Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 chiefs in (p)review part tres: the dream 2012 schedule

In case you missed part one …
In case you missed part two …

And now … part three.

* The 2012 Schedule, Stevo-style:

We know the opponents and the venues, so let’s knock this out, my dream 2012 schedule. Should note up front, the Royals are home August 18th and the entire first week of September (for preseason scheduling purposes, and again, focus on the fact that this is MY dream schedule, hint hint), as well as September 16th (Sunday), 23rd (Sunday), and October 1st (Monday), so the odds are the Chiefs open at home, then hit the road for two straight, barring a Monday nighter in there.

Also, given how the NFL now schedules week 17 (all divisional games), and given that we faced oakland, then denver, the last two years, I would bet the family farm my family doesn’t own on us playing the Chargers to close the season, and that is reflected in this dream schedule.

So here you go, how I hope our schedule looks when it’s released in early March:

Preseason:

Week 1: at Browns, Friday August 10th, 7pm (local KCTV).
Week 2: vs Bears, Saturday August 18th, 7:30pm (local KCTV).
Week 3: vs Vikings, Saturday August 25th, 7:30pm (local KCTV).
Week 4: at Rams, Thursday August 30th, 7pm (local KCTV).

Reason / Rationale: I tried to pick teams that we generally schedule in the preseason. Seems like we usually face the Vikings and Browns, and we always face the Rams (except when playing them in the regular season) in the “Governor’s Cup” game. (Or, as Don Criqui put it, the “Governor’s Cup Trophy”. Oy.) For the other game, I scheduled the Bears, at home, on Saturday the 18th … because as luck would have it, the Royals host the White Sox that day! If it’s my dream schedule, I will ALWAYS have a double header day in there for August, because (a) anytime you can have not one, but TWO!, tailgates in the same day, it’s a winner in my book, and (b) that’s the only shot in hell you have of getting me to show up for a preseason game, instead of blowing it off for a float trip. Sorry. Give me a reason to show up beyond “glorified scrimmage” and I’ll do it. Because not even eating $80 / ticket can get me to show up at this point.

Regular Season:

Week 1: Sunday, September 9th, vs Bengals, noon, CBS. Interesting opener between a potentially up and coming Bengals team, and a rebounding Chiefs team.

Week 2: Sunday September 16th, at Browns, noon, CBS. Springboard to a potential meaningful season, like two years ago in this exact spot? Very winnable roadie early on.

Week 3: Sunday September 23rd, at raiders, 3:15pm, CBS. Chiefs have won 8 of 9 by the Bay, the only loss being in overtime two years ago.

Week 4: Sunday September 30th, vs Panthers, noon, FOX. I can’t wait to see Cam Newton play in person. Here’s to hoping he does as poorly as Mike Vick did in his Arrowhead debut (4 Turnovers, a 56-10 defeat). Chiefs are set up to open 3-1, ideally 4-0, heading into a prime time matchup against …

Week 5: Monday October 8th, vs Falcons, 7:30pm, ESPN. Tony G’s return to Arrowhead. I’ll be booing him as loudly as my vocal chords will allow. I’m guessing I’ll be in the minority.

Week 6: Sunday October 14th, at broncos, 3:15pm, CBS. Should be fun, if only for the “Stevo hates this team so much he cannot rationally watch this game” factor.

Week 7: bye. Set up so that the pessimist says 3-3, the realist says 4-2, and the optimist says 5-1, entering 2012’s gauntlet of games, beginning with …

Week 8: Sunday October 28th, vs Ravens, 3:15pm, CBS. The Ravens have won their last two at Arrowhead, outscoring the Chiefs 50-17 in the process. And to be fair? Neither game was competitive in any way, shape or form after halftime. Tough, tough way to close October. Hence scheduling it after the bye week.

Week 9: Sunday November 4th, at Steelers, 3:15pm, CBS. The Chiefs haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 1986. I would not expect that streak to end in 2012. Last time the Chiefs visited Pittsburgh (week 6 2006), kcchiefs.com described it as the Steelers “using (the Chiefs) as their own personal urinal”. I’d expect another “port-a-potty come 3pm on gameday” experience in this one.

Week 10: Sunday November 11th, at Saints, noon, FOX. Hate that the whiny NFC East squads got hacked and forced schedule changes for all teams against the AFC / NFC West … because we should be hosting the Saints, if the last two year’s past schedules had held.

Week 11: Sunday November 18th, vs raiders, noon, CBS*. raiders have won their last 5 at Arrowhead, and figure to be better in 2012 than they were in any of those previous five years.

Week 12: Thursday, November 22nd, vs broncos, 7pm, NFLN. Its my dream schedule, and until the day I die, I want a repeat of Thanksgiving Night 2006. Chiefs and donkeys should play at least once in prime time every year. Ideally at Arrowhead on Thanksgiving night.

Week 13: Sunday December 2nd, at Chargers, 3:15pm, CBS*. Beginning of a very doable stretch run for the Chiefs. I set us up against San Diego twice in the last five weeks, just because it seems like we usually get some divisional opponent 2 out of 4, 2 out of 5, why not the Chargers this time.

Week 14: Sunday December 9th, vs Colts, noon, CBS*. Manning? Luck? Does it matter? We almost never beat these guys, no matter where we play them.

Week 15: Sunday December 16th, at Bucs, noon, FOX*. Wohoo! A trip to the beaches of Florida in December! Sign me up!

Week 16: Sunday December 23rd, at Bills, noon, CBS*. A very winnable roadie late in the season.

Week 17: Sunday December 30th, vs Chargers, noon, CBS*. I can absolutely see a 9-6 Chiefs team hosting a 10-5 Chargers team with the division on the line, and this getting flexed into prime time.

(*: subject to flex scheduling).

A very workable schedule. Preseason, who cares, so long as (a) the Double Header Day is in there, and (b) you don’t face a regular season opponent.

The first four weeks, the “first quarter”, as former coach so (correctly) described it? All winnable. The second quarter? Tougher. The third quarter? The toughest of all? The fourth quarter? Hopefully (cake walk) to the finish line. Just like a typical college semester. Or a typical college career, if you view it as a four year experience.

I firmly believe this is a 10 win team as its currently constructed, if healthy. And 10 wins will not only win the AFC West, it might get you a bye if the uprising juggernaut the AFC North is starts bashing its heads against each other. With some convenient upgrades and smart (offensive) coaching hires, this is a 11, 12 win team that can get a bye, and have a shot at greatness … even with Matt Cassel under center.

Coming tomorrow (hopefully): part four at least, who I’d let go in free agency / roster purges, and who I’d pursue in free agency / roster purges. Coming at some point after that: part five, my ideal coaching staff (possibly) and draft targets (definitely). Here’s a hint. Said draft target, likely to be available on day three, rhymes with “Mellon Kore”. And you can pretty much replace the M and the K with each other, and figure out who I want under center in 2013 if the Brees Dream falls through …

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