Chiefs Get Another Opportunity to End Playoff Drought

Published 01/01 2014 11:23PM

Updated 01/01 2014 11:42PM

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Players like Chiefs defensive end Mike Devito are no strangers to playoff success and failure. He played in two AFC Championship Games with the Jets and failed to make the Super Bowl both times. 

"It's horrible. You're this close," he said. "You don't want to relive that experience too much."

But in Kansas City, just getting past the first round has proven difficult.

"That's how things happen in the playoffs. Everything is magnified and those little mistakes become big deals."

"Every play, man, just play it like it's your last," corner back Brandon Flowers said. "Play that play so perfect because you might not get that chance over again."

Devito has more postseason experience than most players on the Chiefs roster. For many, this will be their first time playing in January. Many of the mainstays have made just one trip: a loss to Baltimore in 2010. 

The postseason troubles have made them appreciate playing this time of year.

"You've got to cherish it because next year could be totally different. I experience that here. I went to the playoffs a couple years ago, thought we had a young team and we'd be there every year. This is my first time back."

Playoff droughts are nothing new in Kansas City. After making six straight trips in the early 90s, the Chiefs have made spotty appearances in 1994, 1997, 2003, and 2006 in the nearly two decades since their last victory in 1993.

Three losses to the Colts are included in those trips, but the Chiefs' AFC Wild Card trip to Indianapolis on Saturday is the latest opportunity for the team to change their postseason fortune. The Colts left Arrowhead Stadium with a 23-7 win just two weeks ago, but the Chiefs say they're only focused on this meeting.

"It doesn't depend on the time or whatever it may be," nose tackle Dontari Poe said. "We just know here and now we're in the playoffs and we've got to take advantage of it."

Ironically, Joe Montana was the last quarterback to deliver the Chiefs a playoff win after coming to Kansas City from San Francisco. Now, Alex Smith, another former 49er who also took his former team to the brink of the Super Bowl, will try to end the Chiefs' drought.

"I'm not thinking about legacy or anything like that," he said. "I still think this comes back to trying to find anything you can do to find a way to win the game. We realize the stakes are higher and everybody does remember these games."

The Chiefs and Colts kick off at 3:30 central time from Lucas Oil Stadium. 

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