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Wednesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

When you finish 2-14 and you are stuck in flyover country, you are never going to see many breaks when it comes to scheduling in the NFL.

LIONS CLAIM WILL FRANKLIN/DETAILS AFTER THE JUMP

That’s certainly the case for the Chiefs as they hit the field this fall for the first year of Pioli/Haley Era.

When you are struggling team, all games are tough ones. But no matter how you slice this schedule cheese, the Chiefs got handed some smelly slices.

Take their season opener. Rather than allow them to begin at home, the league sent them on the road, to face a Ravens team in Baltimore that reached the AFC Championship Game last year. There was the perfect matchup available for that game either home or road, against the Denver Broncos.

In the 50th season of the American Football League, the league should have honored the memory of the league’s founder Lamar Hunt with a home game against one of the original eight. That could have been Denver. It would have made all the sense in the world. And the Broncos were available; instead they will travel to Cincinnati to open the season.

Here’s another reason that Broncos-Chiefs opener would have been great theater: Matt Cassel. Why shouldn’t Denver’s new head coach Josh McDaniels start his career trying to stop the quarterback he wanted so badly and who led to the divorce with Jay Cutler.

See, that matchup would have been a natural, but when the guys and computers in the league office never considered it because the Chiefs aren’t good enough on the field, or powerful enough in league circles to catch a break.

If you want another example of that fact just check what the league handed the Chiefs in the weeks after their home opener against Oakland. They face Philadelphia, the New York Giants, Dallas, Washington and San Diego in consecutive weeks. That’s three teams that made the playoffs last year. That’s four teams from the NFC East, last year’s second best division; none of those teams had a losing record in ’08.

If the ’09 Chiefs are still in one piece by their bye week, the pressure comes off a little bit as they have only one game in their final nine against a team that had winning record last year: the Pittsburgh Steelers. But by then, the damage will likely be significant.

The Chiefs needed all the help they could possibly get to sell tickets this year. Having the Giants and Cowboys early was good. But they also got stuck with a three-game homestand in December against Denver, Buffalo and Cleveland. There will be plenty of tickets available for those three games.

Then, they get to finish up with two cold-weather games on the road in Cincinnati and Denver.

Overall, the 13 opponents the Chiefs will face this season had a .484 winning percentage during the 2008 season. That ranks 17th among the 32 NFL teams. The toughest strength of schedule belongs to Miami, with a .594 winning percentage and the easiest is Chicago with a .414 winning percentage.

The Chiefs face five teams that had a winning record last year (Pittsburgh, Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia and Baltimore.)

They have 10 games against teams that finished the year at .500 or better (the above five, plus San Diego and Denver twice.)

And they have six games against teams that finished ’08 with a losing record (Oakland twice, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Buffalo.)

Some other notes and quotes worth mentioning about the Chiefs schedule:

  • When the Chiefs play the Broncos on January 3 and the Chargers on November 29, those will be the 100th meetings with the Chiefs (regular and post-season).
  • The Cowboys visit to Arrowhead On October 11 will be their third, joining trips in 1989 and 1998. The Chiefs won both of those games.
  • On September 27, the Chiefs will make only their second trip to Philadelphia in the 40 seasons the teams have shared residence in the NFL. The only previous time they played in the City of Brotherly Love was 1998, when they beat the Eagles 24-21. Thus, it will be their first visit to Lincoln Financial Field. That will leave the new Dallas stadium as the only current NFL stadium the Chiefs have not played in.
  • The game on October 18 will be only the second Chiefs visit to Washington in the last 26 seasons. They were there in 2001, when they beat the Redskins, coached by Marty Schottenheimer, 45-13.
  • They will make their first visit to Jacksonville in five years on November 8. The Chiefs have played there four times and they are 1-3.
  • On November 22, the Steelers arrive in Kansas City for the first time since 2003. This will be the sixth season after a Pittsburgh triumph in the Super Bowl that the Chiefs have faced the defending champions. In five previous games, the Steelers are 5-0, winning by an average of 28 points.

And, not surprisingly the Chiefs were shutout of Sunday and Monday night football games. They have not played a Monday night game since September 26, 2005, when they lost at Denver. They’ve not hosted a Monday night game at Arrowhead since November 11, 2004, when they lost to New England.

By the end of the ’09 season, the Chiefs will have gone 49 games since they played under the lights. The last time it happened was on December 23, 2006 when they played the Raiders in Oakland in an NFL Network game. They haven’t played a night game at home since the Thanksgiving Night game in 2006 against Denver.

