NFL Team Previews: Kansas City Chiefs

Pigskin HeavenCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 03: Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on from the sidelines during the preseason game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 3, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Pigskin Heaven's Sascha Bartels is breaking down every single team in the NFL prior to the season. Here is his analysis and forecast for the Kansas City Chiefs. Click on a team to read its preview.

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ

AFC North: BAL | CIN | CLE | PIT

AFC South: IND | HOU | JAX | TEN



NFC North: CHI | DET | GBA | MIN

NFC South: ATL | CAR | NOL | TBA


What’s New?

After a 9-7 debut season for Herman Edwards in 2006, he combined to win only six games over the next two seasons (which is one less than Detroit by the way) and was justly canned after last season.

New in town are general manager Scott Pioli, coach Todd Haley and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Whoops, scratch that last part.

Also, the team infused some veteran leadership into the rest of the team, bringing in the likes of Amani Toomer (since cut), Bobby Engram, Zach Thomas (since cut) and Mike Vrabel.  The team also traded for their quarterback in Matt Cassell, then proceeded to sign him to a large contract extension.

For the second year in a row, Kansas City drafts an LSU defensive lineman in the top five.  Last year, it was Glenn Dorsey, this year it’s Tyson Jackson.  They added another defensive tackle in the third round, Alex Magee, and a corner in the fourth, Donald Washington, keeping a focus on defense.

Three Burning Questions

Can Todd Haley actually maintain a relationship?

It’s beginning to become a trend for Haley, whether it’s a sideline war of words or dismissal of a coach.  Haley is already well known for being the coach that Terrell Owens had words with on the Dallas sideline.

He moved on to Arizona and word was that Anquan Boldin was not a fan.

With less than two weeks before the start of the season, Haley relieved offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.  Are these all different coincidences, or is Haley just hard to get along with?

Will Matt Cassel earn his money?

Matt, you’re not in New England anymore.

Is that Randy Moss on the outside?  No, that’s just Dwayne Bowe.  Look, Wes Welker in the slot!  My bad, that’s Bobby Engram.

Cassel certainly doesn’t enter a prime situation, and he’ll be asked to do a lot with that offense.  I think it will be too tall a task for Cassel, and the Chiefs will be looking for a new quarterback within three years.

Can the defense do better than half or DeMarcus Ware in the sack department?

That’s right, half of Ware.  DeMarcus had 20 sacks, the Chiefs had 10.  TEN!

Less than any team in one season ever.  Well, maybe not ever, but at least since 1982, when the stat first got tracked.

The team is playing a 3-4 defense now, and they do have a couple of potential sack specialists, in Vrabel and Tamba Hali.  If Glenn Dorsey gets off the PUP list and performs to expectations, and Jackson becomes a playmaker quickly, then the defense will at the very least pick up a few more sacks.

They had to be embarrassed in seeing Derrick Thomas enter the Hall of Fame in a season where the Chiefs only amassed three more sacks the Thomas once had in one game.


Fantasy Forecast

Good Play: 
There really aren’t any Chiefs that warrant a pick in the first four rounds.  A slimmer, motivated Larry Johnson may be worth a flier.

Avoid:  The teams’ security blanket (Gonzales) is gone, meaning Cassell would have to get it done with his current crew of receivers.  It’s not happening.  Stay away from the defense as well.

Sleeper:  This would have gone to Devard Darling, but he’s off on the IR now.  Perhaps Cassell will find solace in Brad Cottam.


For the prognosis and final record, read the originally posted article here.

This is an original article by Pigskin Heaven Staffer, Sascha Bartels. You can read it, more of Sascha's articles, and more from the Pigskin Heaven staff here.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.