How the West will be won in 2011.
April 20th, 2011
The NFL schedule was released yesterday. I'm torn between the usual excitement of the games and the bitterness of the lockout. Regardless, I'm glad to have something NFL related to think and write about. As a Chiefs fan, I'm going to hit Kansas City first. More thoughts on the entire schedule later.
Week 1: Chiefs vs Bills
Everybody knows how loud opening day in Arrowhead can be. The Bills will be over-matched by a dominant Kansas City running game, relentless defense and emotional home crowd.
Chiefs 31 Bills 17
Week 2: Chiefs @ Lions
Kansas City will travel to Detroit to face an up and coming Lions team in their home opener. As with any home opener, the crowd will be a nice advantage for the Lions. Fortunately for the Chiefs, the crowd loses momentum early in the first quarter when Tamba Hali plants Matthew Stafford on the Ford Field turf, ending his season. Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry take Calvin Johnson out of the game from this point forward and the Chiefs roll.
Chiefs 27 Lions 6
Week 3: Chiefs @ Chargers
Back to back road games will be a good early test for Kansas City. This is where the homer in me comes out, but I think we get this one. The Chargers are a notoriously slow starting football team and will be coming off a trip to Foxborough to play the Patriots. Todd Haley will have the Chiefs ready to go for the first division game of the season. Chiefs pull out a close one.
Chiefs 17 Chargers 14
Week 4: Chiefs vs Vikings
Jared Allen returns to Arrowhead. Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson will both have big days and keep the crowd excited. This game will come down to the quarterback play. I give Cassel the edge over whoever lines up for the Vikings. First round pick or not, rookie quarterbacks don't have much luck at Arrowhead stadium. If Minnesota goes with a veteran quarterback they will be new to the team and offense, the Chiefs defense will smack them back to Minnesota.
Chiefs 20 Vikings 17
Week 5: Chiefs @ Colts
The optimist in me sees a Colts team that can be ran on against the best rushing team in the NFL in 2010. The homer in me thinks that rushing attack, plus our talented defense, will be enough to stop Peyton Manning and the Colts. The realist in me knows that Manning always seem to beat the Chiefs and that we PROBABLY wont win them all.
Chiefs 27 Colts 35
Week 6: BYE WEEK
Week 7: Chiefs @ Raiders
The Chiefs travel to the Black Hole where things are always a little more interesting than they should be. On the field and in the stands. This will be an ugly, penalty filled game because that's just how these teams roll. Coach Haley and staff use the bye week wisely and have the Chiefs more than prepared to handle what the Faiders are bringing.
Chiefs 14 Raiders 10
Week 8: Chiefs vs Chargers
This will be about the time the Chargers wake up and realize they need to stay within shouting distance of the Chiefs. Rivers and Cassel give us a shootout that is well worth the price of admission. In the end, a talented Chargers team avoids the season sweep and avenges last seasons Monday night loss in Kansas City.
Chiefs 27 Chargers 34
Week 9: Chiefs vs Dolphins
Kansas City gets a chance to make up for the home loss. The Dolphins are a tough football team but they don't have the talent the Chiefs have. Hali, Berry, Flowers, DJ and company have a field day against the Miami offense. I have a feeling things get ugly for the Dolphins.
Chiefs 23 Dolphins 0
Week 10: Chiefs vs Broncos
Enjoying a third straight home game, the Chiefs face division rival Denver. Matt Cassel and Jamaal Charles should both have big games against a Bronco defense that can't stop anybody. If the Chiefs let Tim Tebow and that defense win in Kansas City, I will shave my head.
Chiefs 31 Broncos 10
Week 11: Chiefs @ Patriots
I can't wait to hear all the hype leading up to this Monday night game. Pioli vs Belichick, Patriots East vs Patriots Midwest, Cassel vs Brady. That last one is the problem. The Chiefs are on the right track but are not on the same level as this Patriots team.
Chiefs 10 Patriots 28
Week 12: Chiefs vs Steelers
Kansas City gets another shot at prime time, this time hosting Pittsburgh. By this point in the season I expect the offense to be rolling and the defense to be smacking people around violently. Big plays from Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles are the difference in this one.
Chiefs 14 Steelers 7
Week 13: Chiefs @ Bears
Does ANYBODY like Jay Cutler? After this game, Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry are huge fans of the guy. The Chiefs defense pressures Cutler into one of his infamous multi-interception games and Flowers and Berry each get a pick six. Cassel and Bowe dominate a weak Chicago secondary and the Chiefs win big on the road.
Chiefs 35 Bears 10
Week 14: Chiefs @ Jets
Rex Ryan has the Jets ready for the Chiefs rushing attack, forcing the Chiefs to try and beat them with Cassel and the passing game. The crowd noise and attacking Jets defense gives Cassel flashbacks of the Ravens in the playoffs. Cassel has an atrocious five turnovers on the day and Kansas City has no chance.
Chiefs 10 Jets 24
Week 15: Chiefs vs Packers
The Packers come to Arrowhead clicking offensively. Kansas City does not quit and gives Green Bay all it can handle. Talent, especially at the quarterback position, will win out in the end.
Chiefs 21 Packers 28
Week 16: Chiefs vs Raiders
Everybody in Kansas City will be looking forward to this game. Two straight losses will have the entire town wondering what is wrong and who can replace Matt Cassel. Oakland will be just what the doctor ordered. The Chiefs lay the smack down and Al Davis does not let Hue Jackson fly back to Oakland with the team.
Chiefs 24 Oakland 7
Week 17: Chiefs @ Broncos
By this point in the season Denver fans will be wondering why they thought John Fox was a good idea. Jamaal Charles will break the Chiefs single game rushing record on his way to the Chiefs single season rushing record and John Fox will not shake Todd Haley's hand after the game. Todd Haley likes this.
Chiefs 31 Donks 3
11-5 overall. First place in the AFC West. Place your bets accordingly.