Atlanta vs. Kansas City: Week 1 Preview and Predictions

BR StudiosFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2012

Kansas City and Atlanta are definitely a tale of two cities. For the Chiefs, 2011 was a year that started with great promise. Week by week, that promise faded as Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry and Matt Cassel all went down with injuries. They fired their head coach, Todd Haley, and the team responded to then-interim Romeo Crennel.

Despite all this turmoil, Kansas City finished at 7-9 just one game behind the division-winning Broncos (8-8). Crennel is now the head coach and defensive coordinator. It's a new year, and the Chiefs hope they have a happy and healthy one.

If it does, and it's a big if, Kansas City could be a strong playoff-contending team.

Atlanta, on the other hand, is slowly getting the reputation of not being able to win the big one in the playoffs. The Falcons were a wild-card team last year coming off a 13-3 division championship in 2010. However, "Matty Ice" and company haven't been able to make much noise in the postseason.

Is their window closing? Michael Turner is nearing being a senior citizen in running back years, as he is now 30. At 36, Tony Gonzalez may be one of those players we list as best player who never got a ring. Matt Ryan is starting his fifth year as the Falcons quarterback and is fully in his prime. He's got two great targets in Julio Jones and Roddy White, perhaps the best tandem in the NFL.

Can "Matty Ice" take the Falcons to the promised land? Will the Chiefs prove that their injuries kept them from greatness last year and surprise the NFL in 2012?

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