After the Kansas City Chiefs’ 28-2 season-opening win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, fans are optimistic about the future of the organization.
And for good reason, as 2012 was certainly a season to forget.
Last year, it wasn’t until Week 3 that the Chiefs got a win over the New Orleans Saints. Then it took nine more games for Kansas City to get its second and final win of the season. The 2-14 record led to general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel’s firing.
Fans also dealt with poignant tragedy during the season when former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend, then drove to the Chiefs practice facility and shot himself in front of Crennel and Pioli.
Early in 2013 though, with the addition of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith, who now both have a win under their belts in Kansas City, there are positive vibes flowing from this team.
All of that could change though, on Sunday in the Chiefs’ home opener when they host the Dallas Cowboys.
Both the Chiefs and Cowboys are 1-0 this season, so one team is going to leave with their first loss.
Much of the game is sure to be decided by quarterback play. In Smith’s debut with the Chiefs last week, he was 21 of 34 for 173 yards and two touchdowns. While the yardage isn’t too high, Smith simply wasn’t asked to pass the ball much as Kansas City built up a big lead on Jacksonville.
How Smith controls the ball will be huge. Last season, former Chiefs quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn turned the ball over 23 times combined. Kansas City was last in the league with a minus-24 turnover differential.
In Week 1, the Cowboys forced the New York Giants into six turnovers in their 36-31 win, including three interceptions off of Eli Manning.
So if Kansas City wants to win this game and get off to a 2-0 start, Smith will have to avoid turnovers at all costs.
Reid has also been very successful against the Cowboys in his career. While he was the head coach in Philadelphia, he went 17-12 against Dallas.
Overall, the Chiefs are certainly a better team than they were just one year ago, and it showed against Jacksonville. That said, the Jaguars were the second-worst team in the league last season, just one step ahead of the Chiefs, and they didn’t have the six Pro Bowl players that Kansas City had.
Week 1 gave Chiefs fans some real hope that this year could be better. A win over Dallas would all but guarantee that.