Matt Cassel and the Biggest Media Misconceptions of the Kansas City Chiefs
Upon being brought in by the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the 2009 season, general manager Scott Pioli has had his mind set on a very pointed agenda.
Entering his fourth season, Pioli's time as leader of the franchise has netted an incomplete grade. The 2012 season will be the true barometer of what to expect long term from his tenure.
While it is safe to assume the direction that the Chiefs are headed, there is also a sense of mystery as to how they plan on achieving such success.
The Chiefs enter the 2012 NFL season as one of the league's biggest question marks.
Here are the three biggest media misconceptions of the team.
They Will Find Success Only on the Ground
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With the additions of Eric Winston at right tackle and Peyton Hillis at running back to help balance out the rushing attack, the Kansas City Chiefs are sure to play up their ability to pound the ball at opposing defenses.
Running back Jamaal Charles returns from a torn ACL and says that he is ready for the upcoming season.
While the Chiefs' goal should be to return to the top of the league in rushing in 2012, it will take a consistent passing game to help achieve that objective.
The upgraded offensive line will afford quarterback Matt Cassel more time to work with an improved group of weapons, compared to his that of his best season as a pro (2010).
A receiving corps of Dwayne Bowe, Jon Baldwin, Steve Breaston, Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss will be enough to keep opposing defenses on their heels and allow both the running game and passing attack to shine.
Matt Cassel Cannot Lead the Team Deep into the Playoffs
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The biggest question mark for the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the 2012 season is whether or not quarterback Matt Cassel is indeed the future leader of the franchise.
While it is easy to lean towards Cassel's not being the signal-caller going forward, there honestly isn't enough of a track record for that accusation to have legs to stand on.
Cassel's time in Kansas City is graded as incomplete.
He has endured one average season (2009), one great season (2010) and one season in which he ended up injured and had to deal with an ill-prepared coaching staff (2011).
The 2012 season is a make-or-break year for Cassel.
If Cassel can lead the Chiefs to another AFC West title, he buys himself one more year as the starter in Kansas City.
If he fails to reach the postseason, his time as a Chief may expire sooner than expected.
They Can't Overcome the Denver Broncos' Signing of Peyton Manning
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The Kansas City Chiefs are two years removed from winning the AFC West title (2010).
If it weren't for injuries to key players and a couple of blocked field goals in a Week 16 loss to the Oakland Raiders last season, the Chiefs would have won back-to-back division crowns for the first time in franchise history.
While the Denver Broncos made a major splash by signing Peyton Manning and the rest of the of the division seemed satisfied with the status quo for the most part, the Chiefs went out and had one of their most successful offseasons in recent memory.
Scott Pioli made it a point that injuries will no longer be a factor in preventing the Chiefs from winning.
Depth is now a strength, and there is no major weakness among the group of starters.
With a favorable fourth-place schedule, players returning from injury and the new faces up and down the roster, the Chiefs are in prime position to return to being AFC West champs and win their first playoff game in 18 seasons.