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The Chiefs' Performance Against The Raiders Shouldn't Surprise Anyone

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The Chiefs' loss on Sunday shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

This was bound to happen. This type of performance was on the way. In fact, it was telegraphed so loudly in the contest against the Bills that it shouldn't have surprised any of us. Then again, it shows just how addictive winning can actually be for a group of fans longing for a competitive football over a sustained period of time.

This morning, national and local writers wrote several articles or spent on-air camera time trying to discern the reasons the Chiefs failed to put away the Raiders before overtime in Sunday's game. They're also trying to make heads or tails of Kansas City as a division leader. Are they legit? Is it the schedule? Can they sustain their early season success or are memories of last year's early leaders, the 6-0 Broncos, a solid comparison? And all of those make for good media fodder but fail to take note that this is one of those games that was bound to happen sooner than later.

1. Injuries
Some people seem to forget the Chiefs have been incredibly fortunate through the season's first half when it comes to the injury cupid and who he chooses to shoot with his dastardly arrows. Some teams have been absolutely decimated. Some teams have lost their captains, their quarterbacks, their star players for long stretches of time. The Chiefs have largely fielded a complete team week after week with a few adjustments here and there.

Consequently, when the Chiefs had their best player banged up in Jamaal Charles on Sunday and couldn't seem to find an answer to replace his productivity (and ability to wind down the clock), the Raiders were able to take full advantage. The NFL is brutal, no matter who you play. Guys will need to come out. Others will go down. And you have to have the depth to replace them.

Except that's one area that we knew the Chiefs were weaker in. Scott Pioli and Todd Haley's coaching staff has had two offseasons to bring in their own players. That's a decent amount of time, but in terms of overall gameplan for overhauling a roster, there's still some more time needed to bring in the depth that can sustain a hit like this. The teams who are constantly competitive can step it up when someone goes down and the Chiefs need some time to enjoy that luxury.

2. Rookies
It's hard to fault rookies for making rookie mistakes. That's how you grow in the NFL. Javier Arenas is bound to fumble a ball sometime. Eric Berry is bound to miss a tackle.The Chiefs are playing young all over the field, especially on defense, so sometimes the guys are going to be out of place or out of step with the game. And a seasoned team with a seasoned coordinator is going to take full advantage of that.

With the youth movement and the unbelievable playing time and production the Chiefs are enjoying out of this year's draft class, fans must be prepared to grow with the players. And there's no bigger moment to make a mistake than the closing moments of a game when the adrenaline is pumping, the body is weary and the opponent's execution is arguably at its highest level.

A typical John Madden nonsensical phrase would go something along the lines of: "Bad teams figure out ways to lose a game. Good teams figure out ways to win a game." This maxim holds true in that these guys are figuring out how to be good players in the NFL, and the Chiefs are making strides toward being a good team. Until then, there will be a mixed bag of results that will surprise and frustrate, sometimes week to week.