No NFL Favors … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Check out the Chiefs 2011 regular season schedule, especially the second half of the season and it creates a very distinct impression that somehow Todd Haley must have really pissed off the guys at the league office that crunch the games and create the schedule.

The Chiefs knew that they were set to face a very demanding set of opponents over 16 games, including meetings against the NFL’s final four post-season teams and six games against teams from the playoffs.

What the schedule makers decided to do was put all of those teams together on the Chiefs schedule. In a span of 28 days from November 21 through December 18, Haley’s team will play five games in a football death march that’s the toughest stretch on any schedule in the league.

The Fabulous Five Marathon rolls like this:

I – Monday, November 21 @ New England. The Patriots are 5-1 in Monday night home games over the last 11 seasons. They were 14-2 last season, including an 8-0 record at home.

II – Sunday, November 27 hosting the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers in a prime-time game. Mike Tomlin’s team was 12-4 last season. And get this: they were 7-1 on the road last year, the best away from home record in the NFL.

III – Sunday, December 4 @ Chicago against the Bears that went 11-5 last year. Since Lovie Smith took over as head coach in 2004, the Bears are 14-5 at home in December.

IV – Sunday, December 11 @ New York Jets in the Chiefs first trip to the new Meadowlands Stadium. The Jets went 11-5 last year and reached the AFC Championship Game before losing to the Steelers. In the old Meadowlands, the Chiefs were a combined 2-11-1 against the Jets and Giants.

V – Sunday, December 18 hosting the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Enough said.

Seriously, check out the schedules of the other 31 teams and you will not find a five-game stretch that matches the meat grinder that Haley’s team will go through.

Now remember that on average five teams each year do not return to the playoffs the next year. So the tough schedule based on last year’s records doesn’t always shake out in similar fashion. But take a look at those five teams and they are not normally the teams that don’t repeat in the playoffs. Over the last six seasons (2005-10) they combined for 17 trips to the playoffs, six appearances in the Super Bowl and three championships.

It’s a helluva hurdle for Haley’s team without even knowing what will happen in the season’s first nine weeks. That’s no cakewalk either, with a trip to Indianapolis and two games against San Diego.

But that’s what happens when you win the division and the level of competition increases. If you want to talk the talk of a contender, a team has to walk the walk and that five-game stretch will be the most memorable part of the 2011 schedule.

Here’s how the schedule breaks down and let’s do it the way Haley likes – by quarters.

First Quarter

Day

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

TV

Sunday

September 11

Buffalo

Noon

CBS

Sunday

September 18

@ Detroit

Noon

CBS

Sunday

September 25

@ San Diego

3:05p

CBS

Sunday

October 2

Minnesota

Noon

FOX

FIRST GLANCE – three of the four opponents finished at the bottom of their division last year.

I’m going to bet that Gunther Cunningham already has that second game of the season circled on his scheduled. The Lions open on the road in Tampa Bay and then return to Ford Field for their home opener against the Chiefs.

Those back-to-back road trips are going to be tough ones for the Chiefs. Even with the Lions at the bottom of the league they went to Motown and lost in 2007, 25-20. The Chiefs are 1-6 in San Diego over the last seven years and in the last two seasons under Haley they have been outscored 74-14.

The Chiefs haven’t opened the season against Buffalo since the 1982 season. The Bills were 4-12 last year under Chan Gailey but they gave the Chiefs a run for their money at Arrowhead before losing in overtime 13-10. The Vikings haven’t come to Kansas City and left with a victory since 1974.

OUTCOME – They should be no worse than 2-2 after the first quarter and really should be able to sneak a victory out of Detroit for a 3-1 record.

Second Quarter

Day

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

TV

Sunday

October 9

@ Indianapolis

Noon

CBS

Sunday

October 16

Bye Week

   

Sunday

October 23

@ Oakland

3:05p

CBS

Monday

October 31

San Diego

7:30p

ESPN

Sunday

November 6

Miami

Noon

CBS

FIRST GLANCE – The bye week comes after five games and that’s not optimum, but its placement between a pair of big road trips to Indy and Oakland will be something the Chiefs will like.

Going to Lucas Oil Stadium and returning with a victory is hugely important for the 2011 Chiefs. The Chiefs have never won in Indianapolis, now holding a 0-6 record.

Another good part of this second quarter is having a Monday night game at home, and then having the next week’s game at home as well. All that should be a help for the Chiefs in keeping their legs strong and not weary.

OUTCOME – Here’s where the Chiefs definitely need to get an extra victory, something they can find in Oakland. A 3-1 record would leave them 5-3 at mid-season.

Third Quarter

Day

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

TV

Sunday

November 13

Denver

Noon

CBS

Monday

November 21

@ New England

7:30p

ESPN

Sunday

November 27

Pittsburgh

7:20p

NBC

Sunday

December 4

@ Chicago

Noon

CBS

FIRST GLANCE
– Ouch! There’s 60 percent of that five-game meat grinder falling in the third quarter.

The Broncos come to town under new head coach John Fox, who brought his Carolina team to Arrowhead in 2004 and left with a victory.

Gillette Stadium opened in Foxboro in 2002 and the Chiefs have yet to win a game there, going 0-2. There hasn’t been a victory in New England since 1990. The Chiefs have not been on Monday Night Football since 2005 when they lost at Denver.

Pittsburgh has played 10 games at Arrowhead since 1992 and the Chiefs have a 6-4 record in those games, including a three-point victory in overtime back in the 2009 season. Haley and his staff will have one less day to prepare for Pittsburgh as they’ll be coming home from that Monday night trip play the Patriots.

