The Chiefs got two of three on Sunday, as they put up a tough fight against one of the big boys in the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts in a 19-9 loss where the game was closer than the final score.
This young, gritty group of players is still learning to win, and Sunday they never laid down, putting up a solid fight before finally bowing to defeat.
Even the Colts walked away from their hard fought win impressed with Todd Haley’s young squad. “They didn’t let us force our hand on them the way we like to,” Colts TE Dallas Clark said. “Give them a lot of credit. They played hard for four quarters. They play that way, they’re going to beat a lot of people.”
Sunday they were aggressive, both on the field and in their game-plan. For the second time this season they went for a surprise onside kick. Sure, it failed against the Colts just like it did earlier in the year against the 49ers, but it shows how much trust Haley has in his young defense.
The result on Sunday was a Colts drive that ended with three points. As a matter a fact, the Chiefs defense stood their ground so well it took the Colts near 56 minutes to finally crack the end zone.
“We’re a team trying to transition into becoming a good team,” Haley said. “We’re not there. If we had won this game, I’d be saying the same thing. Good is much bigger than four games.”
But no matter how you look at it, the Chiefs are making strides. Big strides. Matt Cassel leads an offense that can run and hit a downfield pass play here and there.
New defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has cleaned up already a ton of the mistakes that killed the club last season.
Now the team has to just keep moving forward, not dwelling on the mistakes like some they made Sunday, but focusing on the things that have made them the early surprise team in the NFL.
“We’re going to see what happens when we go back this week, look at the film and try to correct the things we did wrong,” guard Brian Waters said. “We’re a football team that’s growing. We lost, that’s the bottom line. We failed, but we’ll see how we handle that.”
They have a chance this week to take a loss in stride and focus on the Houston Texans, another team that is smarting from a loss as well. It’s all about growth, and even in defeat, the Chiefs grew up just a little bit more on Sunday.