Imagine someone told you before last Sunday that the Chiefs would hold the Bengals to 236 yards of total offense, keep Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson out of the endzone and hold Rudi Johnson to 3.4 yards per carry. Meanwhile, the Chiefs would gain 289 yards of total offense and hold the ball for almost 32 minutes.
You would have taken that, right? I know I would have.
But that's the NFL. It's ridiculously hard to predict what happens week to week. Even the experts get it wrong. Bang! ran a cartoon last week about how Chris Berman, Tom Jackson and all the other talking heads at ESPN were way off in their 2005 season predictions.
How many aberrations does week one contain? Everyone remembers the 31-0 stomping the Patriots took at the hands of the Bills to start 2003. New England went on to win the Super Bowl.
How about last week? Bears wide receiver Bernard Berrian caught a 49-yard touchdown pass. Think he'll haul in many more of those this year?
The Seattle Seahawks scored nine points. Nine! Against the Detroit Lions! This is a complete shot in the dark, but I'm predicting the Seahawks will rebound and rank among the leaders in scoring offense again.
Brett Favre threw two interceptions on Sunday (OK, bad example). The Oakland Raiders were shut out – uh, nevermind.
Anyway, the point is, that week one is always full of aberrations.
Who's to say that week two can't contain a few?
The Chiefs are going to need one. They haven't beaten the Broncos in Denver since 2000.
Invesco Field has literally been a house of horrors. In 2003, Clinton Portis ran for 218 yards and five touchdowns.
In 2004, the Chiefs let a midget run for 156 yards and three scores.
And last year? Last year, the Chiefs were flat-out dominated. The Broncos didn't even need Vaseline.
So, yeah, the Chiefs haven't been able to win in Denver. They've barely been able to show up. And with Damon Huard starting at quarterback this time, most of you probably figure the Chiefs have no chance to win this football game.
But the tide has to turn sometime. Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise will eventually be ignored by Americans (and return to their home planet). Gas prices will eventually return to normal. And yes, the Kansas City Chiefs will eventually win a game in Denver.
The Chiefs dominated the Oakland Raiders for years at Arrowhead (and away from it) during the 1990's. But eventually, the Raiders won a game in Kansas City, even when the odds were against them. I don't think I need to remind Chiefs fans of that game.
So I say, yes, the Chiefs CAN win in Denver. And here's why.
1. Larry Johnson has never started a game in Denver. He's ripped the Broncos twice at Arrowhead. What difference does it make where the game is played? Give Johnson the ball, and let him pound that defense into glue.
2. This is the best defense we've had in Kansas City since 1997. The Bengals couldn't move the ball against Gunther Cunningham's unit last week without the no-huddle. And what's more, I watched a Rams defense with mediocre talent dominate Jake Plummer and the Broncos last week. There's no doubt in my mind that the Chiefs coaching staff is capable of duplicating St. Louis' gameplan, and there's no doubt in my mind that the Chiefs have the talent to execute it. And let's be honest. Plummer isn't going to bust out the no-huddle offense on Sunday.
So there you have it. On the strength of the best running back in the NFL and a solid defense, the Chiefs are capable of beating the Denver Broncos this week.
As for the rest of the season, I have only one desire: Don't wear the white jerseys at home again. Ever.
Into The Belly Of The Beast
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