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2011 K.C. Chiefs Odds | Preview | Picks

2011 San Diego Chargers Team Preview | NFL Predictions

The 2010 version of the Kansas City Chiefs loved to do one thing: run the football. This is very evident because the AFC West’s most resurgent team led the National Football League in rushing in the 2010 campaign, with an average of 164.2 yards a game.

2011 San Diego Chargers Team Preview/Predictions
2010 Record: 10-6
ATS Record: 9-7

Most of the credit has to go to a standout offensive line and 1,467-yard rusher Jamaal Charles.

The Chiefs’ offensive line is much better at run blocking than pass blocking. In terms of throwing the ball down the field, KC wasn’t as successful. The Chiefs ranked 30th in the NFL, averaging only 185.5 yards a game throwing the pigskin. Yet, the lack of passing prowess only heightens Kansas City’s ability to pound the rock between the tackles.

The normal laws of football suggest that teams must be able to throw the ball if they want to run it effectively, and vice versa. Yet, the Chiefs were so strong with their ground game that they didn’t need a dynamic passing attack.

Running the ball well is impressive enough in its own right; doing so without a big-league passing threat is that much more remarkable.

On the other side of the ball, the Kansas City defense made massive improvements in 2010, and a lot of the credit for that big step forward has to go to defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. The emergence of Tamba Hali was crucial to the Chiefs’ success as well. Hali is one of the best pass rushers in the AFC. The Chiefs, much like their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Rams, engineered a surprising and substantial turnaround in 2010.

In 2009, Kansas City posted a 4-12 record; one year later, the struggling franchise turned into a division champion and a playoff team. One of the main reasons for the quick reversal of fortune was the organization’s 2010 draft class, highlighted by University of Tennessee safety Eric Berry.

Even though Kansas City enjoyed a remarkable bounce-back season in 2010, the franchise still has some question marks. If it wants to advance deeper in the playoffs this year, it will have to find answers. Chiefs signal caller Matt Cassel had a solid 2010 campaign, largely due to an impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio.

However, he folded in the playoffs once Jamaal Charles left the game with an injury. Cassel has proven that he can win regular season games, but he has his limits, as does every single quarterback. It’s up to the coaching staff to put him in the best position to succeed. T

herein lies the problem. Former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis took his offensive talents to the University of Florida. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

As has been noted, the Chiefs’ defense made unbelievable strides in 2010. Just imagine what this unit would look like if it got any production from 2009 draft pick Tyson Jackson, a defensive end from LSU. Jackson is now at a point in his career when consistent production is not an option.

Jackson must deliver the goods in order to remain on this roster.

The Chiefs were crowned division champs in 2010 but it will be difficult to repeat in 2011. The San Diego Chargers are still very dangerous, and the Chiefs had a lot of bounces go their way in order to unseat the Chargers for the division crown last year.

Still, this franchise is young and has several core pieces in place. Most of Kansas City’s success will hinge on Cassel.

It should be a great game of chess all year between the Chargers and Chiefs.

2011 Chiefs Futures

Super Bowl Odds: +1015
Conference Odds: +1815
AFC West Odds: +365
2011-2012 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 7.5

2011 Chiefs Predictions:

Place they’ll finish in AFC West: 2nd
Place they’ll finish in AFC Conference: 8th

Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER

With NFL football just a short time away, Cappers Picks Football handicappers have been hard at work putting out the team by team NFL previews for those of us who can’t wait.

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Dave Golokhov has written for Playboy.com, BETUS Sportsbook, Sportsfanmagazine.com, FOX, Askmen.com, Sports-central, and the FOXSports.com Funhouse.