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Insider Blog: 4 Quarters

Posted Apr 21, 2010

Looking at the schedule the way Todd Haley views the 16-game season

In a word, the initial reaction to the Chiefs 2010 schedule: Awesome.

There is one date that seems to trump all. September 13th is the day to be a sports fan in Kansas City. You’ll get baseball, you’ll get an all-day tailgate and you’ll also get the debut of The New Arrowhead on nationally televised Monday Night Football.

There is no griping this year about the cards that Kansas City has been dealt. What a great way to usher in the next 50 years of Chiefs football.

With that said, the NFL season is much more than one week. There are 15 other games on this schedule which follow the opener on Monday Night Football. How about that layout, are we looking good there as well?

To decide that we’ll have to break the season down into four quarters, Todd Haley style.

Overall, the Chiefs have the 23rd hardest schedule according to NFL.com with 2010 opponents churning out a 125-131-0 record in 2009. Let’s take a look at each of the four quarters…

1st Quarter

9/13 vs. San Diego

9/19 at Cleveland

9/26 vs. San Francisco

10/10 at Indianapolis

This is by far the most exciting quarter of the 2010 schedule for Chiefs fans. The quarter starts with a marquee game and ends with a marquee opponent.

1st Quarter Pros

  • The New Arrowhead is going to be an absolute madhouse on Monday night and there likely won’t be a better atmosphere all regular season long. This is a great way to take on a team that most view as the division’s front-runner.
  • Getting San Diego on the schedule early never hurts either. They’ve historically seemed to start slow, only to build as the season goes on. Last year the Chargers won their final 11 regular season contests and in 2008 San Diego won their final four games to sneak into the playoffs.
  • Extra time to prepare for the Colts coming off a bye week.
  • San Francisco will be operating on a short week in Week 3 as they host New Orleans on Monday Night Football September 20th.

1st Quarter Cons

  • Playing at Indianapolis is always a tall task.
  • An October 3rd bye week is much earlier than most clubs would prefer.
  • The Chiefs will be operating off a short week when they head to Cleveland in Week 2.

2nd Quarter

10/17 at Houston

10/24 vs. Jacksonville

10/31 vs. Buffalo

11/7 at Oakland

2nd Quarter Pros

  • Jacksonville will have to travel coming off a short week as they host Tennessee on Monday Night Football October 18th.
  • Buffalo on Halloween will make for a nice gameday atmosphere.
  • Back-to-back home dates for the first time of the season.

2nd Quarter Cons

  • The Chiefs will open the quarter with the back half of back-to-back road games against prolific passing offenses. The Chiefs secondary will be tested once again in Houston.
  • The first West Coast road trip of the year seems to always be a battle for the biological time clock.

3rd Quarter

11/14 at Denver

11/21 vs. Arizona

11/28 at Seattle

12/5 vs. Denver

3rd Quarter Pros

  • Late November always has a chance to produce some undesirable weather. Cold temperatures and a wet field could help derail the Cardinals air attack (so could the retirement of Kurt Warner).
  • If Denver is going to go through another second half slide in 2010, it’s nice that Kansas City gets them twice in the final eight games.

3rd Quarter Cons

  • Denver has extra time to prepare for a home game against the Chiefs coming off a November 7th bye week.
  • Kansas City seems to historically struggle in unfamiliar territory against NFC opponents. Philadelphia in 2009 (L, 34-14), Carolina in 2008 (L, 34-0) and Detroit in 2007 (L, 25-20) are all recent examples. The Seahawks fit that bill on the 2010 schedule.

4th Quarter

12/12 at San Diego

12/19 at St. Louis

12/26 vs. Tennessee

1/2 vs. Oakland

4th Quarter Pros

  • If the Chiefs are in contention, closing the season with back-to-back home dates could be a real advantage.
  • A short road trip to St. Louis is a welcome sight following a long road trip to San Diego. The only thing better would have been a home date
  • Jamaal Charles vs. Chris Johnson is one to circle.

4th Quarter Cons

  • If San Diego gets on a late season roll, the Chiefs will have to hop on the tracks far away from Arrowhead (location didn’t matter a season ago).
  • Chris Johnson: the biggest defensive headache for the Chiefs in 2010? Bigger than Peyton Manning?

Overall, this year’s schedule seems to be very well balanced and spread out. At no point in the season do the chiefs have three consecutive home or away dates. When divided into Haley’s quarter system, Kansas City gets two home games and two away games in each of the four segments.

The schedule makers have seemed to give the Chiefs a very manageable schedule in 2010. Of course, you never know what happens once the games begin.

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