NFL Kansas City Chiefs: Suffering 'Surprise' Syndrome That Plagued 2009 Broncos

Heneli IongiAnalyst INovember 19, 2010

Did I see the Chiefs' early success coming?  

Of course I did.  

How you ask?  It's very simple to explain but first I must take you back to last year, to the 2009 Broncos' team for you to understand the Chiefs' early success this season and the blunders that have plagued them this season in the last two weeks.

In 2009, the Broncos were off to a 6-0 start.  Broncos fans were going crazy looking far too forward as word of play-offs and home field advantage filled the residents of Denver, Colorado.  Very much so like what the Chiefs' fans are going through with their 4-2 start in their first 6 games.  

What happened after that 6-0 start is a mystery to most Bronco fans last season but it's very simple to explain and it comes down to my theory which I call the "Surprise" syndrome.  

Heading into the 2009 season, the Broncos had so many changes.  Many changes.  The Broncos had a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, a new offensive coordinator, a new coaching staff, new but great players as starters, a new offensive scheme/ philosophy, going from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense, and a new defensive philosophy.  

The advantage the Broncos had last season was the fact that no team knew much of anything about them.  When you look at the Broncos offense last season heading into their first game, no one knew how they were going to perform with so many changes.  They don't know how Kyle Orton was going to do in a spread offense. They didn't have game tape to run off of on Josh McDaniels and his coaching style. No opposing team knew how the Broncos were going to run the ball with a slew of new RB acquisitions.  

The same advantage in the lack of scouting that opposing teams had on the offense, also worked in the defenses' favor. The defense had a bunch of new starters coming in through the free agency.  Not to mention that they were going to run a aggressive 3-4 defense after running a 4-3 defense in the previous years.  

The biggest question facing opposing teams that try to scout out the Broncos is how all those new defensive acquisitions were going to fit in their new 3-4 defense?  

So the advantage that the Broncos had on every team heading into the early part of their schedule was that every team they faced were practically heading into a game against the Broncos literally blind.  

After a 6-0 start, teams have enough game film to have the answers to all the questions that I mentioned above concerning the Broncos offense and defense.  After having that type of game film on the Broncos, opposing teams can now gameplan a way to beat them and that's exactly what happen as the Broncos' 2009 season imploded as they went 2-8 the next 10 games.  

So how does this relate to the Chiefs' 4-2 start? 

The Chiefs got two new coordinators that add a different philosophy to what the Chiefs had in the past season.  They added a bunch of rookies to that mix and you could say that everyone adds a bunch of rookies but there is a difference here, the Chiefs have 3 rookies with substantial amount of playing time and importance on the offense and 2 rookies doing the same on the defense.

The questions that opposing teams face when they play against the Chiefs is whether new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will stick to being that passing play-caller or will he run the ball more on a run oriented team?  If they do run the ball, how will he do it as he didn't run the ball often in New England?  

The same questions affected how teams look at the Chiefs' defense early in the season as they have no idea how all the players the Chiefs' had in the previous season will effect the way they play in Romeo Crennel's "bend but don't break" 3-4 defense.  

So you can see again that teams are literally facing the Chiefs blind, much like the way opposing teams faced the 2009 Broncos.  

Now that teams have enough game tape on the Chiefs to know what they are doing with their philosophy and how they use their personnel in games, opposing teams can now gameplan effectively.

So far, the Chiefs have lost to teams they weren't suppose to lose to.  

The Chiefs have loss to the Raiders in a very close game.  Then they loss to the Broncos in a absolute blowout.  Is it the Chiefs beating themselves?  Or is it the teams they are now facing have seen enough of what they do in order to beat them?

Thus far, the Chiefs are 0-2 after their first successful 6 games.  The one thing that is working to their advantage is the fact that their schedule is far more easier than the Broncos last 10 games of the 2009 season.  Then again, the Chiefs did lose to the Raiders and Broncos.

The Chiefs need to evolve their game to keep opponents off-guard.  If not, they'll spiral down, much like the way the Broncos did last season.


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