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Old 01-03-2011, 01:36 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Babb:Chiefs fall in forgettable fashion to the Raiders

Chiefs fall in forgettable fashion to the Raiders
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

The good thing, at least if you ask Chiefs coach Todd Haley, is that this wasn’t the way Kansas City’s season ended. That was one redeeming quality, anyway.

One of the NFL’s most improbable playoff teams and division champions will proceed, and that’s more than 20 other teams can say. The Chiefs lost 31-10 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, and as unpleasant as that was, Haley said it was one game that, if all goes well, will be forgotten — buried under more surprises and jubilation.

Haley said for that to happen, the Chiefs have only one option.

“Move on now,” he said. “Not tomorrow, not in five hours, not in six hours. We’ve got to do that now.”

The Chiefs’ day started poorly and ended worse. They were bumped to the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs and will face Baltimore at noon Sunday instead of the New York Jets, whose erratic play, shaky quarterback and stumbling finish suggested a potentially better matchup for the Chiefs

But that possibility dissolved after Tennessee fumbled away a chance to upset Indianapolis, and the Colts’ Adam Vinatieri — that clutch kicker the New England lineage knows so well — drilled home a 43-yard field goal that clinched the AFC South title and the third seed for the Colts and introduced the Chiefs to a Sunday meeting with the Ravens.

If there was any good news about the Chiefs’ fortunes, it was that their playoff game is scheduled for Sunday, meaning they wouldn’t have to try to beat the 12-4 Ravens on Saturday and short rest. The Jets and Colts will meet Saturday night in the first round.

The Chiefs can maintain a routine they settled into throughout the season and used in going 7-1 at Arrowhead. That routine also has included quickly flushing the team’s previous game, win or lose, and focusing on the next opponent. As forgettable as Sunday’s game was, that task will now be equally challenging and crucial if Kansas City is to continue its magical season beyond the first round.

“The fashion in which we lost will lag upon us at least for the night,” Chiefs guard Brian Waters said. “No matter who you are as a competitor, you’re not going to be able to shake this one loose that quick.

“The easiest route is to continue to talk about what went wrong and who did what and point fingers, and I don’t expect this team to be like that. … I don’t think that’s the DNA of this football team. What we’ve shown is the ability to bounce back.”

As disappointing as Kansas City’s previous five losses were, it followed three of them with victories. Earlier this season, the team followed a loss with a three-game winning streak, and another response like that would have the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

“This will just make us hungry,” Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles said. “Every time we lose, we come back with a win.”

But if Sunday did nothing else, it reintroduced doubt in several areas that Kansas City hoped it had overcome. Matt Cassel wasn’t the efficient, reliable passer that he’d been during most of the season’s second half; instead, he was mistake-prone and reactionary, tying his season high with two interceptions and being sacked five times. The Chiefs’ top-ranked rushing offense managed 37 yards in the first half, their offensive line was awful, and Romeo Crennel’s defense — perhaps the heartbeat of this young team — allowed 31 points and the Raiders’ backup running back, Michael Bush, to rush for 137 yards.

Haley insisted after Sunday’s game that his team wasn’t distracted by offensive coordinator Charlie Weis’ departure for the same job with the University of Florida. Haley said he didn’t think his team was looking ahead to its first playoff appearance in four years and its first home postseason game since 2003. And he didn’t think players took the Raiders any less seriously than any other opponent.

But he didn’t know, and that was perhaps the most intimidating thing about Sunday’s loss.

“Impossible for me to answer,” Haley said.

Regardless of the reasons that Sunday was as ugly and demoralizing as most any loss this season, Haley said the page must be turned immediately.

Yes, the Chiefs will move on, but those within the locker room said that how far Kansas City will proceed will depend on how it handles — and shakes off, if it’s able — this latest hangover. The team won’t have days to lick their wounds; this one will have to be digested and gone by sunrise today.

“This regular season has defined our team,” Haley said. “Now, this postseason will determine what we are.”
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:41 AM   #2
Count Alex's Losses Count Alex's Losses is offline
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Quote:
Romeo Crennel’s defense — perhaps the heartbeat of this young team — allowed 31 points
The Star made this mistake twice now.

We gave up 24 points, not 31.

It's not hard, retards.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
Ugly Duck Ugly Duck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gif Horse View Post
The Star made this mistake twice now.

We gave up 24 points, not 31.

It's not hard, retards.
I don't blame the TD from the Jacoby Ford reverse on the Chiefs' defense either. Huff took the INT deep into the red zone just before that play. That quick-strike TD was a direct result of the play of KC's offense. Your D gave up 17 IMO.
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