Chiefs QB Alex Smith said it was running through his head and probably his teammates, too. What could I have done differently? What if I had done this during the week instead of this?
“Big, big opportunity for us,” Alex said after the Chiefs lost to the Steelers, 18-16.
The Chiefs came up short last year in the Divisional round. The lesson was that the team needed more depth and health as injuries derailed them. They also talked about homefield advantage being a key difference.
“Obviously, last year, we talked about if you could get home field advantage what an advantage that is, and we had it this year,” Alex said.
That’s what’s painful to me. That it wasn’t an improvement on last year. You took the biggest thing to last year’s ending - going on the road - and flipped that around and yet you still get the same result.
“So, you have to figure out a way to take the next step,” Alex said. “Figure out a way to get past that. Every year is a different challenge though. You never know what it’s going to be.”
I don’t know what that next step is. They are a deep team. They were healthier. They had homefield advantage. The AFC was (supposedly) weak this year. It was set up for a run this year.
Every year is different, he’s right. But this felt like the year.