NFL Preseason Preview: Kansas City Chiefs Look for Positives Before True Test
The Kansas City Chiefs certainly do remind me of a roller coaster. When you’re up at the top, everything looks great. You can see for miles around and everything below you becomes an afterthought.
For instance, when the Chiefs won the division in 2010 before the last week of the season, it seemed like they were going to be real contenders in the playoffs. That was the top of that part of the roller coaster and that’s when the downswing started. After getting annihilated by the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens back-to-back, the Chiefs had a questionable training camp and a dismal beginning to the 2011 season, getting outscored 89-10.
The Chiefs went on to lead the division, if only for a little while, after four straight victories. That was definitely a high point because the state of the season would further deteriorate to the point of former head coach Todd Haley being fired.
After that, the Chiefs went on to win two of three games to end the season, falling just short of the playoffs. Since then, the Chiefs had a seemingly-solid training camp with a few bumps here and there and it looked as if the team was ready to begin contending this season for a division title after beating the Arizona Cardinals fairly- handily.
Then we soon find out, as it turns out, that Arizona just isn’t that good–as if we didn’t know that. The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks rip the Chiefs a new one in back-to-back weeks and Kansas City’s fanbase has to constantly remind itself that the preseason doesn’t count. Although these numerous ups and downs are not exclusive to the Chiefs, it’s an interesting pattern, is it not? The Chiefs hope to come out of this latest negative stretch when they take on the Green Bay Packers in the most meaningless preseason game of the year.
That, in itself, is interesting too. This last game is supposed to be a meaningless game where the starters hardly see the field, if at all. Yet, there’s talk that the Chiefs starters could play a lot more in this game than you would normally expect to see starters on other teams play in a game like this. I find this problematic.
Instead of using this game to answer questions about backup positions, this game is being billed as a tune-up game and a motivator for the starters. A motivator? What exactly motivates you, if you’re the Chiefs starters, about hopefully beating the snot out of Green Bay’s second and third-stringers? If you do win that game, it doesn’t affirm anything except that your starting lineup can hang around and compete against the scrubs of the league, in which case, congratulations? But what if Kansas City manages to lose that game? Wouldn’t that actually serve as a confidence killer?
I’m not exactly sure what to say about this game, except that I can’t wait to get it over with so we can start looking towards the Atlanta Falcons game. The reason I tune in to this game at all on Thursday is to see how the backups are coming along and who likely wins what backup role. I don’t think our starters, like Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and so on down the line should be playing in this game at all, especially after what happened last year with Tony Moeaki.
In fact, I’d trot Brady Quinn out there right away to give him as much time as I could out on the field to get his last game reps before the season starts. I understand the confidence thing. You want your guys to gain more confidence in their abilities going in to a very tough season-opener. But do you get that against Green Bay’s backups? I don’t know about that.
Question for the readers: Do you get amped up at all for the last preseason game of the year? Do you tune in at all? Why?
Thank you for reading, and as always, be respectful if you comment.