Here's how the Kansas City Chiefs have opened the past seven seasons: 0-2, 0-2, 0-3, 0-5, 3-0, 0-3 and 0-2.
Much has changed in Kansas City this season, including the head coach. That doesn't change the fact that the Chiefs have a group of players who (with the exception of the 2010 crew) know little except losing to start a season.
Getting off to a fast start this season is imperative for a number of reasons, including the fact their early schedule is favorable. The Chiefs play Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Oakland, Cleveland and Buffalo in the first nine weeks. The schedule gets more difficult at that point, but the Chiefs still will have two games left against San Diego and one against Oakland.
In contrast to recent years, these Chiefs look like a team ready for the regular season. They put in a lot of good work in the offseason, training camp and the preseason, and that should pay off as soon as Sunday in Jacksonville.
“I think we are ready for this, real games,’’ quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think part of it is that last step of actually having success in real games. You go through your lumps and there will be a little growing process, but I think the last step is doing it when it counts.
“You’d love to have all been together for five to ten years, in the same system, been doing this for a long time, but that’s not the case. I do feel like we've done great work with the time we've had together, and I do feel like we’re ready for this last step.”
That’s not necessarily a prediction on my part for Sunday’s game, but I am comfortable saying this: If they get off to a slow start this season, it won’t be because they've wasted their time in recent weeks.
For what it’s worth, Andy Reid’s teams in Philadelphia started 1-1 in five of the past seven seasons. The Eagles also started 0-2 in 2007 and 2-0 in 2012.