Kansas City Chiefs: Why Week 1 Loss Should Not Worry Fans, Yet

Farzin VousoughianContributor IIISeptember 11, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs is sacked during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs had a good first half of football against the Atlanta Falcons, trailing 20-17 going into the locker room.

But the second half was all Falcons, as they put on a 20-7 pounding in the second half to win 40-24.

Although this loss comes as a disappointing one for fans, it's not time to hit the panic button just yet.

Fans remember last year's 41-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills during the season opener. The following week, the Chiefs fell flat to the Detroit Lions, 48-3.

What is so different about last year's start to the season compared to the 2012 opener?

The Chiefs did not look as bad this week as they did last year to kickoff the new football year. Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles all suffered season-ending injuries. They all tore their ACLs one week after another.

Today, the Chiefs are not in bad position like they were a year ago. Tamba Hali is returning from his suspension. The defense should be better with Hali providing a pass rush and with Justin Houston working from the other side. The team is also expecting Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis to return sometime soon.

As of now, the Chiefs don't have any key players on injured reserve. At this time one year ago, they had just lost Berry with Charles to follow a week later. Even though the Chiefs gave up 41 points in last year's opener and 40 points in this season's opener, the Chiefs managed to tie the game twice with the Falcons this past Sunday.

Everyone on the team can improve in some shape or form. The adjustments that they need to make are fixable, but they can't allow their opponents to make it look easy against them. The Chiefs must go into Buffalo with a new mindset and take advantage of the Bills' woes.

Even though the Bills had an easy time beating the Chiefs last year at Arrowhead Stadium, both teams have changed since that game. The Bills let the AFC East slip away after a 5-2 start to the season. The Chiefs started 0-3 in 2011, but finished 8-8 and fell one game short of winning the AFC West.

The two teams meet again one year later with a different look. The Chiefs are healthy and the Bills are dealing with injuries.

The turnaround from Week 1 to Week 2 is one the Chiefs can make happen. The season opener against the Falcons was not pretty, nor did the team expect a loss like that to start the season. But if the Chiefs come together like they did last year and work with their starters, they can still find themselves in a position where they are fighting for a playoff spot late in the season.

Sunday's loss to the Falcons was ugly, but that is not enough for head coach Romeo Crennel to throw in the towel, nor let anyone define that game as Kansas City's 2012 season.