With the shortened off-season and the frenzied player movement around the NFL this season, every team is going to have to get into a groove despite the chaos that everyone has felt. Multiple players on the Kansas City Chiefs as well as head coach Todd Haley have made allusions to the pre-season as being rather crazy and unpredictable, and the verdict has been the same around the NFL.
While every team might feel behind the 8-ball, so to speak, the reality is that every team faces the same limitations. Thus, many NFL writers have predicted that teams with the most continuity on the coaching staff and roster will be the ones who have the greatest success this year, while other teams who have completely wiped the slate will suffer in this first year more than they would have in the past. So where does that leave the Kansas City Chiefs?
That's an interesting question given two key things:
1. The Chiefs looked horrible in the pre-season game. You can twist it how you want and say that the starters didn't play. But it was clear the team looked passive in several ways and Todd Haley treated it more like a practice experience than any legitimate exercise.
2. Other teams are absolutely rolling at this point.
That second one was affirmed by last night's game that featured New England walloping their second straight pre-season opponent. This time it was the Tampa Bay, the Chiefs opponent from last week, and the Pats won this one, 31-14. The performance prompted Adam Caplan, NFL reporter and host on Sirius/XM Radio, to report the following, "Just got done with the Pats-Bucs game. Never want to overreact to preseason games, but the Pats are in season mode execution-wise."
The Chiefs are certainly maintaining continuity and Scott Pioli has only added a few veterans and the typical draft picks to a young core that's been in place now for a couple of years. Why is one team moving forward so quickly and enjoying a nice momentum with "season mode execution" while the other rolled over and played dead in game one. Is the second game tonight against the Ravens really going to be that different?
Chiefs fans will find out tonight just how "season ready" they are at this point. While it's only a pre-season game and doesn't matter whatsoever in terms of outcome, it's somewhere between intriguing and frustrating that other NFL franchises seem to have prepared better at this stage of the game than the Chiefs. Perhaps those teams had less questions that Kansas City, but the expectations rise after a playoff season like last year.