KC Will Have a Tough Schedule Next Season

The 2005 schedule is known in opponents-only nature right now, but already coach Dick Vermeil is lamenting that his team -- the No. 3 finisher in the AFC West -- got no breaks from the schedule making system next year.

Vermeil, who readily admits that his '99 Rams benefited tremendously from a weak schedule in their Super Bowl campaign, cites a more difficult schedule as one reason for his team's decline to 7-9 this year. Kansas City played seven games against five playoff contenders this year -- the same number it drew in '05 after drawing New England, the Jets, Philadelphia and divisional opponents San Diego and Denver.

The Chiefs will play host to the Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Washington and Cincinnati while playing at Buffalo, Miami, Dallas, the Giants and Houston.

Quarterback Trent Green has been voted by his teammates the Derrick Thomas Award winner for the second straight year as the team's Most Valuable Player and defensive end Jared Allen, whose nine sacks fell just one short of tying Thomas' rookie team record, was voted the Mack Lee Hill Award as the team's outstanding rookie.

Green, in the most statistically productive season of his 11-year career, set team passing records for passing yards (4,591), completions (369) and 300-yard passing games (eight). The Chiefs ran up 6,695 total yards -- the fifth-highest total in NFL history.

For only the second time in 15 years, the Chiefs will not raise ticket or parking prices after their 7-9 season, the team's fourth losing campaign (and fifth non-winning one) in the past seven years. The last time they declined to raise prices was 1998, a 7-9 campaign that led to the resignation of Marty Schottenheimer.

"I'll tell you this: (the problems) are not as defined as you might think. We know we're not as productive on defense as we ought to be. But at this time we're not 100 percent convinced what the most critical area is. For example, everybody's after our right corner after (the San Diego) loss. But he had three balls thrown on him and two of them were push-offs and the other he just got out-leaped for it." - Dick Vermeil, continuing to defend oft-burned and aging CB Dexter McCleon, a former Ram, after he was beaten for several big plays by San Diego's backup receivers.

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