The Chiefs have never had much luck playing at Soldier Field; they have a 1-4 record in Chicago, last winning 21 years ago.

OUTCOME – They must protect their home field – the Chiefs need to finish at worst 2-2. Going 1-3 would likely leave them 6-6 with just one quarter of the season left.

Fourth Quarter

Day

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

TV

Sunday

December 11

@ N.Y. Jets

Noon

CBS

Sunday

December 18

Green Bay

Noon

FOX

Saturday

December 24

Oakland

Noon

CBS

Sunday

January 1

@ Denver

3:05p

CBS

FIRST GLANCE – The last four games don’t exactly provide the Chiefs with a chance to catch their breath after that tough third quarter schedule. Winning in New Jersey and Denver has never been something the Chiefs have gotten done. In the last decade+one, they are a combined 3-23 at Invesco and the Meadowlands.

Having those two division games parked at the end of the schedule should provide some theater. No matter the situations of the AFC West teams at that time, they will see those games as opportunities.

All four of those games are cold-weather outings and with the Packers coming to K.C. in December there’s no advantage there for the Chiefs. If anybody can handle a Missouri winter’s day it’s a bunch of cheeseheads from the North Woods.

OUTCOME – There’s just a sense that when the season shakes out, that final game in Denver is going to be very meaningful for the Chiefs. They need to go 3-1 in the fourth quarter.


13 Responses to “No NFL Favors … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • April 20, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    Ouch. I’m assuming that SD, DEN, and OAK all need to play the same teams too so at least there’s that…

    At this point I’m just hoping for a season at all though.


  • April 20, 2011  - RW says:

    Another way of looking at the schedule is those teams have to face the CHIEFS! If the team is truly a contender and has progressed to elite status, well, there it is.

    If they haven’t attained that status, then it could and probably will get quite ugly. Give me some help from free agency, whenever those doors open, and the draft at NT, RushBacker, WR, Oline, have them all work out, and I’ll pick the Chiefs in most of those games.

    Unrealistic? Perhaps but some team has to emerge to the next level. Why not the Chiefs?


  • April 20, 2011  - Tim says:

    Unless they really get a haul in FA at the right spots…especially a WR, 8-8 tops.


  • April 20, 2011  - KC#9 says:

    To be the man you’ve gotta beat the man. Let’s do this!


  • April 20, 2011  - el cid says:

    The entire West, basically, plays the same team so there is some balance but timing of when may play a bigger role. To bad for us.

    With this schedule, it was a bad time for the lockout and all it includes. To bad for us.

    Free agency, what Pioli will do here is a bigger question mark than the draft. Will there even be a free agent period? Clark has shown himself to be frugal in this regard. To bad for us.

    The draft, haven’t a clue. To bad for us.

    Still Haley got this team to 10-6 so there is hope for the overall season. Maybe no playoffs this year, puts us back on Pioli’s plan of watch out for 2012-15, to bad for me.


  • April 20, 2011  - BayouCitychief says:

    @El Cid

    It’s “Too” bad for us.

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. ;-)


  • April 20, 2011  - el cid says:

    Thanks could have used the help BEFORE I posted it. By the by, I stole the “el cid”, left the capitals for the real one, LOL


  • April 20, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    We knew a tough schedule was coming down the pike this year. Meaningful and possibly very rewarding victories are up for grabs, why not the Chiefs?

    Competition builds character and reveals toughness. I’m thrilled about the somewhat exhilarating schedule full of the leagues finest 2010 teams. I’m like most of you, an 8-8 finish would make us all proud. What really gets me excited though, is the opportunity for major upsets. Slaying any or all the NFL’s Crowned Goliaths would be memorable. Let the drooling begin.

    I find a way to make it to one home game a year. The thought of deciding which game to watch at Arrowhead will be my toughest challenge or if I’m lucky, maybe fate will decide for me.
    Go Chiefs.


  • April 20, 2011  - JT says:

    Bob, Don’t get too concerned over this just yet…there were a number of teams we worried over in 2010 that turned out to be pretty bad.


  • April 20, 2011  - Haley's Ego says:

    I’m with KC#9. I like it. If we do well this year…then we won’t have to listen to any of that “pussy schedule” BS again. So bring it on.


  • April 21, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    Why worry .. there isn’t going to be any season. The players and the owners are both to stupid and stubborn to get their act together and it will be repeat of the 1994 MLB strike.


  • April 21, 2011  - el cid says:

    I see a season with no free agency, no preseason, draft picks not being signed until after the regular season starts. Basically a practice season. Cost the fans the regular amount but everything will be tainted by the late start.

    What that means for the Chiefs, I am not sure. But since many are more than satisfied with the excuses used for the 09 draft, I suppose, they will buy into it is part of the Pioli process, whatever “it” is.


  • April 21, 2011  - RB says:

    Anonymous makes a very good point. How can we believe anything the owners or players tell us. They insult us when in this economy they cannot agree to divide up 9 billion dollars. The 9 billion dollars of revenue that they are fighting over comes from us the fans. However we do not have a union to represent us. We are paying for their lawyers and the $60,000 strike pay that each plyer is receiving. We pay for 2 useless preseason games a year. They tells us the preseason games are NFL games when in all reality they are college all star games. The tickets aren’t worth the prioe of the paper that the are printed on. All I can say is that I will not let them steal from me any longer. I cancelled my season tickets and I will only go when given free tickets or I will pay a fraction of the ticket price from the guys dumping tickets at game time outside of Arrowhead.




Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Categories

Other News

Archives


RSS


Pages

Home