FRANKLIN DRAWS INTEREST ON WAIVER WIRE

Less than 24 hours after he was released by the Chiefs, WR Will Franklin has a new home. He was claimed on waivers by the Detroit Lions.

In fact, five different teams put in a claim on Franklin. The Lions, due to their 0-16 season last year, still get first rights on all waiver claims and they scooped him up.

Although Pioli/Haley have not had anything to say about the move with Franklin, word is the Chiefs were unhappy that Franklin showed up for the off-season program out-of-shape and overweight. Thus, his departure may have been a warning shot or an example for others as to what happens if you aren’t dedicated to the program.

FROM THE LAND OF JURISPRUDENCE

Former Broncos RB Travis Henry apparently has reached a plea bargain agreement with Montana prosecutors and he will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. Henry is expected to appear in court on Thursday and he reportedly is facing a mandatory 10 years in prison as well as $4 million fine.

According to FOXSports.com, former Baltimore safety Daren Stone has been suspended by the NFL for four games. Why he’s being punished is not known. He played last season for both Dallas and Baltimore, including spending the post-season with the Ravens. Stone was released in the off-season and is not currently under contract to any team.

SIGNINGS AND MOVEMENT IN THE NFL

STEELERS – re-signed QB Charlie Batch.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on April 15, 1960 in Oakland was LB Ken McAlister. He spent four years with the Chiefs, playing in three seasons (1984, 1986-87), appearing in a total of 19 games, with 11 starts. He had two interceptions during the 1984 season, when he was the Chiefs starting left outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense.

Born on April 15, 1972 in Cincinnati was S Melvin Johnson. He played four seasons in the NFL, including his last season in 1998 with the Chiefs. Johnson joined the club in a trade with Tampa Bay, as the Chiefs gave up a sixth-round draft choice. He played in seven games, with one start in that ’98 season.


30 Responses to “Wednesday Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • April 15, 2009  - Merwin says:

    Bob, you said the Chiefs have a home game against the Browns. Then play the Browns on the road. For those that have not seen it, here’s the schedule from NFL.com.

    Wk Date Matchup TV Time
    1 Sun, Sept. 13 at Baltimore Ravens CBS 1:00 p.m.
    2 Sun, Sept. 20 vs. Oakland Raiders CBS 1:00 p.m.
    3 Sun, Sept. 27 at Philadelphia Eagles CBS 1:00 p.m.
    4 Sun, Oct. 4 vs. New York Giants FOX 1:00 p.m.
    5 Sun, Oct. 11 vs. Dallas Cowboys FOX 1:00 p.m.
    6 Sun, Oct. 18 at Washington Redskins CBS 1:00 p.m.
    7 Sun, Oct. 25 vs. San Diego Chargers CBS 1:00 p.m.
    8 Bye
    9 Sun, Nov. 8 at Jacksonville Jaguars CBS 1:00 p.m.
    10 Sun, Nov. 15 at Oakland Raiders CBS 4:05 p.m.
    11 Sun, Nov. 22 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers CBS 1:00 p.m.
    12 Sun, Nov. 29 at San Diego Chargers CBS 4:05 p.m.
    13 Sun, Dec. 6 vs. Denver Broncos CBS 1:00 p.m.
    14 Sun, Dec. 13 vs. Buffalo Bills CBS 1:00 p.m.
    15 Sun, Dec. 20 vs. Cleveland Browns CBS 1:00 p.m.
    16 Sun, Dec. 27 at Cincinnati Bengals CBS 1:00 p.m.
    17 Sun, Jan. 3 at Denver Broncos CBS 4:15 p.m.


  • April 15, 2009  - DerekfromDC says:

    Is there really a difference between Cleveland and Cinncinnati? You never see both cities in the same photograph or in the same place at the same time. Curious, no?


  • April 15, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    I do agree Bob that it would have been nice to have that Denver game to start at Arrowhead. Half the teams do have to start on the road though and this year we drew the short straw. The toughness of the schedule is all opinion based on the way our opponents played last year. So what if several of the teams we start with made the playoffs last year. What does that REALY mean? Some of the teams that made the playoffs last year wont make it this year. Some that didn’t make it last year will make it this year. What does that mean? It means none of us really know how hard this schedule is. I refuse to get all worked up about it….they are all NFL teams….and the Chiefs had better be ready to play anyone….because the playoffs wont be any easier than our schedule.


  • April 15, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    Bob’s Error, not type-o’s, average is about 1 per every other post in the last month. For a writer/columnist thats pretty frequent, I hope he is alright and nothing is wrong, for a man thats known for getting it right and not posting or writing about just hear-say & rumors. Is it just in a hurry and the lack of time to proofread?

