The news that Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali is suspended for the first week of the NFL regular season was an unexpected early blow to the team’s hopes of turning around last year’s disappointment, and fulfilling it’s potential as a legitimate AFC West dark horse. But good teams see problems as opportunities and that’s how the Chiefs are going to have deal with the loss of Hali. Some points to consider…
*The first and most important—it’s only one game. I don’t want to be overly casual, since it is very likely that Kansas City will be fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot and/or division title. But every team will have to step up and win a game without a key player at some point in the season. While you’d prefer the situation not to be self-inflicted, it’s also something Kansas City can overcome.
*The game he will miss is a home game. The Atlanta Falcons will be the opponent and if this were in the Georgia Dome, the Chiefs would be going in facing an already tough situation without the one man most likely to pressure Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan. Instead, the Chiefs not only have the home crowd behind them, they have the practical benefit of playing outdoors on grass, perhaps slowing down the Falcons’ passing game a bit.
*If all else fails, this is a game against an NFC opponent, the ones that matter the least in the tiebreaker scenarios at the end of the season.
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