Making Chicken Salad

It's been a long season for Kansas City. The Chiefs are 4-9 and have lost six straight games, including four in a row at Arrowhead, leading to a dismal 2-5 home record. We haven't seen this sort of futility at Arrowhead Stadium since the 1980s.

Everyone's searching for answers, but they just aren't there. The Chiefs started the season strong defensively, but they've tapered off, allowing teams to gain yards in embarrassing chunks. Offensively, the Chiefs haven't been able to establish a rhythm. Starting running back Larry Johnson has been out for weeks with an injured foot, but he couldn't get on track before hurting his foot. The Chiefs switched to quarterback Brodie Croyle mid-season, but he hasn't been able to spark the offense.

It's bad. Fans are starting to find better things to do on Sundays, and you can't really blame them. Why brave the freezing cold and spend a big wad of cash to watch the team lose week after week?

In the spirit of the holidays, however, there are a few things fans can be cheery about despite thebleak season.

Draft position

Everyone around Arrowhead hates when draft position is mentioned, and it makes sense. Coaches and players want to win games. They have pride, and competitive spirit. Those are qualities you want in your team, but the silver lining to the occasional horrible season, is your chances of getting a superstar type player increase dramatically if you can draft in the top ten.

The Chiefs could use another top tier player here and there, and a top ten pick sets the tone for the entire first day. It's not unreasonable to believe the Chiefs could pick up two new starters in the first two rounds. When you consider how many extra picks Carl Peterson acquired this year by trading players, looking ahead, this draft could be a fantastic one.

Dwayne Bowe

It's early, and Bowe hasn't even finished his first season yet, but things are looking up for the young wide out. We've all been salivating just watching this kid's raw ability. It looks like he's going to be one of those special players, the kind the Chiefs haven't had at the wide receiver position in a long time.

Brodie Croyle

He looks a little rough at times, but he's learning. Fast. With this offensive line, his chances of success were tough at best, but he's managed to find his way when he's been given opportunities.

Croyle's got moxie, can make all the throws and is improving his decision making. If he can survive the next three games, things are looking pretty good for the Chiefs for the next few years.

Jared Allen

Looks like the Chiefs finally found a defensive Pro Bowler. The last Chiefs defender to make a post season trip to Hawaii was Jerome Woods in 2003, but the way Allen is playing, he's got as good a chance of anyone in the league of making his own reservation.

Allen is one of the NFL's rising stars, ranking among the leaders in quarterback sacks and knockdowns, and that's after missing the first two games of the season. The Chiefs have found their first difference-making pass rusher since Derrick Thomas threatened quarterbacks.

Kansas City's defense has two other players with big-time potential - safety Jarrad Page and linebacker Derrick Johnson - and with Allen (and some personnel upgrades), the Chiefs will be set defensively for years.


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