There's a lot of emotion flying around One Arrowhead drive and throughout Chiefs Nation after two of the worst losses in franchise history. The Chiefs have lost arguably their two best players on each side of the ball (Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles) and appear no closer to establishing an identity than they were when general manager Scott Pioli arrived three years ago.
Since the Chiefs opened training camp last August, it's safe to say things have gone from bad, to worse, to outright disastrous. So with morale at an all-time low, many have begun campaigning for a 16-loss season and the first pick in the NFL draft next April. But there is one glaring problem with the "Suck for Luck" movement – if you jump on that bandwagon, you will have to wait 12 months to see if Andrew Luck is a legit NFL quarterback.
And let's not forget the last time Kansas City drafted a quarterback in the first round, (Todd Blackledge). For those of you still in diapers 27 years ago, tune into CBS Saturday morning (where Blackledge covers college football) to see how that first-round quarterback selection turned out.
Chiefs fans not wanting to sit through a 0-16 season is understandable but the odds will tell you that is not likely to happen. A winless season (pioneered by the 2008 Detroit Lions) has only occurred one time since the NFL expanded to a 16-game regular season schedule and it probably won't happen to this Chiefs team either.
It would be easy to label the few remaining Chiefs optimists (if there are still any outside Arrowhead practice facility) as being blinded by their red and gold-tinted glasses but these faithful few may see more than meets the eye.
So what positives could any right-minded Chiefs fan take from back-to-back thumpings from two of the NFL's typically awful teams? Here are a few reasons the sky is not yet falling in Kansas City:
• There is no doubt that losing running back Jamaal Charles is a setback for this Chiefs team but don't forget the Chiefs have two proven rushers in Le'Ron McClain and Thomas Jones ready to carry the load. If you add in big-play threat Dexter McCluster, the Chiefs still have a legitimate rushing attack. Even without Charles for the bulk of Week 1 and 2, the Chiefs are still the seventh-best rushing team in the NFL.
• Todd Haley deserves a lot of the blame for how his team has performed all the way back to preseason but he also deserves credit for motivating his players. Haley's preseason preparation was obviously a monumental flop but now he has his back up against the wall. Knowing the kind of coach, and man, Haley is he won't ride off into the sunset without a fight. If Haley can get a player like Derrick Johnson to turn his career around after five disappointing seasons, don't count him out of turning the Chiefs around after just two games.
• Lost in the negatives of last Sunday's 48-3 loss in Detroit was the re-emergence of All-Pro wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. In focusing on the Matt Cassel's three interceptions, many overlooked that Bowe broke the 100-yard mark despite having almost no help in the receiving game. Although the debut of first-round draft selection Jonathan Baldwin is still weeks away, his addition to the Chiefs' offense will only aid Bowe.
• Entering this season, KC's defense was focused around letting Eric Berry utilize his rare talents. In losing Berry early in Week 1, the Chiefs were forced to reevaluate their defensive scheme. The good news is that Kansas City has one of the best defensive minds in all of football and if anyone can coach up second-tier talent it's Romeo Crennel. This defense has been bad in the first two weeks but they are not nearly as inept as their 44.5 points per game average would indicate. If the Chiefs offense can avoid turnovers and give their defense more time on the sidelines, Crennel will get his squad turned around.
Still not swayed from rooting for a franchise quarterback? Be careful what you ask for because unless Luck is the next Matt Ryan, his arrival will be the genesis of another two to three-year rebuilding project. Considering we are already in year three of the Pioli/Haley era, waiting on the next big thing may prove to be more of a wait than most Chiefs fans are ready to invest.
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