The Detroit Lions await the arrival of their next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, in London, England. The Chief are a team that has already gone through a lot of strife this season and are barely clinging to any hope left for the remainder of the year. Let's see how the Chiefs got to where they are today:
Kansas City Chiefs (2-5)
Schedule so far:
Week 1 - at Texans - won, 27-20
Week 2 - vs. Broncos - lost, 24-31
Week 3 - at Packers - lost, 28-38
Week 4 - at Bengals - lost, 21-36
Week 5 - vs. Bears - lost, 17-18
Week 6 - at Vikings - lost, 10-16
Week 7 - vs. Steelers - won, 23-13
Reason for optimism:
The Lions can be optimistic this week, because the Chiefs have yet to win an impressive game yet. Their two wins came against a 2-5 team in disarray, and an okay Steelers team on their third-string quarterback.
Additionally, the Chiefs present a pretty good matchup for the Lions. Detroit has struggled at defending the pass all year, but Kansas City ranks just 17th in passing offense, according to Football Outsiders. The Chiefs also only have seven passing touchdowns on the year (t-26th), so don't expect huge numbers from Alex Smith this week. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs defense has been surprisingly pedestrian this season. They rank 24th in defending the pass and 13th defending the run. With Jim Bob Cooter now running the offense, we could see a spark from the Lions, especially with the offense nearing full health.
Reason for pessimism:
Despite their poor record, the Chiefs could very well be a 4-3 or 5-2 team at this point. They were in control of games against the Broncos and Bears before losing both contests in shocking fashion at the end of regulation. This is a team with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball that is still looking to have it all come together. While the Chiefs aren't as good as expected, they also aren't particularly terrible at anything, either. Their lowest ranked unit is their pass defense at 24th, while they actually rank above average at running the ball and defending the run.
The Chiefs are not a great team by any means, but they are, at worst, a below-average opponent.