Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs surprised everyone and likely themselves with a 10-win season and a playoff appearance in a year where most expected them to continue a rebuild. With that instant success came greater expectations, so the fact that the Chiefs have started the 2011 NFL season with an 0-3 record has caused frustrations all over Kansas City.
But yesterday’s win over Minnesota changed all of that. Matt Cassel looked the sharpest he’s looked all season. Dwayne Bowe was a playmaker. The defense continued their great steps forward after two horrific showings against Buffalo and Detroit. The Chiefs, in other words, are beginning to come together.
The AFC West, meanwhile, isn’t that impressive. The Oakland Raiders sit at 2-2 and the Broncos match the Chiefs at 1-3. There’s one primary opponent for everyone else, and that’s the same Chargers team that basically handed the Chiefs a potential win on a silver platter — something they could not step up and take.
But if the Chiefs continue to get better with each passing week and gain the addition of Jonathan Baldwin, the first round receiver, then the Chiefs offense could really begin to open up. Despite the loss of Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles, any offense that adds a first round draft choice at wideout is going to add a dynamic playmaker, and it’s clear that Steve Breaston and Bowe are finding their respective places already. There’s definitely room for one more in what could become a potent Chiefs passing attack.
Still there’s a long way to go. The last 0-3 team to make the playoffs was the Buffalo Bills and that was 13 seasons ago in 1998. But hope does many things to a team and fan base and it’s nice to have that feeling on a Monday morning.