In 2003 the Kansas City Chiefs won their first nine games. They won most of them by a comfortable margin. They scored over 40 points in four of those first nine games. They finished the season with a 13-3 record.
I remember, quite well, the Chiefs were never taken very seriously that year. It's hard to imagine a team that starts 9-0 and finishes 13-3 not be taken seriously. Trent Green threw for over 4,000 yards, Priest Holmes had over 2,000 yards from the line of scrimmage and set the NFL record for touchdowns in a season, for that time.
They were first in points scored, turnover differential, more yards and points scored giving them the number one offense in the NFL, over the Indianapolis Colts and the Saint Louis Rams. They were a well-oiled scoring machine averaging over 30 points a game.
It doesn't seem like our 2010 Chiefs should be in that same class. Let's be clear, they are as far away from that offensively as a team can be.
All of that said, however, by seasons end I believe this team will have more respect than that team did at any point during that season. Our 2010 Chiefs are building a true team, in every sense of the word.
Everyone, other than Chief fans, and many of them as well, knew the bottom was going to fall out on that 2003 team. While statistically their defense was not as bad as their offense was good, in reality those following the team all knew it was. The Chiefs couldn't stop their Cheerleaders from scoring when it counted.
The bottom did indeed fall out. When the Colts came to Arrowhead that January and the two teams scored a combined 69 points and nobody punted. The Chiefs, once again lost a home playoff game, to the Colts.
The 2010 Chiefs have what that team never did, a foundation. In 2003 they were still just trying to grab one brass ring. They brought in talented players, added a few patches and Carl Peterson was impatient.
Finally, the Chiefs started at the top and have worked very hard building an organization, not a collection of players. As I mentioned, they are building a team, and a very solid one. Their coaching staff and done a remarkable job from last year to this. Todd Haley, in my opinion is on pace for Coach of the Year.
They have also added talent, because obviously you can't win in any sport without it. They have also taken players that were "suppose" to be talented and made them live up to it.
It would be hard to find any rookie class on any NFL team that has had more immediate impact on a team than the Chiefs. These players, who already contribute will improve each week, month and year.
Romeo Crennel has done nothing short of a miracle with a defense last year that was effective as a pasta strainer stopping water. He has turned them into one of the top defensive units in the NFL.
The offense, with good reason is where everyone's concern is, but it will grow and evolve. Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe will get better, or they won't be starters on this team. That is a fact.
Tony Moeaki, Dexter McCluster, Jamal Charles, Thomas Jones as well as others are very explosive and talented offensive players that are not just good, but great, or loaded with great potential.
The Chiefs will continue to gain respect around the league and in the media. Most importantly, they respect their coaches and themselves. They will win some big games on the road against good teams and divisional opponents.
The Chiefs of the 1990's and the 2003 Chiefs were great teams, and fun to watch but were certainly not balanced. In 1995, opening the playoffs at Arrowhead Stadium they gave up 10 points and lost, to the Colts.
In 2003, opening the playoffs at Arrowhead Stadium they scored 31 points, and lost, to the Colts.
This team in many ways is already more fundamentally sound than that 2003 team. They are more disciplined and focused on the long term success of the organization. Todd Haley is at the beginning of what we hope is a long and successful career as the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Dick Vermeil was only their for a couple years before retiring.
That was a fun team, but somewhat "fake". Our current Chiefs are tough to watch right now, but they are the real deal, and for years to come.