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C-Mac
10-27-2006, 08:36 AM
GRETZ: It's Movin' Time
Oct 27, 2006, 6:02:25 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

On the PGA Tour, the golfers call Saturday “moving day.” Over four days of playing tournament golf, Thursday and Friday rounds cut the field, Saturday is the day to make a move on the leader board and finally Sunday is payday.

In pro football, the NFL has its own “movin’ time” on the schedule, and that’s just where the league is right now. The first four or five weeks of every season are for establishing a base. The middle portion of the schedule, from the middle and late October through the end of November is when teams must make their move if they are going to be contenders and not pretenders.

Now, it’s always better to start fast in the NFL, but right now is when ground can be made up in the standings and when teams can build the kind of record that has them knocking on the door of one of the 12 spots in the post-season tournament.

Take last year. On October 1st, teams like Indianapolis (5-0), Cincinnati and Denver (4-1) had already shown themselves to be contenders. Not so with Chicago (1-3) or Seattle, Carolina or Jacksonville (all 3-2) at that point.

But when the league hit movin’ time, there were some changes. After the games of Thanksgiving weekend, Chicago was 9-3, Seattle was 10-2 and Carolina was 9-3. Among all the teams with eight or more victories the weekend after Turkey Day, only one did not make the playoffs: the Chiefs, who lost the next two games and fell behind Pittsburgh in the fight for the final spot in the AFC post-season field. We all know what the Steelers did with that opportunity.

All this goes to explain why Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium is so important to the Chiefs. They are back to 3-3. Ahead of them is the visit by the Seahawks over this weekend, then back-to-back road trips to St. Louis and Miami, followed by two home games in five days against Oakland and Denver.

If the Chiefs are to inject themselves into the AFC race, come the day after Thanksgiving they need to be 8-3 and riding a six-game winning streak. Depending on nothing else, that would have them tied for the AFC West lead or no more than one-game behind. That’s because the weekend before the Thanksgiving Day game between the Chiefs and Broncos, Denver plays San Diego at Invesco Field.

A six-game winning streak is not something the Chiefs have shown themselves capable of pulling off through the first six games of the season. To make that happen, they would have to play better than they have in any game this season and do it over six consecutive games, including a pair on the road.

But that is the stuff of dreams in this league, not only for fans, but the players and coaches. A couple of developments coming out of the San Diego victory provide hope for Chiefs fans if they want to daydream of January football. The Chiefs finally got production from their running game. For the first time this season, Larry Johnson had room to run at the line of scrimmage. Despite the front-seven talent of the Chargers, the Chiefs offensive line was able to open some daylight for Johnson to run through. It was also the third consecutive game where the group of Black/Waters/Wiegmann/Shields /Sampson started together. After the instability in that group in training camp, pre-season and then the first month of the season, this group is starting to mold together.

Another good sign was the way the Chiefs bounced back on defense from the debacle in Pittsburgh. However, a not so good sign were the number of mistakes the Chiefs made on defense in the second half. All three TD passes by the Chargers were helped along by poor decisions and execution by the defense.

ct
10-27-2006, 02:55 PM
football threads get a bump

Halfcan
10-27-2006, 02:58 PM
Umm okay