For the second straight season, the Kansas City Chiefs will need a win over the Green Bay Packers in the final preseason game to avoid going 0-4. Last year the Chiefs walked away with a 17-13 victory and wound up opening up the season with a three-game winning streak on their way to a division title.
Everyone likes to see that “W”, but don’t mistake preseason final results as progress. Kansas City head coach Todd Haley knows that the performance of individual players is much more important than putting a number up in the left hand column.
“I think you potentially could win and not necessarily have gotten better. Just like here in the preseason, you could lose and have gotten better in some areas, much like what we saw last year.”
In the final preseason game against the Packers last season, Brodie Croyle led the Chiefs with 119 yards in the air and Jackie Battle had 10 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile Matt Cassel had all of 58 yards passing and Jamaal Charles carried the ball once for two yards.
Would you rather walk away from a game with a win? Of course. As a wise man once said you play to win the game, you don’t play it to just play it. The players out on the field will be competing and trying to win, but it’s the coach’s job to make sure his team is ready for the games that matter.
“We need to get better in a lot of different areas,” Haley said. “That’s what I’m going to be looking for number one. And yes, I want to stay healthy. I want to win the game, but we’ve got to continue to get better because, again, every day counts.”
So while going without a victory in the preseason isn’t anything you want for your team, it’s much more important to get as much information possible to help make the final roster cuts and keep the core players healthy.