Despite a rough start to the season this past weekend, Kansas City Chiefs fans can still have hope that this season will end positively. After suffering through a disastrous and tragic 2-14 season in 2012, I imagine most Chiefs fans are praying that the 2014 Chiefs do not offer a repeat performance from 2 years ago, but rather a repeat of last year. And although it might be tough to have optimism after watching the Chiefs this past Sunday, Coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey are building a deep and talented team that will compete for years, rather than winning only in the short-term. I decided to piece together some reasons that Chiefs fans can still have hope this season will end well:
First of all, WR Dwayne Bowe is back after serving his 1 game suspension for marijuana possession last fall. Without him, Donnie Avery stepped up against the Titans (7 catches, 84 yards), but Bowe forces a defense his way (leaving more room for Jamaal Charles to run), plus he is a great downfield blocker (taking away more defenders from Charles). Plus, he did lead the NFL in receiving TD’s in 2010; thus, his presence will be very welcome in Denver.
Second, the Chiefs have Eric Berry. Need I say anymore? He is a #beast in the backfield, and he recorded a career high 14 tackles in the season opener. If Justin Houston and Tamba Hali can disrupt Peyton Manning’s timing, Berry could have a field day with several interceptions.
Third, Jamaal Charles has owned Denver in the past. Remember this game? Charles went crazy in a meaningless season where he SHREDDED the Denver defense. And no one currently talks about how good Denver’s defense is. Seriously, who can stop Charles on Denver’s defense? Charles can singlehandedly save the Chiefs’ season this Sunday by posting an encore performance of that January day in 2010 that knocked the donkeys out of the playoffs.
Fourth, the Chiefs’ new kicker, Cairo Santos, is only a rookie and he is bound to have some ups and downs this season. He got tips from former Chief Ryan Succop after the loss, which hopefully helps. And at least Santos’ 2 field goal attempts banged off the uprights! They could have completely missed everything Lin Elliot-style and then the Chiefs would really be in trouble. I have no doubt Santos bounces back, although another shaky game is a major cause for concern. The thin air in Denver should help Santos place the ball where he wants easily and build his confidence back up.
Fifth, Peyton Manning is old. And frail. And Justin Houston started his contract year with 2 sacks. Houston is hungry for more, AND he wants to get paid. If Manning doesn’t release the ball within 3 seconds on every snap this Sunday, he is going to be eating Mile High turf and taking cortisone shots at halftime.
Sixth, no one expects KC to win. In the NFL, anyone can win on “Any Given Sunday” (just look at what Tennessee did this past week!). KC is due for a win in Denver, and if they can bring the surprise factor and put Denver in a hole and keep Manning off the field, they could breeze to a victory and bring back some respectability. And does anyone expect Alex Smith to throw 3 interceptions in one game again? Or 2 players hurt their Achilles? The Chiefs’ fortunes are bound to change.
Finally, Denver is weaker this season than last. They will be without Wes Welker. Their running back is Montee Ball and their O-line is not very good and will not be adept at protecting leads late in a game. Denver defensive backs gave up 370 yards to Andrew Luck last week. Peyton Manning is one solid hit away from retirement. Denver’s wide receivers dropped at least 6 passes. The Chiefs should be ready to capitalize on any Denver mistakes.
For all of you Chiefs fans out there, have faith and cheer on the boys in red this Sunday. Go Chiefs!