Chiefs fans might want to savor this past season's playoff appearance. At least, that's the opinion of CBS Sports' Clark Judge, who thinks the Chiefs -- the defending AFC West Champions -- won't be playing in the 2010 postseason (if there even is an NFL season to be had).
Don't get Judge wrong. He writes that he "likes what's happening here," especially gunslinger Matt Cassel and the Chiefs' young defense. But he writes that holding off San Diego again doesn't sound probable -- and he's "nervous" about the exit of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis or the thought of Cassel without Weis.
Take it away, Judge:
What I don't: Matt Cassel without Charlie Weis. I don't know, it just seemed to work so well last season. Now Jim Zorn takes over as quarterbacks coach, with Haley calling the plays, and I'm not sure that flies. Most of all, I don't like the Chiefs' chances of beating San Diego a second straight year. I know, Kansas City had the league's best rushing attack in 2010, but Thomas Jones turns 33 this season, and Jamaal Charles isn't built to carry the load by himself. But it's not Charles who's the concern; it's Cassel. He was bulletproof for all but the final two games, then hit the wall -- with no TDs and five interceptions. So what? So the Chiefs lost by a combined score of 61-17.And despite calling the Chiefs "legitimate," he doesn't see them surprising anyone.
What Judge doesn't mention is that the Chiefs' 2011 schedule is downright brutal with games against six playoff qualifiers, including the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, Pittsbrugh Steelers and New England Patriots.
Verdict: The Chiefs are legitimate. Of that I have no doubt. But I don't see them catching anyone by surprise again. They lost three of their final five, including two to division rivals, and surrendered 30 or more points in each of those losses. That might be an omen.