The Kansas City Chiefs begin their quest for a rebound year when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The Chiefs were riddled with injuries in the 2011 season, which helped pave the way for head coach Todd Haley’s release. Heading into the 2012 season, the Chiefs are back to full strength and are filled with optimism.
Even so, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves as an underdog on the NFL odds when the Falcons visit. It seems like the odds makers and pundits just don’t believe in this team quiet yet.
The Falcons offer a win-win opportunity for the Chiefs. If the Chiefs can get the win, they’ll have upended a team supposedly higher on the Super Bowl totem pole than them and will quickly gain credibility. If the Chiefs lose, then they haven’t lost much credibility because they weren’t expected to win.
Even so, the NFL isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about wins and losses, and the Chiefs should have a good chance to win on Sunday. The Falcons are a dome team that typically plays much better at home than away, and if the preseason is any indication, they’ve become a one-dimensional passing offense, which the Chiefs should be able to handle.
Kansas City looks to have a good ground game on their side with Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles leading the way. If both running backs are producing on Sunday, it will allow the Chiefs to keep the Falcons explosive passing game on the sidelines where it can’t do any damage. It should also provide their own offense with the balance they need to keep moving the chains and scoring points.
Some people might be underestimating the Chiefs for Week 1 but they’re more than capable of getting the win and announcing their arrival as a playoff contender in 2012.