NFL odds handicappers have not seen much to impress them in the preseason as the Chiefs have lost their first 3 games both straight up and with the NFL betting odds.
Kansas City officially opened the remodeled Arrowhead Stadium in the preseason home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles last week and suffered a 20-17 loss as 1.5-point favorites.
There were some positives with the loss as the first team defense played well against the Eagles as it held quarterback Kevin Kolb to just 11-25 passing for 103 yards and an interception while sacking him 4 times. Kansas City linebackers Demorrio Williams and Andy Studebaker had 2 sacks each.
Kansas City’s offense remained inconsistent as starting quarterback Matt Cassel was just 14-23 for 85 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The ground game showed improvement with 168 yards on 36 carries.
The Chiefs are banking on Cassel becoming the elite quarterback they have lacked since Len Dawson was leading them to glory with the NFL betting lines from 1962-75. The jury is still out on whether or not he is the man.
Cassel has tried to pick up his own personal intensity after showing his more natural laid back California style last year. Head coach Todd Haley was put off with the casual attitude and told him he needed to show more anger when assignments were missed.
On the positive Cassel held firm through a very tough first season as the Chiefs starter. Kansas City finished 4-12 and was often dominated in the process.
“He didn’t crack when he could have,” said Haley. “How he handled those situations is having a positive effect.”
Charlie Weiss was brought into Kansas City to run the offense. He was a key asset with the New England Patriots and their success with the NFL lines as the coordinator during their repeat Super Bowl seasons of 2003-04. Haley has seen marked improvement already.
“Now I’ve got a quarterback who is running the operation well and efficiently,” said Haley. “He is throwing the ball where it’s supposed to go, generally.”
If Cassel continues his improvement the Chiefs could be one of the better hidden values with the NFL odds and could even contend in the weak AFC West.