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Tough Loss Could Lead to Good Things on Sunday

Posted Dec 25, 2012

Team's frustration may lead to fantastic play in Denver

Despite the 20-13 loss and amidst the individual and team records the Kansas City Chiefs broke on Sunday, perhaps what stood out most was the players’ disgust over what goes down as their 13th loss of 2012.

None of the players I spoke to were in the mood to praise the record-breaking efforts, but instead they expressed frustration of finding a way to lose despite incredible on-field feats.

“It’s frustrating when you can put up 500 yards of offense on the board and come up with 13 points,” Chiefs TE Steve Maneri said. “It’s just mistakes, things that have been hurting us all season, they just keep hurting us and we have to find a way to stop it.”

Maneri, who replaced Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki (out with a head injury), elaborated on the specific mistakes that continuously plague the Chiefs.

“Turnovers and penalties, that’s really it,” Maneri continued. “We move the ball up and down the field, we did a lot of good things, it’s just little mistakes like that, you can’t beat yourself and that’s what we did.”

Kansas City was penalized nine times for 75 yards, the offensive line accounted for six of those penalties, including three by rookie OL Donald Stephenson.

“I played probably my worst game, with the penalties and miscues I had,” Stephenson quickly admitted. “It’s unacceptable, especially if I want to be as good as I’m trying to be. I learned a lot today, went against a (potential) Hall of Famer Dwight Freeney, so I’m going to take everything from that and build on it.”

Dwight Freeney totaled one sack on Sunday and caused all kinds of problems for Kansas City’s offense.

“He does everything well,” Stephenson said. “He’s one of those guys who is tough to block. You can watch as much film as you want, do all those things, but it’s still Dwight Freeney and he’s going to make some plays. Some of those things, I could have made better or could have fixed, (but) some of those things, that’s just natural ability, so I’m going to look at the film and learn from it.”

Kansas City knew the Colts were a strong team and looking for a playoff berth, but the Chiefs’ week-long preparation and execution wasn’t enough, adding to the disappointment of defeat.

“They did give us what we expected for the most part,” Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson said. “They did a really good job in the fourth quarter, that one drive; they made more plays than us. That’s why they are where they are because of things like that throughout the year. We came up short again, we’ve had so many games like this, it’s kind of frustrating.”

During the loss, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles became the NFL’s all-time career carry leader for highest rushing average by a running back. Charles has 770 carries for 4,481 yards (5.82 avg.). However, Charles didn’t want to talk records.

“At the end of the day, it’s a tough loss,” Charles admitted. “We fought ourselves the whole way to come back and we came back, but at the end of the day, we lost. The effort was there and my line had to bounce back from last week (which they did), but we came (up) short today.”

A loss is a loss. However, the feeling of disgust after Sunday’s heartbreaker could be just what the Chiefs need to ensure they leave Denver with a Rocky Mountain high instead of another dose of nausea.

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