With the Chiefs dropping their opener to the Ravens and facing a stretch of four games against the rugged NFC East, Todd Haley could find it difficult to give his players a chance to taste victory.
That puts a desperate light on this Sunday’s game against Oakland at Arrowhead Stadium. The game is suddenly about a frantic attempt to save their season from peril two weeks in.
“It doesn’t really matter who’s coming in,” safety Jarrad Page said. “We need a win. That’s the thing I can definitely tell you. We need a win.”
The Raiders are one team on the early schedule capable of providing the Chiefs some comfort. One of KC’s last two wins came against the Raiders last season in Oakland.
But the Raiders won their last two games at Arrowhead. In any case, the Chiefs are in no position to take anything for granted.
If they are a new team, the Chiefs have to find a way to win at Arrowhead. The place once provided one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, but the Chiefs over the last two seasons are no better in Kansas City than they’ve been on the road.
“This is our first home game,” Page said. “We want to establish something here that we don’t let teams come in and beat us at our house. That’s the first thing we need to get done.”
Bringing the aura of Arrowhead back could be the most important thing the “new” Chiefs need to accomplish this season. It was beyond embarrassing the past two seasons to see team after team stroll into Kansas City and not be phased at all. Players used to dread having to play in Kansas City and that feeling needs to be brought back hopefully starting with Sunday against the Raiders.
Todd Haley doesn’t hold a press conference on Mondays, but he spoke on the Chiefs Radio Network and Bob Gretz took notes on what the Chiefs head coach had to say.
On the Chiefs physical condition:
“Our team has to be in condition to compete the way we have to and win games. We didn’t have any IVs after the game. Sometimes there are 10 or 11 guys after a game like that (with IVs). We came out relatively clean.”
On the performance of Brodie Croyle:
“If you had told me we scored 24 points, I would have believed we’d win the game. Brodie played well enough to give us a chance to win. Brodie did a commendable job, in a difficult situation. Throughout the week we didn’t know for sure who was playing. We took it right down the wire whether Matt would play or not, we felt the best direction to go was with Brodie. He did a solid job for us.”
The team wasn’t pushed around because of conditioning. They were pushed around because the Ravens are a much more physical team. Conditioning won’t be a problem this season, but the team needs to be more physical going forward.
I’ve softened my stance on Croyle’s performance a bit. But Haley gave him too much credit for the team scoring 24 points. The first seven came courtesy of special teams and another were a gift from linebacker Derrick Johnson. Yes, Croyle did a “commendable job” working on very little notice, but to go beyond that with praise is too much for me.
The Oakland Raiders fell to the San Diego Chargers last night 24-20. The offense holding it’s own wasn’t the most surprising thing coming from the Raiders.
Defensively, the Raiders looked downright handsome (up until the final drive) and credit that to the additions of veteran defensive linemen Greg Ellis and Richard Seymour. Ellis forced a red-zone turnover on the Chargers’ second possession, and Seymour had two sacks, his first coming only six snaps into his post-trade tenure.
“I’m encouraged by the signs I see,” Seymour said. “Guys are fighting hard and playing tough. That’s what it takes to win in this league. I didn’t know what to expect, but talking with the guys, I felt how excited they were. That’s what it’ll take, to keep up that same sense of urgency.”
There’s that word again. Many people felt the Chiefs would roll over for the Ravens and even more are expecting the Raiders to roll over for Kansas City. I still don’t believe the Oakland offense can get the job done, but the defense looked very impressive last night and should serve as a reminder to this team that there are no easy games in the NFL.