Chiefs to Face Browns in their Home OpenerSeptember 18th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge
The Chiefs travel to Cleveland tomorrow to face the Browns in their home opener. Though the Browns lost last weekend, they’ll have confidence facing the Chiefs. They beat the Chiefs last December 41 to 34 in Kansas City. And in doing so, embarrassed our defense by rushing for 351 yards as a team. I guarantee you that they’re licking their chops in anticipation of facing the Chiefs again.
This just has all the feelings of a trap game to me. The Chiefs are coming off a huge emotional win Monday night (or Tuesday morning) against their division rivals San Diego. This gives them a short week of preparation, and they have to travel to Cleveland to play the Browns in their home opener. I don’t have the numbers, but I suspect that the travel team during a short week is likely to lose.
This becomes a truly interesting test for the Chiefs. I do believe that the Chiefs are better than the Browns. The final score may not show it.
Prediction: Browns 24, Chiefs 20
Thoughts on the San Diego Win
Wow, now THAT was a great win for the Chiefs. Just a few thoughts about the game.
1. The rookies showed up big with contributions from Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Moeaki and Lewis. I don’t recall a rookie class for any team ever having as much impact as this group in just one game. The future looks bright for this draft class.
2. The defensive line showed real flashes of ability. I thought Dorsey looked like a playmaker out there. And it looked like Jackson, Edwards and Smith were playing well. This is a good sign for the Chiefs who got little production out of their defensive line last year.
3. Congrats to Todd Haley, who coached by far the most conservative game of his career. The Chiefs got up 21-7, and Haley decided that punts were safer than potential first downs. And it worked. It wasn’t pretty. But it worked. Many are wondering if this is an indication that Haley and Weis have lost faith in quarterback Matt Cassel. I wouldn’t read too much into any of this. The conditions of the game were atrocious. And Haley made a calculated decision on the team’s best chances to win the game. Just imagine the outcry from fans if Cassel had been sacked and stripped of the ball, and the Chargers had won the game on the turnover.
4. The special teams are special. Last year the Chiefs did a good job in covering kicks and punts. And now they’ve added two fantastic returners to the team with Arenas and McCluster. Wow! All you need to do is win two of three phases of the game, and it looks like on most Sundays that the Chiefs are going to win on special teams.
Can the Chiefs Win the Division?
There’s a very interesting article from Martin Manley, who is a blogger for the Star, that you need to read. Here’s a link. And here are a few highlights from the article.
Of the ten teams in the last seven years that have won 13 games, they averaged winning 7.8 the following season. That’s exactly 40% drop in wins. Only one team of the ten had double-digit wins the following season.
Over the last seven seasons, there have been 15 times when a team went from last in their division to first the following year. Since there have been 56 division seasons since 2002, that means 27% of the time a team went from last (or tied for last) to first (or tied for first).
The bottom line here is that based upon history, the odds of the last place team winning the division are better than a 13-win team winning it the following season.