Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFL PLAYOFFS - KANSAS CITY AT HOUSTON, 4:35 P.M. ; Chiefs Look to End Playoff Drought

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFL PLAYOFFS - KANSAS CITY AT HOUSTON, 4:35 P.M. ; Chiefs Look to End Playoff Drought

Article excerpt

HOUSTON - The previous time the Kansas City Chiefs won a playoff game Bill Clinton was President and Tonya Harding's ex-husband had just been arrested for hiring someone to attack figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. Kansas City (11-5) has lost eight postseason games since that win over the Oilers in Houston on Jan. 16, 1994, and will return to the city to face the Texans today in the wild-card round, looking to snap this lengthy skid.

The Chiefs, who have won a franchise-record 10 straight games, insist they won't be thinking about their years of playoffs woes when they line up to meet the AFC South champion Texans.

"I don't think this team's carrying that weight, to be honest, quarterback Alex Smith said. "Those were the other 22 years and 22 teams. This is us.

So instead of thinking about playoff failures that include Lin Elliott's three field-goal misses against Indianapolis in 1995 and the 28-point lead they blew against the Colts two years ago, they're simply focusing on the challenge of dealing with Houston.

"Since 1-5, it's been a playoff atmosphere, Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "It was kind of a win or go home type deal. We've been winning for 10 weeks straight - that doesn't guarantee us an 11th win, but we do have some momentum ... [but] we have to play our best game if we're going to win in Houston.

The Texans are perhaps this season's most improbable playoff team after winning seven of their last nine games to rebound from a terrible start to finish 9-7 and return to the postseason for the first time since 2012.

They did it with four different quarterbacks and after losing star running back Arian Foster to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in October. Houston got a boost from a defense led by NFL sack leader J.J. Watt that finished strong, allowing a league-best 12.7 points a game in its last nine games.

Today's game will be the season's second meeting after a 27-20 win by the Chiefs in the opener.

"We were down 27-9 in the first half. That's not going to win any playoff games, coach Bill O'Brien said of that first meeting. "I think we have to look at it to learn from some of the things we did there. …

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