Winning is a Habit, and So is Losing
This is THE CHOP
“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
Mr. Lombardi knew what he was talking about here. The habit of winning and the habit of losing is so crystal clear in today’s NFL, it’s almost comical. There are teams in the NFL today that perfectly personify this quote. Obviously, the New England Patriots are the perfect example of a team making winning a habit. Just look at what they’ve done since firing Pete Carroll after the 1999 season:
That is habit, friends. Looking at this is mind-blowing for me. First of all, they’ve won their division 13 times in 16 seasons under Belichick. They had three Super Bowl victories in his first 5 seasons of the regime, and to boot, they haven’t lost more than 6 games in a season for 13 years.
This is what the Chiefs, and every other NFL team, should be aspiring to be (obviously). And, for the most part, the Chiefs are off to a good start under the Reid and Dorsey regime. They’ve had three straight winning seasons, two playoff appearances, and of course finally secured that first playoff victory in what, like 150 years or something? Much better than nothing. Whenever I start feeling down on the Chiefs, it’s easy enough to look back at where they came from and remember myself stating, “I don’t even care about a Super Bowl. I just want the Chiefs to be competitive.”
Well, so far, so good.
While we look fondly on the Vermeil era of Chiefs football, when you actually look at that string of seasons, you’ll see one great record, and then three mediocre ones, only one playoff appearance (a loss, in a game with no punts), and that’s really it. It’s not as impressive as I remember it being in the moment:
In fact, to find anything close to a regime having a “habit” of winning, you have to go all the back to the way back to the Schottenheimer era:
That’s certainly “making winning a habit.”
There is, however, one major, shared flaw in the Shottenheimer, Vermeil and Reid/Dorsey eras:
Not enough Division Championships.
Let’s face it, guys. When it comes to the AFC West, the Chiefs are always the bridesmaid, and never the bride. Reid hasn’t won the AFC West yet. Vermeil did it once, and Marty did it only 3 times. To make matters worse for the Schottenheimer era is that even when winning the division in 1997, the Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl.
Here’s to hoping Reid and Dorsey stay the course and finally bring home an AFC West Championship this year.
Speaking of this year, and particularly this week as we face the Jacksonville Jaguars, let’s talk about losing as a habit, as well. The Jaguars have made a habit of losing in recent years, but in all reality, they too got off to an amazing start, especially for an expansion team. Take a look at their first handful of seasons in the league, under head coach Tom Coughlin:
After an understandably rough inaugural season, Coughlin was able to string together 4 winning seasons, and 4 playoff appearances that included two AFC Championship games. That’s quite a start for an expansion team. Since? They’ve made a habit of losing. Take a look at the last 8 seasons for Jacksonville. They’ve had seven losing seasons under 4 coaches:
This year, Jacksonville was a sexy pick to be the turnaround team in the NFL. They seem to have a ton of weapons, had beefed up in free agency and the draft, and may were confident they’d be challenging for the AFC South title (which really doesn’t seem that difficult sitting here today). Instead, Jacksonville is 2-5 with -57 in net points, and don’t look any better than they have been in the recent past.
The issue? They’ve made a habit of losing.
As Kansas City tries to continue its recent winning ways (15-2 in the last 17), they need to continue to feed off of teams with habits of losing, like the Jaguars. If the Chiefs are who we think they are, they’ll do just that, and keep Jacksonville in the cellar. Where they’re most comfortable.
Alrighty boys, let’s Chop it up.
The Jaguars two-tone helmet makes absolutely zero sense. Gold in the back, matte black in the front. In the press following the release of the new helmets, Todd Van Horne, NIKE Vice President and Creative Director for Football, stated the dual toned helmet “represents a Jaguars pouncing on its prey from the shadows.” But if that’s really true, shouldn’t the helmet be black in the back, and gold in the front? Are they pouncing backwards? Tell me what I’m missing here…
Surprise Upset of the Week
Not to pick on Minnesota at all, but they looked AWFUL last week. I know I picked the upset, but thinking it will happen, and then watching it happen like that are two very different things. Therefore, this week, Minny gets the call again. Detroit puts a whoopin’ on them in their new stadium and the panic begins.
Sh*t My Dad Says
“This week, if we don’t win by 100 points, the Chiefs are garbage.”
Look, Dad hasn’t said anything to that effect just yet, but he will. It won’t matter that we will be without our starting guard, without our starting OLB, without both of our stud running backs, and missing our signal caller. If we don’t absolutely crush the Jags, my Dad will threaten to abandon the Chiefs. As he usually does after a loss.
I’ll let you guys know next week if I was right.
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