    Hope everything is ok Bob, from a concerned & avid reader.

    GO CHIEFS!!!!! w/”The Right 53″


  • April 15, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    Well…it is Tax time. Maybe that is it.


  • April 15, 2009  - Scott says:

    Harold C. says:
    “I refuse to get all worked up about it….they are all NFL teams….and the Chiefs had better be ready to play anyone…”

    Exactly!!! I agree 100%. To BE a good team, you have to BEAT good teams. At home…AND on the road. Period.


  • April 15, 2009  - SBIVVictors says:

    I don’t think the schedule is that bad at all, and really don’t think playing the NFC East in four consecutive weeks is a big deal, either. We play at Philly after the previous week at home, then play the Giants and the Cowboys at home.

    The only thing that bothers me is that the three game home stand in December against Denver, Buffalo and Cleveland may not be as advantageous as thought. All three teams will have 10 days to prepare for us as they all play on Thursday of the previous week.


  • April 15, 2009  - colby says:

    Geez Bob, complain a little more about the schedule why don’t you. I’d rather read your mock first round….


  • April 15, 2009  - burnsomatic says:

    Who cares about the schedule, anyway. They have to line up with anybody the leage puts infront of them no matter what. No use in crying over something we cant change.

    Go Chiefs


  • April 15, 2009  - SBIVVictors says:

    We play against a number of teams this year in which we have some of our worst head-to-head records – including our five worst records head-to-head. Hopefully this year we can start getting payback.

    1. Giants: 2-9 all-time (.182)
    2. Jacksonville: 2-5 (.286)
    3. Pittsburgh: 8-17 (.320)
    4. Dallas: 3-5 (.375)
    T-5: Philadelphia: 2-3 (.400)
    T-9: Buffalo: 16-20-1 (.444)


  • April 15, 2009  - Double A says:

    The disparity of night games in the League is the only thing that really chaps me…I thought the NFL tried to promote the entire league?!?

    Why the ‘h’ do I want to see Dallas six times? (I don’t.) All fans of the NFL should get a chance to see every team play a night game.


  • April 15, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Anonybob is doing these threads.
    No way in hell bob wrote these last few threads!
    It’s not the typos, Bob has always been bad about proof reading. It’s the style and context that gives this charade up!

    Where is Bob!?

    Is he sick or what?


  • April 15, 2009  - Mark says:

    This still doesn’t fully explain why the Chiefs didn’t try to shop Franklin among obviously interrested teams, and come out with at least a late rounder.


  • April 15, 2009  - Scott says:

    Mark,

    Franklin caught seven passes for 83 yards…and he returned one kickoff for 16 yards.

    No team is going to give ANYTHING for a player with numbers like that. He showed up out-of-shape, which basically says “I don’t really care”…and was shown the door. Sounds like a good move by the Chiefs, to me. Haley has said repeatedly that he wants players that are “all in”. I’m guess that this means he isn’t kidding.


  • April 15, 2009  - Mark says:

    Scott, FIVE teams put in a waiver claim for him, so there was some intetest. Whether that interest would have translated into a 6th or 7th round pick is unknown, but it “seems” the release was a pique of anger, spur of the moment thing. I’m not knocking the relaese, but the timing seems strange, and the lack of looking to get something, anything, seems strange.


  • April 15, 2009  - colby says:

    I’d say the release of Franklin was more about setting the tone early. Somebody was going to get axed and Donnie Edwards, Surtain and Huard don’t count because they were merely cap casualties. Merritt and Macklin were character-related releases so that’s different as well. (Are they going to cut Colclough who also had a DUI this offseason?)

    While I agree with Mark that the Chiefs may have snuck a 7th rounder from a team with a good record (Philly) that didn’t have a realistic shot of claiming him on the waiver, it wouldn’t have had the same impact.

    I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that the Chiefs will make some big moves in the days leading up to the draft. Signings, and/or trades for both players and picks. LJ,TG,and BW better watch out.

    Hang on to your hats!


  • April 15, 2009  - Nick L. says:

    I remember the days we would kill for home games in december, remember when we had won about 12 or 13 straight home games in dec? Oh how the times have changed. This year we have three and peeps are complaining. I agree with harold, no use getting all worked up bout the difficulty of our schedule based on last years teams, things rapidly change in this league, except for a few obvious teams that seem to be good year in and year out who knows what the rest will do this year, ITS A NEW SEASON and im excited!


  • April 15, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    I agree NICk L. December is the most important month and we have 3 home games.

