Chiefs provide Football Outsiders 'relief'


This is the Football Outsiders’ chance to stick out their chest and gloat.

They called the Kansas City Chiefs the unlikely AFC West championship way back before the season started.

Who else can say that? I know I can’t.

I thought the Chiefs, who won a total of 10 games from 2007-09, would be improved. I didn’t think the Chiefs would be 10-5 and would have clinched the AFC West in Week 16.

So are the Football Outsiders bragging and throwing victory parades?

“It's more of a relief, but it's rewarding,” Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders said Monday. “This call is sure better than talking about a team we picked to win the division and they ended up going 2-14.”

The many reasons why the Football Outsiders thought the Chiefs would make a big turnaround are hereInsider. But Barnwell admits there was skepticism when the numbers concluded that the Chiefs would win the division.

“At first, sure, we were skeptical too, and we checked all the numbers,” Barnwell said. “But then we looked at it, saw some good things going on and saw some good players and a pretty weak schedule … Once the Chiefs beat the Chargers on Monday Night in Week 1, it was a little relieving and it gave us hope.”

So how far does Barnwell see this Chiefs train going in the playoffs? Does he have another bold prediction in store for Kansas City?

Not so fast.

“I don’t look at Kansas City as a great team, I look at it as a pretty good team that has some flaws,” Barnwell said. “One of the reasons why we liked the Chiefs was their history of success at Arrowhead Stadium. They are 7-0 so I can see them winning in the first round, but it may be difficult for the Chiefs to win on the road in the playoffs.”

You never what’s going to happen. But who would doubt the Football Outsiders now?