This article is part of our Team Previews series.
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
The theme of the Chiefs' 2011 season was turmoil. Before the season even kicked off, first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin broke his thumb in a locker room fight with Thomas Jones, ultimately causing him to miss his first five career games. Then ACL's started giving out left and right. First, Tony Moeaki, their only receiving threat at tight end, tore his in the team's final preseason game. Then it was star safety Eric Berry in Week 1, followed the very next week by Jamaal Charles, the team's most dynamic offensive weapon. If that wasn't enough, Matt Cassel broke his right hand in Week 10, and after a 5-8 start, head coach Todd Haley was fired.
But that's when the bleeding stopped. The adversity toughened the Chiefs and they rallied around interim coach Romeo Crennel to somehow stop the undefeated Green Bay Packers' train with a shocking 19-14 win in Week 15. In three games under Crennel, they came within an overtime loss to Oakland of miraculously winning the AFC West, instead finishing 7-9 on the season.
Now for the third straight year, the Chiefs enter an offseason with coaching transitions in play. In part because of the impact of the Green Bay upset, Crennel gets a chance to stick around. With his prior experience as head coach of the Browns to call upon and the respect and admiration that the team's players have for him, he should be able to get the team back