The Chiefs have found a way to make practice fun. At least, that’s the report that came out of Kansas City’s locker room on Thursday afternoon.
Todd Haley’s “back to basics” approach this week has included a return to full-padded practices and, admittedly, it’s been a grind for some of the players. But this type of mid-season grind seems to be one that the Chiefs are embracing.
Thursday’s locker room atmosphere was at its best in several weeks; all apparently because practice has become “fun” again.
“We were in a little bit of a routine, but now the guys are back to having fun and running around,” DE
During Kansas City’s two-game losing streak, consistency has lacked across the board. Over the past two games, the Chiefs are committing more penalties, allowing more turnovers and seeing both mental and physical errors increase.
“That’s been a main factor for myself personally,” Gilberry said. “Being consistent is something that you have to work on and it doesn’t come easy, nor do you expect it to. We’ve gone back to the basics, do the little things right and correct those things, because those little things turn into big things on Sundays.”
Thursday’s mid-week pick-me-up, in the midst of cold weather, is a welcome sight for a team that badly needs a victory on Sunday.
“We just need to win and get the team’s spirit back up,” WR
A Must-Win Game
The stakes have continued to grow along with the Chiefs 2010 season, and it’s exciting to see meaningful football return to Arrowhead once again in November and December. Throughout the year, Haley has circled specific games as “the biggest game of the season.” It’s part of his one-week/four-quarter approach to the year.
As the Chiefs continued to win early-season games, the games just kept getting bigger.
We’re likely hear more of that big-game sentiment should the Chiefs continue to stay a part of the AFC West chase, but this week we finally heard our first “must win” statement of 2010.
“This is a must-win, have-to-win, got-to-win…we need it all this game,” LB
Johnson is right. If there is any game this season that has resembled a must-win, it’s this week. The Chiefs are losers of two-straight in the division and last Sunday was definitely the lowest point of the season thus far. If there is any place to get right, it’s at Arrowhead against a team riding on a four-game skid.
Just six quarters ago the Chiefs were on the verge of extending their AFC West lead to a three-loss cushion. Instead, the Oakland Raiders would now represent the AFC West should the playoffs start today. What’s transpired since Jacoby Ford’s 94-yard kickoff return TD that began the third quarter in Oakland is the perfect example of the NFL representing the “Not For Long League.”
“We have to get back on track to lead this AFC West,” Johnson said.
Black Hole Beat Down?
Maybe it’s pure coincidence or maybe there’s actually something to it. Let me just present the facts.
There’s something strange going on with teams that have played in Oakland’s Black Hole over the past month. Since October (which is arguably when the Raiders started playing solid football again), teams coming off a game in The Black Hole are a combined 0-4 and have been outscored 144-63 in their next game. Each of the four teams is also a playoff contender.
Take a look at what has happened the following week to to each team coming off an Oakland road trip since October 1st…
Houston lost 34-10 vs. the New York Giants
San Diego lost 20-17 at St. Louis
Seattle lost 41-7 vs. the New York Giants
Kansas City lost 49-29 at Denver
Coincidence or not, what do you think?
The Chiefs have said that Oakland is one of the most physical teams that they have seen all season. Maybe the Raiders are beating teams up and that’s carrying over to the next week.
Thursday’s injury report was identical to Wednesday’s, with the exception of