Who will ever forget the fun of last season’s 9-0 start for the Kansas City Chiefs?
Anything was possible. Reaching the Super Bowl didn’t seem far-fetched. OK, that record was tainted by a relatively easy schedule, but you don’t get to 9-0 with smoke and mirrors.
The Chiefs were a good team.
And they should be a good team in 2014. Just don’t bank on 9-0.
Instead, the concern this season - based on the early-season schedule - is a rough start. The Chiefs open at home against the Tennessee Titans, a team that will, I believe, get better and better as the season goes along under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
You have to think Kansas City, a smack-dab-in-the-middle No. 16 in ESPN’s power rankings, wins that one.
Then it gets interesting. The Chiefs’ next nine games go like this:
At Denver. At Miami. New England. At San Francisco. At San Diego. St. Louis. New York Jets. At Buffalo. Seattle.
See any gimmes there? Any Oaklands?
ESPN’s power rankings - worth the paper they’re printed on, I suppose - have Seattle at No. 1, Denver at No. 2, New England at No. 3 and San Francisco at No. 4. San Diego (11), the Jets (21), Miami (22), St. Louis (24) and Buffalo (29) are the others in the mix from Weeks 2 through 11.
And we know how the Chiefs play in Buffalo, don’t we?
So how many wins in those nine games? Three? Four? Certainly no more than that.
The Chiefs’ Sept. 21 game at Miami shapes up as a huge one. Kansas City likely will be 1-1 with a home game against New England and roadies at San Francisco and San Diego coming up.
A loss to the Dolphins sets up the Chiefs for a 1-5 start with home games against St. Louis and the Jets looming. Both of those teams have big offensive question marks, but it’s no picnic taking on the defensive units from either squad.
The schedule does get a little easier after a Week 11 home game against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Both games against Oakland fall among the final six games of the regular season. Also included are home games against Denver and San Diego along with road tests against Pittsburgh and Arizona.
Oh, let’s just get to it game by game, shall we?
Sunday, vs. Tennessee - Win
Sept. 14 at Denver - Loss
Sept. 21 at Miami - Loss
Sept. 28 vs. New England - Loss
Oct. 5 at San Francisco - Loss
Oct. 19 at San Diego - Loss
Oct. 26 vs. St. Louis - Win (iffy)
Nov. 2 vs. New York Jets - Win
Nov. 9 at Buffalo - Loss
Nov. 16 vs. Seattle - Loss
Nov. 20 at Oakland - Win
Nov. 30 vs. Denver - Loss
Dec. 7 at Arizona - Loss
Dec. 14 vs. Oakland - Win
Dec. 21 at Pittsburgh - Win
Dec. 28 vs. San Diego - Win
That adds up to 7-9 with three straight wins to end the season. It’s going to be a much different season for the Chiefs in 2014.