"It’s one game. It’s not the Super Bowl."
Those are the words uttered by Hines Ward when reflecting back on his team's thumping at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, a rivalry and divisional match-up that made a great statement on week one in the NFL. In fact, the shellacking was only outdone by the Chiefs-Bills match-up that was slightly more lopsided in score. Both the Steelers and the Chiefs were playoff teams last season. And yet both suffered absolutely humiliating losses one week into the birth of a new season.
Now both teams find themselves having to pick up the pieces of a broken week filled with schemes that didn't work and disappointing performances, to say the least. And both teams have to put such things behind them. Both teams are much, much better than they played, and the Chiefs especially did so against a team with low expectations. The Bills might be better than most believed, but not to the level of dropping a 34 point win at Arrowhead of all places.
The reality is that the "one game" mentality is exactly what the Chiefs players must remember, and Todd Haley and his staff have their work cut out for them this week in helping the players to move on successfully. Such a horrid performance is hard for anyone to forget, but success in the NFL depends on a short memory -- both for the good and the bad. That's why you often see the best teams expressing a need to get back to work shortly after the Super Bowl because even the good memories can keep a team coasting instead of doing the intense work needed to repeat.
The Chiefs have a brand new game to play against the Lions this week, one in which they shouldn't even worry about redeeming themselves in any way. The past is behind them and the task is simply to execute the plan they've been given. Any overemotional approach to "make things right" even dwells too much on the past and the goal here is simply do what the Chiefs do best on the road against Detroit. It's that mentality alone that will create a winning situation for the Chiefs.