The last few weeks we've been talking about killer instincts. That's the ability in the fourth quarter of a game to put the fire out on the other team. It's not letting other teams make a run late in the game. It's converting that third down with three minutes left or it's making them go three-and-out with only a few minutes left.
We saw the Chiefs killer instinct against Jacksonville as they cruise through the fourth quarter. Against Buffalo and Oakland? No such killer instinct.
I think the Chiefs are going to win this game against the Arizona Cardinals but I want to see how they win it. KC, in the fourth quarter, should be clamping down. Defensively, closing out teams in the fourth quarter is why they have that focus on the defensive line with two first round picks. That's why they locked up Derrick Johnson at linebacker. Offensively, closing out teams in the fourth quarter is why Thomas Jones is in KC. The point is KC has the tools to be an excellent fourth quarter team.
Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said this week that they have the ship turned around but they need to get it going again. Beating Arizona -- and I mean really beat 'em good and turn it up in the fourth quarter -- would help KC regain that feeling they had against Jacksonville.
The lack of a killer instinct could hurt the Chiefs if they don't find it soon. The inability to close teams out will come back to bite them in an even more important game than the one this Sunday.
That's why it's important KC has one of those games where they say: 'I'm better than you. You know it. I know it. This is what I'm going to do.'
The Chiefs are at the point of the season where they need to determine whether they're for real or not. Teams that are for real close out games against the Oakland Raiders like two weeks ago. They don't get blown out against the Denver Broncos. So recent history suggests the Chiefs are pretenders.
They'll have the opportunity to get that killer instinct back, and put themselves back on the map Sunday against the Cardinals.