The Kansas City Chiefs were a hot pick in the AFC West, but two weeks into this young season, many of the so-called experts are jumping ship.
Instead of darlings, Romeo Crennel's team has been outplayed in losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs weren't close in either game, but general manager Scott Pioli hasn't lost his sense of optimism.
"If any one of us knew what the answer was, we wouldn't be sitting where we're sitting right now," Pioli told The Kansas City Star. "But I also don't think it's the end of the world. We have 14 games left. We're certainly digging a hole but it's not something we can't get out of. Everyone within the organization is disappointed in the results so far. We're all surprised, because I don't think any one of us went into the season thinking we would be 0-2. I don't think any of us anticipated that."
It's hard to view Crennel as a newbie in Kansas City because he did a nice job down the stretch last season in relief of the fired Todd Haley. Crennel got into hot water as coach of the Cleveland Browns when players appeared to view him as more of a friend and less of an authority figure. That image was never entirely fair, but Crennel is no Tom Coughlin, and that's a talking point when the team lacks discipline.
Two losses don't mark the end of civilization. There's plenty to like about this team's young roster -- especially on defense -- and the AFC West remains an open race, no matter what the standings tell us today. But Pioli's on his second coach without much to show for it, and most GMs don't get a third chance. The next 14 weeks are critical for this regime.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.