Chiefs Don't Accept Recent Results

Coming off consecutive losses, the Chiefs look to bounce back on Sunday against the Cardinals

The old adage you've heard since high school goes something like, "It's easy when things are going well, but at times of adversity, the true character of a team is revealed."

Everyone who played sports at a competitive level has heard that line of thinking at some point in their careers, and the reason it's such a popular sentiment is because it's true.

After the Chiefs won seven of eight games, which included five straight, everything was sunshine and rainbows throughout Chiefs Kingdom.

Then the Raiders game happened and people hoped it was simply an outlier based on the short week of preparation, and then it was the Broncos game on Sunday night.

As we sit today, fans don't know what to think and are circling the game this weekend as the first of what's to be considered a four-game playoff to finish out the last quarter of the season. The Chiefs sit with a 7-5 record and are right in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.

While fans deal with the momentum swings of a NFL regular season from a relevant team in the AFC, the players find themselves compartmentalizing the season into seven day increments.

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"When things aren't going well, you find out about people," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week. "I think this group here handles this. They don't accept it, but they work and they want to change it. That's the approach that they've taken and I wouldn't expect anything less. That's kind of how they're wired."  

Any time there are struggles, the arrow gets pointed directly at the quarterback. It's simply the nature of the position and the Chiefs are lucky to have a pragmatic quarterback in Alex Smith, who spoke of how he handles adversity throughout the season.

"When things aren't going right, it's easy to panic and try to change things and do too much," Smith said. "For me, I think it's kind of a refocus and going back to the little things and not trying to be too high or too low. Let's just get back to preparing, put a good week together and get ready to play a game."

Smith continued.

"I just think any time you get a couple of losses stringed together, it's tough," Smith said. "Momentum starts going the other way and we've got to fight through this adversity. The thing is to go back to your fundamentals, go back to what you know works. It's the little things, the details.

"No time to panic, no time to do anything crazy. I think if anything, just more attention to detail, more attention to those little things throughout the week. And with a collective effort we're going to get this thing turned."

On the defensive side, veteran linebacker Tamba Hali agrees with Smith on the approach to the season, whether on a high note or going through some adversity.

"You don't want to change [your approach to preparation]," Hali explained. "You have to find a way to stay balanced whether you win or lose. Right now, there's four games left in the season but for us, it's one game at a time. That approach is enough, but don't change.

Photos of the Arizona Cardinals starting roster

"Once you change, a lot of things start happening and not going your way."

In the AFC playoff picture, the San Diego Chargers (8-4) currently hold the first wildcard spot, but they have a tough schedule remaining with the New England Patriots (9-3), Denver Broncos (9-3), San Francisco 49ers (7-5) and Kansas City Chiefs (7-5).

Joining the Chiefs at 7-5 right now are the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. The Houston Texans (6-6) are still within striking distance as well.

"From here on out is a must win for us to go where we want to go – deep in the playoffs or in the playoffs period," defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson said. "We've got to start right now. These are the months right now that are crucial because for running the ball, this is the crucial time and these months are what championship football is built and made of.

"I'm not saying what we did so far hasn't been a stepping stone, but these months right here are really crucial."

The Chiefs have a chance on Sunday to put a result back on the field that has put them in position this season to return to the playoffs for the second consecutive year, something they haven't done in 20 years.

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