The League

Desmond Bieler
Occasional Blogger, Constant Blowhard

Desmond Bieler

An assistant news editor at The Washington Post

Kansas City at New England, Week One

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

This should be a laugher for the Patriots. If not, we'll know that the Curse of the Super Bowl Loser is alive and well.

As far back as three years ago, we made the trend of Super Bowl also-rans having lousy follow-up campaigns the season-opening feature on our Gameday page. At that time, the question was whether the Eagles, who had been the model of victorious consistency in going to four straight NFC championship games, would succumb. Suffice it to say, they did. Since then, the Curse hasn't exactly been a model of consistency itself, as the Seahawks made the playoffs after losing Super Bowl XL. But that Seattle team had a bit of a down year, getting outscored on the season and eking out a 9-7 record, and last year's runner-up, the Bears, went along with the jinx by plunging to 7-9.

So where does that leave the Patriots? Curse aside, they are left as an offensive juggernaut coached by a defensive mastermind, and they figure to have a chip on their collective shoulder following their shocking loss to the Giants in the Big Game. But taking the Curse into account, Tom Brady missed the entire preseason with a bruised foot, and the 50 Touchdown Man stopped somewhat short of guaranteeing he'll be on the field this Sunday. Randy Moss, he of the 23 TD receptions, is back, but he is no longer playing for a new contract, so we'll see if all that straight cash, homie, compels him to take a few more plays off. Let's see, what else? Well, one could certainly argue that they are too thin to withstand injuries, especially the kind of wave of misfortune that has struck so many recent Super Bowl losers. Brady is backed up by the almost shockingly unaccomplished duo of Matt Cassel and Matt Gutierrez (what, Matt Lauer wasn't available?). If Moss goes down, Donte Stallworth isn't around anymore to pick up the slack, and the offseason defection of star cornerback Asante Samuel has left the cupboard decidedly bare in the secondary.

The Chiefs should be improved from last year's 4-12 debacle, but not enough to pose a threat at Foxboro -- unless Brady is out. The jury is heavily sequestered on whether Brodie Croyle is an actual NFL quarterback, and while everyone loved K.C.'s draft this past April, relying on rookies is a good way to make your fans look forward to next year's draft, when you'll have another high pick. This week, the Chiefs need to hope that Larry Johnson goes off like he did from 2004 to 2006 -- back when he had, you know, a good offensive line -- and that, for some eerie, impossible-to-explain reason, the Pats don't bring their A, or B, or C game.

By Desmond Bieler  |  September 4, 2008; 12:01 PM ET  | Category:  Week 1 Previews Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Jacksonville at Tennessee, Week One | Next: Washington at N.Y. Giants, Week One

Comments

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my wife is a cheifs fan. will the game be on tv?

Posted by: brian | September 5, 2008 2:53 PM

Yes, the game will always be on TV. However, as always, it depends on where you live as to what game you get. DirectTV has a package that can purchase all NFL games for less than the cost of 4 tickets to ONE game.

Posted by: Jeff | September 5, 2008 4:08 PM

And may I add, Brian, that your wife may not want to actually witness the beatdown that awaits her beloved Chiefs.

thanks both for your comments

Posted by: Desmond Bieler | September 5, 2008 6:03 PM

gee, Jeff, work for DirecTV much? unfortunately your product stinks, and is not available to everyone. can we please get someone in Congress interested in busting up the NFL-DirecTV syndicate?

Posted by: jamie | September 6, 2008 5:38 PM

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