KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Colts soundly defeated the Chiefs and there’s no other way to say it.
However, the good news is Sunday’s contest wasn’t the one-and-done format of the playoffs and the Chiefs and Colts could very well square off against in the first round.
Dec 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) intercepts a pass intended for Kansas City Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano (80) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts won 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Week 16’s 23-7 loss affords the Chiefs an opportunity to gain valuable information on their overall performance.
“You learn from it, you have a short memory and then you move on and go get busy for your next opponent, whoever that might be,” coach Andy Reid said during his postgame media session. “We’ve done that up to this point and we’ll continue to do that.”
Still, the Chiefs will need a sense of urgency to address the problems from a game that featured four turnovers and produced arguably the worst performance of the season.
And this is especially true when considering the playoff implications should the Chiefs meet the Colts in the first round.
“We have to play better against a great team,” running back Jamaal Charles told reporters after the game. “That’s a playoff team, we might see them again. The effort wasn’t there.”
Meanwhile, the Chiefs (11-4) are currently locked in at the No. 5 seed and can’t win the AFC West based on Sunday’s loss and the Denver Broncos’ win.
The Colts (10-5) appear to have the No. 4 seed, depending on what happens with the Cincinnati Bengals, who are also 10-5.
If it’s the Colts as a first-round opponent, at least some of the Chiefs players are confident the issues from Sunday can be fixed.
“That’s the beauty of it; we get to see them again,” cornerback Dunta Robinson told reporters during the postgame locker room media session. “We’re going to go back and look at this film and correct all the mistakes. Moving forward, we just have to hold each other accountable.”
Kicker Ryan Succop agreed.
“We’re going to stay hungry,” Succop said. “Staying hungry keeps us humble. There’s things we go to do, we’ll learn from it and hopefully we’ll get another shot at them in a couple of weeks if that happens.”
Ultimately, the Chiefs have two weeks to address the ugliness that was Sunday’s loss.
Week 17’s season finale against the San Diego Chargers could have a meaningless preseason feel to it from the Chiefs’ point of view.
With nothing to play for as far as improving playoff seeding, the Chiefs are now in position to rest key players for the postseason.
And while it remains to be seen if the coaching staff takes that approach, the biggest lesson remains to be taught when the Chiefs reconvene Monday at the team’s training facility to go over film.
Whatever they find should help refocus efforts with the playoffs in mind.
“Sure, if you can take a couple of positives out of a loss,” tight end Anthony Fasano said. “We know we can’t do the things or repeat the things that got us beat today.”