Now that the Chiefs have their first win, how will they respond? Kansas City’s recent history suggests it will be a while before the next victory, writes The Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher.
Their three previous victories were followed by losing streaks of 12, seven and nine games. The Chiefs haven’t won back-to-back games since victories over Cincinnati and Oakland in October 2007.
“That’s a great question,” said McGraw, when asked how the Chiefs will respond to their first win in almost 11 months. “I really don’t know. We really haven’t had much (success). Hopefully, the guys handle it well and understand that there’s a time to enjoy it and a time to forget about it and move on.”
Except for the five losses this season, the rest of that history predates Haley, who has his own brand of motivational techniques. Plane flights home from the season’s first two road games, both losses, were somber, with the players taking their cue from Haley. Players wondered in the locker room in Washington whether they would be allowed to relax on this flight home.
“Coach Haley gave us permission to enjoy it, which was nice,” McGraw said. “We did that, and we’re excited about building on it. This team really needed to see the fruits of our labor. It was a really good thing for us.”
The team obviously needed to win, but being able to savor it could be just as important. In order for a team to learn how to win they have to also learn how to celebrate and come back the next week with the same sort of edge.
They were allowed to properly celebrate and now this Sunday we have to see if they can bounce back, something the Herm Edwards Chiefs could never do.
After the Redskins lost to the Chiefs, Jim Zorn was stripped of his play calling. To this point int he season they must be worse on offense than Kansas City, right? Not at all. The only statistic where the Chiefs top the Redskins is touchdowns — by one. Bob Gretz explains the difference between Zorn being destroyed and Haley being allowed to build.
Perspective. It’s always that way no matter what world or business we may exam. One team expected so much more; the Redskins haven’t used the term rebuilding, or process as Todd Haley likes to call what’s happened around the Chiefs.
So the Washington fans are grabbing pitch forks and carrying torches, they want the heads of the owner, GM and head coach. And Chiefs fans are enjoying the team’s first victory of the season.
That “W” came despite a pedestrian offensive performance. They had 268 yards in total offense; nothing special, although it was the third best offensive day of the season. The passing game produced 158 yards and allowed five sacks. That’s 14 sacks in the last three games. They were four of 17 on third down conversions, or 24 percent and they were 0 for 2 in the scoring zone.
Comparing the Chiefs to any team that had playoff aspirations coming into the season isn’t fair. If Kansas City ends up with 5 wins, while it may sound silly, that is a successful season after the train wreck that was 2008. Meanwhile, if (when?) the Redskins finish with that many wins firing Zorn will not be nearly enough blood for the Washington faithful.
Another team that is failing to meet expectations is the San Diego Chargers. After losing to the Broncos last night 34-23, Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune says the Chargers have gone from being a solid NFL team to dead-flat average.
At times they don’t even seem competitive, and there is no worse sign than that. Maybe it’s not their fault. When the other guy is better than you, it isn’t your fault. Used to be, not long ago, these guys could line up and take on anybody. That’s gone now. Strange, because so many names remain the same.
Winning the AFC West is out. They’re 3½ games behind Denver now, and the Broncos, improbable as it seemed just weeks ago, are better than they are. And I’ve seen nothing to tell me the Chargers are smart enough, good enough, physical enough and coached enough to even think of contending for a wild-card spot.
Not this way. Not the way they’re playing, and if it continues, General Manager A.J. Smith had better start thinking of a massive makeover similar to what Denver has gone through. The Broncos have become a fast, physical, opportunistic club right before the Chargers’ wondering eyes.
Quarterback Philip Rivers, who Monday night spent more time on his back than Michelangelo, knows any chance of catching Denver in the West was dashed, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop his season at 2-3.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Rivers, who, after a brilliant start – 139 first-quarter passing yards – found himself looking like a drunk in a subway. “We have to get a hold of this one quick or we’ll be in trouble.”
That alarm has gone off. They are in trouble.
Well, this week it won’t be a case of the other guy being better. The Chiefs don’t have the amount of talent San Diego has but as we finally saw against the Redskins, talent doesn’t mean everything.
Can the Chiefs take advantage of another team suffering a crisis of confidence? It would be a hell of a way to head into the bye.