs win this one by double-digits. W
Sunday, October 6th, 12:00PM, at Tennessee Titans
I like Titans’ QB Jake Locker, but I still don’t think 2013 is the year he puts it all together. He’s still young and capable of making poor decisions, which the Chiefs’ revamped secondary will capitalize on. Chris Johnson isn’t the Chris Johnson of that one remarkable season and the kind of decent other ones, but he’s got a nice new compliment in Shonn Greene. Honestly, this is a really hard game to call. The Titans perplex me this season, so this could be a coin flip. Since it’s in Tennessee, I’m going to default to the home team. L
Sunday, October 13th, 12:00PM vs. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have basically named former Ohio State ne’er-do-well Terrelle Pryor as their opening day QB. The Oakland Raiders, as per usual, are poised to be a very bad team. The chances that Pryor is still starting in game six against the Chiefs are slim, and the alternative really isn’t much better: an inexperienced Matt Flynn. This one is a blood bath in the good guys favor. W
This is the middle game of a three game home-stand which SHOULD be a tremendous boon, but I think the Chiefs get crushed. Houston’s offense is a perennial juggernaut (despite the propensity for QB Matt Schaub to have an occasionally inconsistent game, they’ve got the ridiculous Andre Johnson and TD machine Arian Foster to carry the weight) and I’m fairly certain defensive end J.J. Watt could single-handedly squash the Chiefs all by himself. This one doesn’t even feel close, unfortunately. L
Sunday, October 27th, 12:00PM, vs. Cleveland Browns
Hey, Cleveland: cool team, you guys! I think that number six overall pick Barkevious Mingo is going to be an absolute stud (and the name of my next dog, without a doubt), but he is surrounded by other Cleveland Browns, which doesn’t bode well for anyone. The Chiefs will obliterate the Browns, and the city of Cleveland will collectively shrug, because hey, they’re the Browns and they’re kind of used to it by now. W
Sunday, November 3rd, 12:00PM, at Buffalo Bills
The Bills are mostly a wreck. Mark my words: there’s a very real chance that TYLER THIGPEN could be located, signed and starting for hapless Buffalo by November. He’s just hanging around right now, playing some golf and recreationally boating, but HE’S KEEPING IN SHAPE, you betcha, just in case that call comes. I honestly feel bad for Buffalo… I really do. It’s like Cleveland, only shittier. This is a definite W.
BYE WEEK. SWEET, MERCIFUL BYE WEEK.
Sunday, November 17th, 3:05PM, at Denver Broncos
After the Colts ditched Peyton Manning, and before he signed with the Broncos, I wrote a column that basically said, “PEYTON MANNING NECK NO WELL; HE’S NECK WILL BRAKE SO PLS DON’T SIGN HIM CHEEFS.” Obviously, I’m an absolute fucking idiot. I’m willing to admit that. After Thursday night’s performance against the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, it’s pretty clear that Manning is completely fine and will throw for 215 touchdowns this season. If they played the Chiefs 16 times in 2013, they’d win at least 15 of those contests. L
Thank God that the Chargers are bad now, which will allow the Chiefs to win this game. W Because…
Sunday, December 1st, 12:00PM vs. Denver Broncos
JESUS LORD HOW IS THIS FAIR TO PLAY THEM TWICE IN THREE WEEKS? Look, I already covered this one. I don’t care if the Arrowhead crowd is so loud that Manning’s ears explode and he has to play this game with nothing but smoking, bleeding holes on either side of his head: THE BIONIC QB CANNOT BE STOPPED. This one might end up a little bit closer on account of the home field advantage, but I think the Broncos still win with ease. L
Sunday, December 8th, 12:00PM at Washington Re*****s
Robert Griffin III is no Peyton Manning, but he’s not exactly chopped liver, either. Provided that Mike Shanahan hasn’t shattered RGIII’s knee to smithereens by this point in the season, I think the supremely talented young man runs roughshod over a tired, recently Manning’d Chiefs’ D. L
Sunday, December 15th, 3:00PM, at Oakland Raiders
There’s a good chance that I’LL be quarterbacking the Raiders by week 15, and although I’ll be better than Pryor and Flynn, I’m still not much of a threat to do anything other than hand the ball to Darren McFadden while shitting my pants in terror. Therefore, I think the Chiefs win this game. W
Sunday, December 22nd, 12:00PM vs. Indianapolis Colts
I think the Colts are a handful of players away from being once again regularly dominant, but they’re definitely well on their way. And while it would seem that maybe Arrowhead gives KC a slight edge in this one, I’ve got a terrible feeling that the Colts pull it out late. (Which is better than “too late,” which is what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Harley 60-something years ago.) I also think this will be a high-scoring affair, so take the over. Even if it’s set at like, 100. L
And this is the dagger. San Diego is bad, but Phillip Rivers will have one of those beautiful, lucid moments in senility where he doesn’t turn the ball over, throws for 300+ yards and doesn’t call his son by the name of a brother who’s been dead for 42 years. These moments occasionally happen in the winter of our years, but unfortunately, this one will happen at the expense of the Chiefs. L
So there it is, my season prediction. 8-8. No playoff spot, obviously, but a marked improvement from last year’s abomination. The good news (or bad news, depending on how you look at life) is that I’ve got them going 6-3 before the bye week. So at least we’ll have excitement and intrigue for a good portion of the season, I suppose.
But enough about me… how do YOU think they’ll fare in the 2013 campaign? Sound off in the comments section, but please keep it under 1,500 words. (I didn’t.)
As per usual, find me on Twitter, @StanfordWhistle