With only one game in the books it’s too early to get all down on the Chiefs and think our season is over because we lost at home to a superior opponent. However, this second game of the season is very important to how the rest of our year will shape out. Let’s take a closer look at the upcoming schedule and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
WEEK 2 – @ Buffalo – Coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of a divisional opponent last week, one would think the Bills are going to be “up” for their first home game of the year. Also keep in mind that this team destroyed us 41-7 in the opener last year in our house. This game could make or break the rest of the year. I see the Chiefs winning a close game 31-30 to keep the season alive. Chiefs record = 1-1.
WEEK 3 @ New Orleans – This is the reason why week 2 is so important. After watching Matty Ice and his receiving corps have there way with us in week one I expect much of the same from a Drew Brees led Saints offense. I don’t see how the Chiefs go into New Orleans and hang with that dominant offense. I know NO looked like crap the first week of the season but a lot can happen in two weeks time and Brees will right the ship. Chiefs record = 1-2.
WEEK 4 vs. San Diego – We get to come back to the “comfort” of Arrowhead for our first divisional match up of the year and this game will be HUGE. I use quotation marks on the word comfort because we haven’t exactly been very good at home over the past several years. As with most divisional games in the AFC West this one could go either way. I see the Chiefs pulling out their first home victory and evening their record to 2-2.
WEEK 5 vs. Baltimore – Again we will be playing one of the better teams in the NFL and I don’t give us a chance at all to win this game. Baltimore is just too good to lose to a team like the Chiefs. Chiefs record = 2-3.
WEEK 6 @ Tampa Bay – Judging by week one (never a smart thing to do) TB looks much improved on the defensive side of the ball. They held last years leading rushing offense to less than 50 rushing yards and looked strong doing it. I still think this is a team the Chiefs should beat even though it’s a road game. Chiefs win a close one in the final minutes. Chiefs record = 3-3.
NOTE: This takes us up to the bye week in the 2012 season. I’ve painted the optimistic picture so far because I honestly believe this team is better than last year’s version. The problem is that our schedule is absolutely brutal the first 6 games. We could very easily be 0-6 if we don’t pull out the win @ Buffalo to gain this young team some confidence. I could see us losing in Buffalo, getting spanked in NO, trounced by the Chargers, manhandled by Baltimore and then beat by an inferior team when playing Tampa on the road. If that happens this city is going to be on suicide watch.
I won’t delve into the second half of the season quite yet because I want to wait and see how we respond this weekend in Buffalo. I think getting to the bye week with a 3-3 record would be a nice accomplishment for this young team and build some confidence for the last 10 games of the year.
Our schedule lightens up significantly in the second half; 2 against Oakland, 2 against Denver, the weaker teams of the AFC North (Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincy), SD again, Indy and Carolina. A case can be made for the Chiefs finishing up around 6-4 against those 10 opponents so once again it goes to show how important the next 5 games are. I’m still a believer that we could win 9 or 10 games but that would be the high end estimate. Keep the faith KC, keep the faith!