Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson
Power Rankings: Preseason: 29. This week: 28.
Where they stand: The Chiefs are, once again, an overall uncompetitive team. This is a team that won a total of six games in the final two years of the former regime. Under new general manager Scott Pioli and new head coach Todd Haley, there has been no tangible improvement. The Chiefs are 1-7 and have not competed in most games. The team has been lackluster on offense and overmatched on defense. There are many holes on this roster. Kansas City, which cut ties with troubled veteran running back Larry Johnson this week, looks like it is a long way from being competitive.
Disappointments: The biggest disappointment for Kansas City is probably the lack of improvement. There was a lot of excitement when Pioli came in and there have not been any results yet. It’s early and the program seems like it is headed in the right direction. But it’s been slower than expected. This team looks to be no better than last year’s 2-14 outfit. The Chiefs have been particularly bland on offense. Haley had great success as an offensive coordinator in Arizona. But he has been unable to generate any explosiveness from a less talented group in Kansas City.
Surprises: The Chiefs have a few players shining unexpectedly. Receiver Lance Long had eight catches last Sunday at Jacksonville. He was promoted from the practice squad two weeks ago. He could be an interesting player to watch in the second half of the season. At linebacker, Corey Mays has played well and looks like he can be a potential standout. The story of the second half could be receiver Chris Chambers. He had three catches for 70 yards, including two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, against the Jaguars in his first game as a Chief. Chambers was claimed off waivers from San Diego last week. Chambers could spark an unproductive offense in the second half.
Outlook: The Chiefs actually showed some signs of life, offensively at least, at Jacksonville. They scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. It was the best the unit looked all season. The quarter output was better than the Chiefs’ point output for four of their previous six games. The Chiefs are building toward the future. If this team can build upon the late success in Jacksonville and win some games in the second half of the season, it could be a good building block for Kansas City down the road.