KC came into the 2011-2012 season with high hopes. After all, the team not only made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2006, they also won the AFC West for the first time since 2003. The three seasons before 2010 were exercises in futility, as the Chiefs went a combined 10-36. After last year, however, fans thought a new era was beginning, led by star running back Jamaal Charles, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, and quarterback Matt Cassel.
Unfortunately, Charles went down to an ACL injury in week two and he will be sidelined for the year. The team has not fared much better, as they have lost the first three games of the season by a combined score of 27-109. They have not even led at any point in the season thus far.
It would seem week four presents an opportunity for this team to begin to turn their season around. The Minnesota Vikings will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to meet the Chiefs in week four. The Vikings are another team whose fans were optimistic coming into the season, but now the fans are quickly becoming disgruntled. Both teams are 0-3.
The Vikings, however, have led in each of their games and actually outscored opponents 54-7 combined in the first half of their games. In the second half of each game they have collapsed, being outscored 67-6. This includes a loss to Detroit last week, where they led 20-0 at halftime and eventually lost 26-23 in overtime. The only highlight for the Vikings thus far has been halfback Adrian Peterson, who is averaging close to 100 yards per game on the ground. Their major offseason acquisition, Donovan McNabb, has been mediocre. Although he hasn’t made major mistakes since game one, he also has not made any big plays.
They will need to establish a running game in Charles’ absence with the running of veteran Thomas Jones and halfback Dexter McCluster. They averaged only 3 yards per rush last week, a number they must improve upon to open up the passing game. When Matt Cassel has time to throw, he can find star receiver Dwayne Bowe and avoid forcing plays. The latter has been a problem this year, however, as Cassel already has thrown five interceptions (he had seven all of last year).
The run defense must buckle down and stop Adrian Peterson from having a field day. Right now their run defense is ranked 28th in the league, allowing 123 rushing yards per game. If this trend continues, it could be a long day for any fan that decides to get Chief tickets for this game.
Most of the key elements from last year’s playoff team are still in place this year, but clearly something is missing from the team that started last year 3-0. This week provides a perfect opportunity to start to turn things around. If they aren’t able to right the ship, then Chiefs tickets may be easy to come by this year.