The Buffalo Bills didn't exactly set the world ablaze during the pre-season - the starting offense didn't score a touchdown until Week 3, lineups were consistently tinkered with, and the team's depth players looked largely bad in finishing 1-3 - but their run was positively delightful compared to what the Kansas City Chiefs dealt with.
Don't take my word for it. Joel Thorman of ArrowheadPride.com can explain it better than I can, anyway.
"It has, indeed, been a rough pre-season," said Thorman. "First, Jonathan Baldwin gets into a fight with Thomas Jones, and the Chiefs lose (Baldwin) for the pre-season. Second, Tony Moeaki is lost for the year with a torn ACL. Third, Matt Cassel gets banged up in the final pre-season game. That's a lot to happen to a team."
The Chiefs' 0-4 pre-season finish doesn't matter a ton, but the fact that they were outscored 90-42 may cause some concern. What's more, head coach Todd Haley is steeped in controversy.
Haley has always been a highly individualistic coach, and his unique approach to playing starters in the pre-season raised some eyebrows in Kansas City - particularly after two starters were injured during extensive playing time in the pre-season finale, when starters typically sit across the league. Thorman acknowledges the controversy surrounding Haley, but his views haven't changed much.
"Not really," said Thorman. "He's getting beat up a little bit locally because he played the starters for so long in the final preseason game - that's the game Moeaki and Cassel were injured - but, as he said this week, injuries are going to happen regardless. Hindsight is 20/20, and I'm not going to bash him for that. Frankly, I like Haley more and more over the last two and a half years."
The Chiefs lost an ugly home playoff game to the Baltimore Ravens last post-season, then lost offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to the college ranks prior to the NFL lockout. It's been a rough ride - so much so, in fact, that it's tough to think of a fan base cheering on a reigning 10-6 division champion that's been this low heading into the regular season. Will it matter on Sunday? Not one lick. But that doesn't mean the Chiefs aren't vulnerable.