Kansas City, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs only intend to lose to the Denver Broncos once, and that thought goes beyond the rematch between AFC West rivals in two weeks at Arrowhead Stadium.
After falling 27-17 on Sunday night for the first time all season, the Chiefs insisted that they are turning their attention to the San Diego Chargers. They aren’t going to dwell on missed opportunities, turnovers and miscues that cost them dearly at Mile High Stadium.
In other words, they aren’t going to let the fallout from Denver beat them against San Diego on Sunday.
“Listen, we’ve got San Diego up next, so we’re not thinking about Denver right now,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said not more than 30 minutes after the defeat. “We’re moving on to San Diego and making sure that we get ready to play a good football team there. That’s No. 1.”
Still, it was a strange feeling when the Chiefs sleepily filed through the doors of their practice facility Monday. They got home at about 2:30 a.m. and were faced for the first time this season with something other than a “Victory Monday” — the light day Reid gives them after wins.
Reid wasn’t going to run them into the ground after a bruising defeat, of course. But he certainly wasn’t going to let them relax as they did after their first nine games.
“We played a good football team and they got us,” Reid said. “We’ll bounce back. We’ll learn from our mistakes. There are plenty of things we’ll learn from here and get those fixed.”
For starters, the Chiefs need to do a better job of scoring touchdowns.
Their popgun offense was hamstrung all night by the Broncos defense, and when it finally did get into scoring position, it couldn’t capitalize. The Chiefs were stonewalled on three straight runs from the Denver 2 in the second quarter and had to kick a field goal.
That left the Chiefs in a 17-10 hole heading into halftime.
“It really doesn’t matter who you’re playing. You’re still trying to go out there and execute every play. That’s it,” said Alex Smith, who threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns. “When they got up a couple scores, you have to answer. We weren’t able to get it done.”
Part of the reason for that — and the failings at the goal line — was a miserable night by the Chiefs offensive line. Even though Kansas City has spent lavishly through the draft to build its front five, the Chiefs struggled to open holes for Jamaal Charles for much of the game.
Whenever Smith dropped back to pass, he usually had a Broncos defender in his face.
“I won’t talk about my O-line,” Charles said afterward.
Even though they’re coming off their first loss of the season, the Chiefs are still 9-1 and tied with the Broncos atop the AFC West.