    Why dont the “PEEPS” be real fu*#n fans and show up this year!!

    Lets get Arrowhead rockin!!


  • April 15, 2009  - Scott says:

    Well…a waiver claim is a lot different than giving up something for a player. It won’t cost a team much to bring him in, and see what he’s got. Who knows, he might have a change of attitude after this…and be a little more dedicated. It’s not like he “tore it up” last year, anyway. For a team desperate for receivers…sure, it’s worth the chance. We’re not that desperate. And there’s no guarantee that he’ll even make their team. Or anyone’s team.

    It might have been out of anger, or spur of the moment. I could see that, easily. But, I think Bob was right. I think it was an example to others that “if you’re not serious about your job…you’re outta’ here”.


  • April 15, 2009  - Scott says:

    colby says:
    “I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that the Chiefs will make some big moves in the days leading up to the draft. Signings, and/or trades for both players and picks. LJ,TG,and BW better watch out.”

    I heard the rumor that KC could be looking at trying to bring in Julius Peppers somehow.


  • April 15, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    It seems like business as usual to me. The Chiefs, since the AFL joined the NFL, have always been about what is best for the NFL. The owner and GM never, repeat never, make waves for the NFL. Remember the Chiefs interest in hair sticking out of helmets while they vanished off the prime time map (so much for “respect” for the owner).

    Every year we get excited about what will come but truthfully I do not expect much, not like Atlanta last year. I like what was done but am still wondering when the bright future will arrive.

    Signing/trades doubt much except for Tony G. moving on. Franklin apparently arrive for workouts with a big target (literally) on his back, made a good example for the team, and was a cheap firing.

    Lastly, said before love this site but something is odd with no spell check, wrong dates, etc. Bob, it bears you name not sure it has your hand on it.


  • April 15, 2009  - ArrowheadHawk says:

    Aggravated a-hole,

    Call me superstitious but Heisman trophy winners have a HORRIBLE record in the NFL as far as getting to the super bowl ( and winning it). I’d just as soon skip on Bradford and Teibow and get some other QB. Maybe that’s just me but the last guy I know of who made it to the SB was Tim Brown (is that the right name ) with the Raiders and they lost to Tampa Bay. Take it for what it’s worth…..


  • April 15, 2009  - findthedr says:

    thanks for the inside info Mr. Gretz.

    It is a real stupid reason to cut Franklin when all they were doing is workouts (whose point is to get players in shape).


  • April 15, 2009  - Jody says:

    Franklin isn’t a lost. He doesn’t play special teams. He has less than average hands and he showed no commitment to get better. Next.


  • April 15, 2009  - anonymous says:

    I don’t buy this crap about Franklin being outta shape, More to it than that. Chiefs need any and all talent that they can get, we don’t know how good Franklin would of/could of been in a Chiefs uni, and neither could Haley!

    He either pissed someone off or got into some sort of trouble.


  • April 15, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    After the last two seasons surely no one expected the Chiefs to get a favorable schedule. They are going to have to earn that.

    As far as strength of schedule goes, come on Bob! You know that at this point that doesn’t hold water. I promise you the teams that had Miami and Atlanta on there schedule last year were licking there chops while no one wanted to play Green Bay. And I could go on and on.


  • April 15, 2009  - ricky-poo says:

    Some of you mention, correctly, that the difference between good and bad in this league can be a fine line year to year so what’s in a schedule? None of you, though, mentioned that it could be the Chiefs everyone should be aware of. One of those teams that slip under the radar and become one of the following year’s strength of schedule foopaws. Here’s to hoping so.

    Also, I am going to again remind you all that it was Herman Edwards’ brainchild and courage to field such a young and inexperienced team which this new regime inherits. If this team wins 6 or 7 games, who is to say that Edwards could not have done this, also? I’m not going to simply forget what Edwards was trying to do. It made since from a football perspective but not neccessarily from a business standpoint. Edwards was a sacrifical lamb and his efforts should not be so causually passed over. I also felt this way about Gunther Cunningham after he was fired as head coach. Wasn’t granted that one hump year. The one that could have gotten them over the hump. Oh well … I’ll never know. Too bad, though.


  • April 16, 2009  - ArrowheadHawk says:

    Aggravated a-hole,

    I wasn’t saying Tebow was a better QB than Bradford or insinuating that I saw a better QB in next years draft. I’m just saying that I’m spooked on drafting a heisman trophy winner ( at ANY position ) because they rarely get to the Super Bowl and win. Call me superstitious, that’s just how I role……




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