The Pain of No January Football

From Arrowhead Stadium

It was part of Saturday’s equation that really had not set in for some Chiefs – their chances of going back to the playoffs were over.

So intent was their focus on playing the Raiders, it did not immediately register that after next weekend’s trip to Denver, their season will be finished, and short of the goal of making the post-season tournament.

“Damn, that sucks,” said FB Le’Ron McClain. “We had a chance to make it happen and we didn’t hold up our end. We played an awful game. We had too many mistakes on our part and they capitalized off them. You do stuff like that in the NFL, that’ll get you beat.”

Not only a chance, but the rest of the division was working in their favor as well. Much as things fell into place around the conference in 2006 and allowed the Chiefs to sneak into the playoffs, it was happening again. They needed to win twice, and they needed the Broncos to lose twice and the Chargers once.

Buffalo knocked off Denver and San Diego lost in Detroit. Everybody did their job save the Chiefs, falling in overtime to the Raiders 16-13 and making the trip to the Rockies on New Year’s Day just a finish out the season affair.

“It’s disappointing all the way around,” said WR Steve Breaston. “I think everybody knew we had the opportunity. I think everybody knew that they (Denver) were going to lose. They gave us opportunities, and as a team, we’ve got to take advantage of them. We didn’t do that.”

On average, five or six teams every year do not return to the playoffs the next year. The 2011 Chiefs are part of that group that already included Indianapolis, Chicago and now also Philadelphia and Seattle.

“It’s disappointing that we can’t play in the post-season,” said OLB Tamba Hali. “I’m going to have to be ready to play another game. We signed up to play 16. We’ve got to go there and show those guys we can play.”

The players knew towards the end of their game that Buffalo had beaten Denver, so they were not in the dark as far as the consequences. Now, they face the terrible fate of 20 other NFL teams who did not make the playoffs.

“When you wake up tomorrow, it’s going to be even tougher,” said Breaston. “After all the stuff we’ve been through, we fought, we kept fighting. This is one we knew coming into the game what was at stake and we didn’t come through.”

2 Responses to “The Pain of No January Football”

  • December 25, 2011  - Dream Turns Nightmare as Chiefs Fall In OT : says:

    [...] SIDEBAR: Dreams of playoffs die. [...]

  • December 25, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Look at the bright side of things. First of all even if he had gotten into the playoffs we would be a ONE AND DONE, just like last years embarrasing blow out to the Ravens. That game made me sick as to how they completely made the Chiefs look like a bunch of 9th grade freshman. The other bright side is now we will pick a little higher in the draft.

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