Kansas City Chiefs: Updated Game-by-Game Outlook for the 2012 Season
The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t exactly where they wanted to be at this point in the 2012 season. After Sunday’s 9-6 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the team will head into this week’s game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 1-4 record.
There are many areas that need to improve for this season to find its way toward respectability. But there are also a few positives to build on as the Chiefs’ schedule begins to soften.
Here is a look at how the Chiefs’ match up with their remaining opponents, along with a predicted-record tracker.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the 2012 season in a very similar fashion.
Both teams were coming off disappointing 2011 campaigns with new head coaches in place. And both front offices seemingly made all the right moves this past offseason to balance out the progression of their returning rosters.
Instead of the arrow pointing up for the Chiefs and Buccaneers, however, things couldn’t be much worse. Both teams enter this Week 6 matchup with a combined two victories—a far cry where they expected to be.
The home field should give Tampa Bay a boost, but the Chiefs have actually played very well at times this year—evidenced by last week’s defensive effort against the Baltimore Ravens.
If Kansas City can hold Baltimore to only nine points and 298 total yards, imagine how dominant it can be against a Buccaneers offense that is only averaging 276 yards and 20.5 points per game.
With a solid game plan, the Chiefs should win this one.
Updated Record: 2-4
Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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Other than their 34-31 home win against the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Week 3, the Oakland Raiders have done little right this season. They are having trouble pressuring the quarterback and haven’t been able to force the opposition into many mistakes.
Coming off their bye, it is hopeful that the Kansas City Chiefs can enter this game healthier and less prone to turnovers—two huge reasons the team is off to its dreadful start.
Though the Raiders could be coming off a home victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars entering this game, Kansas City should be able to control this matchup from the start.
Updated Record: 3-4
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers
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If Week 4’s result is any indication as to how this matchup will unfold, the Chiefs will need to clean up their act to steal one on the road against the San Diego Chargers.
While the Chiefs dominated in every aspect of the game it seems, the six turnovers ultimately cost them a victory. The contest actually had the feel of a 40-point blowout, so Kansas City deserves some credit for keeping it to a 37-20 final score.
San Diego will be coming off a road game with the Cleveland Browns the previous week, so the Chiefs could catch the Chargers napping in this one on the short week.
Updated Record: 4-4
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
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This was one of the games circled on the Kansas City Chiefs’ schedule entering the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the exact type of team that the Chiefs must be able to compete with to prove that they can climb the ranks in the AFC.
This Pittsburgh team is a shell of its recent self, and who knows how injured the team will be entering this matchup? But the Steelers are still very good and should be able to wreak havoc on the Chiefs’ secondary—even if at full-strength—with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.
A loss in Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football doesn’t mean Kansas City isn’t ready for the spotlight; how the Chiefs lose, however, will be much more telling.
Updated Record: 4-5
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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After two tough road games, the Kansas City Chiefs will be glad to return home against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11.
This road contest with the Chiefs might seem like a break for Cincinnati, but Kansas City will have the look of a much improved team by this time. And with the chance to get back to .500 football in front of the home crowd, the Chiefs should be able to pull this one out.
Updated Record: 5-5
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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Prior to the season, this matchup had the makings of being very crucial in how the AFC West would be won. As it stands right now, it seems to have lost its luster.
However, by this time, the Kansas City Chiefs could be a team on the rise while the Denver Broncos could be settling into complacency coming off a home game with the San Diego Chargers the previous week—a game that, right now, has the look of one that could decide the division.
Regardless of where Kansas City stands when this matchup rolls around, this game will be huge. The raucous Arrowhead crowd will be in full effect to cheer the Chiefs to a victory, whether it would be their second or sixth on the season.
Updated Record: 6-5
Carolina Panthers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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Quarterback Cam Newton was supposed to be one step closer to making the Carolina Panthers relevant again in 2012. Instead, the sophomore signal-caller has digressed and, unfortunately, so has his team.
Though the Kansas City Chiefs may have a hard time containing the dual-threat Newton, the Panthers might take the Arrowhead crowd lightly. This game is sandwiched between two higher profile matchups for Carolina.
In Week 12, the Panthers are on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, and in Week 14, they get the Atlanta Falcons at home. If Carolina is a player at this point in the season, the matchup with the Chiefs has an increased chance of being overlooked.
Updated Record: 7-5
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns
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While rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has played well at times this season, the Cleveland Browns could be deeply entrenched in their “Blow for Geno” campaign by Week 13.
All joking aside, the Kansas City Chiefs—even with their many flaws—are a much better team that the Browns. Cleveland is young and might not be ready to compete in the AFC for a couple seasons, if at all.
If Kansas City is to somehow make this season a success, the team must win games like this.
With a road game against their rival Oakland Raiders on the horizon, there is a chance that the Chiefs slip up in this one. But it all depends on where this team stands coming into this matchup.
Updated Record: 8-5
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
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One of the most heated rivalries in all of football; it is always interesting when the Kansas City Chiefs travel into enemy territory to take on the Oakland Raiders.
No matter where these two teams sit in the standings, a battle is expected when they collide. It is unclear if this game will have any implications on a potential playoff berth, but it honestly will not matter.
The Chiefs took this game 28-0 last season behind a dominant defensive effort and have won nine of the last 10 out West against the Raiders.
While Kansas City will be up for this matchup, Oakland should be just as prepared.
Updated Record: 8-6
Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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Andrew Luck is proving why he was taken No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in April’s NFL draft. By the time this Week 16 matchup rolls around, the quarterback could make everyone forget that he is, indeed, still a rookie.
If this game was in Indy, the Colts would have the slight advantage. But Luck will be in awe at the Arrowhead atmosphere and the Chiefs will be looking to pick up some momentum heading into the season finale with the Denver Broncos.
Updated Record: 9-6
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
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At the beginning of the season, most had this game pegged as one that would decide the AFC West. Through five weeks, that outlook has vanished.
However, the Chiefs are through the rough patch in their schedule and could quickly turn things around this season. But regardless of where each team sits when this game happens, expect an interesting contest.
While Kansas City could make a valiant run toward the finish line, it is unfortunate the season caps off in Denver rather than at Arrowhead.
The Broncos should take this one at home and represent the division in the postseason.
Updated Record: 9-7