KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A two-game losing slide has the Chiefs sitting on 7-5 record and in a precarious position with four games remaining.
Kansas City is one of eight teams jockeying for a wild card playoff spot, but a third straight loss Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals would drastically hurt the Chiefs’ chances.
Still, outside linebacker Tamba Hali believes the team can battle through the adversity of the last two games, a span where the Chiefs haven’t resembled the team that won five straight games.
“We know we can play with any team,” Hali said. “I believe that we have the best team – special teams, defense and offense – it’s just we have to put it together. I think I’ve said this before. If we don’t play as a full unit, it’s tough. When we play as a full unit, it’s hard for teams to just beat us. But if we don’t put it together, it’s tough.”
The Chiefs haven’t played as a cohesive unit since Week 11’s impressive victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
From failing miserably to convert third downs (3-of-25 in last two games) to stopping the run, Kansas City has been beat in virtually every statistical category during the current losing skid.
But coach Andy Reid has always praised the team’s character, and the players will need to show that trait to keep playoff hopes alive.
“When things aren’t going well, you find out about people,” Reid said. “I think this group here handles this, they don’t accept it, but they work hard 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.”
Tight end Anthony Fasano agreed, indicating players aren’t drastically changing routines when it comes to approaching preparations for Arizona.
“I think business as usual,” Fasano said. “We’re upset about the outcomes of the last two games, but we know we have a great opportunity in front of us.”
The Chiefs have experience in 2014 dealing with a two-game losing streak after starting the season 0-2. Kansas City went on to win seven of the next eight games before hitting the wall in recent games.
How the season began could work in the Chiefs’ favor considering the players know what it takes to turn things around.
“We started 0-2 and bounced back and got a bunch of wins,” Fasano said. “And I think we’re going to need that same grit this time of year.”
Quarterback Alex Smith adds returning to the basics will help.
“No time to panic, no time to do anything crazy,” Smith said. “I think if anything, just more attention to detail, more attention to those little things throughout the week. And kind of a collective effort that we’re going to get this thing turned.”