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Chiefs Pantalones
10-01-2006, 01:27 AM
Must avoid 0-3
Odds of reaching the playoffs after going 0-2 are bad, but third loss is nearly insurmountable.
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
NFL history says that a team that begins its season 0-2 is almost certainly history when the playoffs come. Only 17 teams winless after two games reached the postseason since the NFL expanded the playoff field to 12 teams in 1990.

The Chiefs should know the history well. Eight times they opened 0-2, and only one climbed back by season’s end to so much as a .500 record. None of those teams received even a whiff of a playoff race.

And an 0-3 team? The odds just took a hike. Only three times since 1990 has an 0-3 team reached the playoffs.

It’s no wonder the 0-2 Chiefs are looking at today’s game against San Francisco at Arrowhead Stadium as if a guillotine is hanging over them.

“It is a must-win no matter how you look at it,” cornerback Patrick Surtain said. “In the AFC and especially in our division, you can’t start off the season 0-3 and expect to make the playoffs. That’s how we’re taking this game, and I think you’ll see guys going out there Sunday and playing like it.”

The Chiefs, if they so choose, can take heart from the success stories. The Chargers in 1992 lost their first four games but rebounded, won 11 of their next 12 and won the AFC West championship.

Three 0-2 teams wound up playing in the Super Bowl. The Cowboys in 1993 and Patriots in 2001 ended up as world champions.

The Chiefs’ Damon Huard was a reserve for the 2001 Patriots, who took off when little-known quarterback Tom Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe.

“Getting that first win is probably the most important thing,” Huard said. “Then you just kind of get a little confidence and you get things rolling. Was there any particular thing we did that week? Nothing really stands out. You’ve got to stay true to your plan, your game plan.”

While coaching the Jets, Herm Edwards never guided an 0-2 team to the playoffs. But twice his team recovered from a lethargic start to reach the postseason. The Jets were 1-4 and later 2-5 in 2002 but eventually won the AFC East title.

A 44-13 win over the Chargers started the Jets on a four-game winning streak.

“I had a feeling we had a good football team,” Edwards recalled. “It was just a matter of putting one together. We put one really together and ended up winning the division. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves. I know it’s pretty hard feeling good when you’re 3-5. But it got us rolling. We had to win the games down the stretch, and things had to fall our way and they did.

“It’s a long season, and that’s why you don’t panic, you don’t get distracted about what people are saying or thinking. You just keep playing, and we’ve gotten better, but we haven’t won a game yet. We’ve gotten better since (the season-opener against) Cincinnati, in my estimation.”

Do any of these lessons really apply to the Chiefs? Hunters for positive omens might look to Huard, who will start at quarterback today in place of the injured Trent Green.

Huard is, unlike New England’s Brady, a journeyman and a stopgap until Green returns. But could he be, if just for a few games, the Chiefs’ Brady?

And what about the hapless 49ers, who were destroyed at home last week by the Eagles? Could they be the springboard for a Chiefs turnaround, much as the Chargers for Edwards’ 2002 Jets?

Looking at the situation more realistically, the Chiefs have plenty of work to do if they are to join the exclusive list of 0-2 teams to make the playoffs. They have a long list of issues, including porous pass protection and the absence of Green, who won’t play until Oct. 15 in Pittsburgh at the earliest.

After games today against San Francisco and next week in Arizona, the schedule again becomes formidable. In playing the Steelers, the Chiefs begin a stretch of three games against playoff contenders.

They are already two games behind the Chargers and 1 1/2 behind the Broncos in the AFC West race.

A victory can change the picture.

“You just need to win a game,” Edwards said. “If you can win a game, you get confidence and you can get some momentum going. We’ve played two pretty good football teams, and we had a chance in both games, even the Cincinnati game.

“Our players have a sense of urgency right now. They know they’re down two (games) and they can’t continue to do this or it’s going to be very, very tough. The thing they do know is that when you get off to a slow start, the margin for error at the end becomes very, very difficult for you. The thing about the teams I was involved with, the pressure becomes even greater because you run out of games. You know that.

“It’s not like baseball or basketball where you have 100-some games. It gets into October and it gets into November, and you’re looking at that schedule going, ‘You know what, there’s no more room for error because if we lose one, we’re out of the race.’ That is very, very daunting. That is a lot of pressure every week. You’re putting yourself in a must-win every week. You’ve got to keep winning, and that’s pressure football.”

Although that first win can be the catalyst for some good things, it can also be the toughest for any team to get.

“You want it so bad, sometimes you get out of character, and you can’t get out of character,” Edwards said. “You can’t win it in the first quarter. It’s not going to happen. You’ll have to play 60 minutes. These guys know that. These guys have won. They know how to win, and you don’t want them to start pressing.

“What we can’t do is start getting out of character and start doing things that lose games for you. We can’t go out there and say, ‘We’re going to do all these things.’ We’ve got to have a game plan and stick to our plan, make adjustments when we have to make adjustments and make plays when the opportunity presents itself.”

the Talking Can
10-01-2006, 01:52 AM
herm makes as much sense as DV....by which I mean "none at all"....

CHIEF4EVER
10-01-2006, 02:14 AM
Must avoid 0-3


No shit, eh? In other news, if you piss on an electric fence you may get shocked. Film at 11.

Bill Parcells
10-01-2006, 04:16 AM
. We had to win the games down the stretch, and things had to fall our way and they did.
I find this ironic...when he was with the Jets he said this too..it's as if he thinks the first couple of games are not that important..
And always blamed not succeeding because he did not get the breaks down the stretch..

This is why Jet fans have such a hard on for him..He still thinks he never did anything wrong during his entire tenure with the Jets..And we all know that you become better at what you do by learning from your mistakes

Count Zarth
10-01-2006, 05:33 AM
Teicher is a thieving bastard!

milkman
10-01-2006, 05:46 AM
Teicher is a thieving bastard!

It's too damn bad he ain't smart enough to steal something of value.

old_geezer
10-01-2006, 05:57 AM
It's too damn bad he ain't smart enough to steal something of value.

LMAO ROFL

ChiefFripp
10-01-2006, 06:15 AM
I have no expectations for a Chief's playoff run this year. I'm just going to enjoy each game for their own merit without thinking about post season. Hopefully they can get this team rebuilt in 1 or 2 more seasons.

runnercyclist
10-01-2006, 07:14 AM
No shit

Rain Man
10-01-2006, 09:35 AM
Actually, three times since 1990 for 0-3 teams is more than I would've thought. This is an inspiring article.

ChiefFripp
10-01-2006, 09:36 AM
Actually, three times since 1990 for 0-3 teams is more than I would've thought. This is an inspiring article.
Ah, dry sarcasm.