The time before each season, of every sport, for every team, is a time of hope, faith, and anticipation for fans. Everyone’s team still has that chance that this will be their year, even if they have been bad in the past. There is still that glimmer of hope. Everyone wants to hope their team will be better than they were the previous season.
The season starts, and for most teams, in every sport, reality sets in. Injuries, poor talent, poor play, or sometimes, just poor luck, usually result in fewer wins than everyone had hoped. Such was the case for fans of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012.
The Chiefs, and their fans, hoped Kansas City could compete for the AFC West title and make into the playoffs. The season turned into a disaster as the Chiefs finished 2-14, and were the worst team in the NFL.
So, here it is – 2013. There is a new General Manager, a new Head Coach, an new defensive coordinator, a new starting quarterback, a new back-up quarterback, and new players up and down the roster. The air is thick with excitement and hope as fans look up and down their schedules to try to guess which games are possible wins, and which are probably losses. Heck, we have even made predictions here at KC Kingdom, figuring the Chiefs to win 10 games in 2013.
If you take a look at Josh’s game-by-game predictions, they are all feasible. Even if you disagree about one or two, his prediction of 10 wins doesn’t seem out of reach, at this point in the preseason.
So, how do outsiders view the Chiefs. As fans of the Chiefs, we can look at a schedule and see 10 wins. As much as we would like to think otherwise, we are not very objective.
One way to catch a glimpse of how others may view the Chiefs is to look at the Vegas over and under line for wins. Now, I am not condoning, promoting, or encouraging gambling. I am merely suggesting another possible tool for viewing the Chiefs in a more objective manner. This morning, I looked at several different sites to see where Vegas might have the Chiefs slotted for wins. All of the sites I looked at had Kansas City’s over/under for wins set at either 7 or 7.5 wins.
You may ask, “How can that number be so low?”, or “Doesn’t Vegas know that Andy Reid is now the coach?”, or “Don’t the odds makers know Alex Smith had one of the highest quarterback ratings over the past two seasons?”, and “Don’t they know the Chiefs had six Pro-Bowlers last year?”. I can assure you, they know all of these things, plus some we probably haven’t thought about.
So, how can that number be so low, looking at the Chiefs schedule? For one thing, it would be very difficult to predict Kansas City, or any team for that matter, to make an improvement of more than 6 games in just one off-season. They obviously do not think Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel, and Matt Cassel were the sole reasons the Chiefs lost 14 games last year.
Also, for every Chiefs fan who looks at that over/under and thinks it is way too high, someone else, most likely professional gamblers, are looking at it and betting the under. If that wasn’t the case, that number would be higher than 7.5.
So, Vegas thinks the Chiefs are a .500 ball club at best. That is probably the most objective view possible. We can hope our home town boys are better than that and can challenge for a divisional title but the experts don’t think it will happen. This doesn’t mean the Chiefs won’t, or that we can’t have faith. Every season, it seems like one team that was really terrible the year before rises up and surprises everyone.
The Chiefs could be that team in 2013 and it probably would not even be that big of a surprise because the Chiefs do have a new general manager, a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, a new quarterback, and six Pro-Bowlers form last year. The Kansas City Chiefs could be a team that turns a 2-win season into a playoff birth in one year. We can can still hope for that to happen – just don’t bet on it.