KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Chiefs get ready to take on the Bills on Sunday, both teams seem to be facing a make-or-break moment.
After an outstanding start to the season, the Chiefs appear to have a wall, losing four of their last five games, including a sloppy loss last week to the Giants.
The struggling Giants came into the game with a 1-8 record, and managed to keep the Chiefs out of the endzone entirely.
The Bills have found themselves in a similar bind of late. At 5-5, Buffalo has lost their last three games, including a loss to the Chargers last week in which they gave up 54 points and 5 interceptions.
Both teams are no doubt looking to shuffle the deck and get the train back on the tracks.
“The margin between winning and losing in the NFL is small because of the parity in the league you have to bring your A game every week and be prepared,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said. “I have to make sure that we’re doing that. We’re lucky enough where we have another game and that’s what we’re going to focus on and fix the problems that we had and get working on Buffalo.”
Quarterback Alex Smith shared Reid’s focus, saying that the team is using past mistakes as a learning opportunity.
“I think this team is ready to get back to work and get back on track. That’s where I am at,” Alex Smith said. “I think this team realizes we can’t talk our way out of this. You just have to go do it and that is the only remedy. I think we are anxious to do that. We know we are capable of playing a lot better than we have and looking forward to going out there and doing that.”
When asked how exactly he plans to “get back on track,” Smith said the devil is in the details.
“Turn your focus on to the little things of your job. Going out there and executing them, focus on those details. Certainly, there is a lot of noise and chatter out there. None of us are totally immune to that. I think you have to shrug that off because it is only weighing down on you and inhibits you as you go forward. You have to move forward and focus on the next challenge, the next opponent. What are the things you need to do to go out there and play? And then usually those are all your details.”
While the team is focusing on Sunday, both Reid and Smith said they’re also looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I’ll be here for at least a little over half of the day,” Reid said. “Then go home and do what arguably, what I might do best, and that’s eat, so I’m going to do that.”
“As long as I have been in the NFL, it is around football,” Smith said. “That is the way it goes. Whether it is family, friends, teammates, you have a mix of guys from around the country. A lot of them away from family, so you make sure you have a place to go. I think it is time to put things in perspective, you step away. Coach gives us a pretty friendly schedule here as far as the morning practice. You spend time with family. We have a lot to be thankful for and certainly celebrate the holiday. But, yeah, pretty traditional.”
This Thanksgiving will be particularly special for Smith, as he will be the honorary switch-flipper at the Plaza Lights ceremony.
“Yeah, one of the many traditions of the area that are pretty awesome and I live close to the Plaza. From the first year I got traded here, taking part in it and watching it and going down with my kids, it is certainly a big deal for them. A very cool honor. I am looking forward to it.”