In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if the Chiefs earned their first victory on Sunday when they meet the Oakland Raiders at home. The Chiefs clearly gained some confidence in their 17-10 loss to New England last Sunday, even if that outcome was influenced heavily by the season-ending knee injury Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sustained in the first quarter. As Waters noted, the Chiefs played physical in that contest and they limited their turnovers against a well-coached, veteran team. "That game," Waters said, "gave us an idea of how good we could be."
The problem, of course, is that the contest also reminded the Chiefs of how far they need to go in their rebuilding process. The four drops by second-year wide receiver Dwayne Bowe were Exhibit A on that front, including a whiff on a potential touchdown pass that could've tied the game in the final minute. The defense couldn't fluster Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel and the shoulder injury that sidelined Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle also was cause for concern. The last thing Chiefs coach Herm Edwards needed to see was another malady for a struggling quarterback who already has a history of being injury-prone.
That being said, these are the things that come with starting over. Edwards expected to deal with plenty of growing pains when he sold general manager Carl Peterson and owner Clark Hunt on rebuilding and now Edwards already has seen plenty. The key for the Chiefs is recognizing that all of this year's ugliness has an undeniable value: It will help them grow into a team that understands how to deal with adversity. "The older guys can see that the younger guys have what it takes to be a good football players," Edwards said. "They just have to learn how to do it."
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