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C-Mac
09-16-2004, 09:14 PM
Probably a repost, but good read.

Panthers struggle to restore the roar
Sep 16, 2004, 3:21:35 AM by Jonathan Rand


Anybody who insists on drawing conclusions from the NFL’s first weekend would have to conclude it turned out only half badly for the Chiefs.

On one hand, the Chiefs looked little like a team traveling down the Super Bowl path. On the other hand, their path no longer appears so bumpy. Off one weekend, we need to downgrade their schedule from hazardous to manageable.

The Chiefs weren’t the only 2003 playoff team to lay an egg in their opener. So did the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens, both defending division champions who were projected as among the toughest nuts on the Chiefs’ schedule. The Chiefs’ opener at Denver was the first of seven games against six teams that made the playoffs last season.

The Panthers also are defending NFC champions. But anybody who saw their 24-14 home loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night realizes the Panthers have even more problems to solve than do the Chiefs.

With three starting offensive linemen gone from a year ago, Stephen Davis had little running room and Jake Delhomme little pass protection. Top receiver Steve Smith suffered a broken leg. On top of that, the Panthers must visit Arrowhead Stadium after a short week of practice and recovery.

Suddenly, what shaped up as a distinct threat to the Chiefs’ 13-game regular-season winning streak at home shapes up as a game in which the Chiefs are solid favorites.

And for the moment you can move the Chiefs’ Monday night visit to Baltimore on October 4 from the “probably lose” to “tossup” column. The Ravens managed only a field goal at Cleveland and in a few weeks may still be trying to fix their offense.

Of the Chiefs’ six remaining games against 2003 playoff teams, only two, against Baltimore and Tennessee, are away. Carolina, Indianapolis, New England and Denver all come to Arrowhead, where the Chiefs are a threat to defeat anybody, assuming they’re roughly the team that went 13-3 a year ago.

The Chiefs play their other nine games against seven teams that finished 8-8 or worse last year. None of those seven teams shocked anyone in their openers, though the Chargers, Jaguars and Falcons all won close games against weak teams.

Though the Chiefs’ schedule a year ago was as soft as advertised, schedules will fool you as often as not. In a league in which parity has never been more evident, it came as no shock when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell from Super Bowl champs to 7-9 in just one season. A similar scenario could befall the Panthers — or the Chiefs, for that matter.

Schedules also can fool you because their difficulty so often depends upon not whom you play but when you play them. The Ravens might get their offense in gear by midseason and resume playing like division champions. The Chiefs might make their defense respectable and look much stronger than the team that was embarrassed in Denver.

The NFL’s opening weekend might, in fact, prove totally misleading.

But assuming the Chiefs’ schedule does prove softer than expected, they still need to rise to the occasion and take advantage of it. And they can’t afford to start any later than Sunday.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.

C-Mac
09-16-2004, 09:21 PM
As I read this, it made me remember the Colts game this year. I wonder if there is a game thats burning more in the back of the mind of Gun than the Indianapolis rematch. Almost give ya chills thinking about it..... "I guarantee you I would have made them punt".

wazu
09-16-2004, 09:26 PM
As I read this, it made me remember the Colts game this year. I wonder if there is a game thats burning more in the back of the mind of Gun than the Indianapolis rematch. Almost give ya chills thinking about it..... "I guarantee you I would have made them punt".

Didn't go even farther than that? I thought his response to "Would you have bet your house that you could have made them punt once?" was (roughly translated after laughing for 30 seconds):

"I would bet my house, my family, my life!"

Chan93lx50
09-16-2004, 09:41 PM
Before the Colts, I was hoping to see Gun stop the Naked Bootleg play from the Donkeys

Didn't happen

Lets hope we don't see a repeat of last years playoff game.

Damn I sound like doom and gloom LOL

C-Mac
09-16-2004, 09:42 PM
Didn't go even farther than that? I thought his response to "Would you have bet your house that you could have made them punt once?" was (roughly translated after laughing for 30 seconds):

"I would bet my house, my family, my life!"

Ya your right, I just summarized it. I bet he struggles not looking past.

C-Mac
09-16-2004, 09:43 PM
Before the Colts, I was hoping to see Gun stop the Naked Bootleg play from the Donkeys

Didn't happen

Lets hope we don't see a repeat of last years playoff game.

Damn I sound like doom and gloom LOL

I'm telling you, come Monday, Gun's going to be a defensive god to many here.