The national sporting press is starting to roll out its predictions for the 2010-11 NFL season. And while specific predictions don't mean much, anytime large groups of sportswriters reach some sort of consensus, they're usually right. Or at least not totally wrong.
In this case, the consensus is less depressing than you might expect.
The Sporting News is predicting that the Chiefs will finish 9-7. That's three games behind the Chargers in the division, but still -- that's nine non-shitty Sundays and Mondays. Wives of Kansas City football fans rejoice!
ESPN predicts the same record, but a positively dreamy outcome: A division title. This month's Magazine predicts that 9-7 record will be enough to hold off the Chargers and sneak into the playoffs, meaning at least one extra week of high for football junkies before the eventual come down.
I happen to think that 9-7 is a little high. Home wins against the Bills, Broncos, Raiders and Cardinals seem reasonable, as do road wins against the Browns and Rams. That's six. Throw in a random win against the Chargers and a wild-card win somewhere else on the schedule, and that gets you to eight. But even that seems like a stretch, unless Matt Cassel quickly proves himself to be more than the career back-up he's looked like so far.
But since the Pitch is more known for product-testing synthetic drugs than it is picking football games, we ask you, dear reader: What do you think? How many wins will the Chiefs rack up in 2010-11, and where will they finish in the division?
Peruse the schedule (from ESPN.com) below and leave your predictions in the comments. If you nail their record exactly, bring this post back up at the season's end we'll buy you a beer.