After five games and a 1-4 start, that hole is getting bigger and bigger for the Chiefs to climb out of. Eight teams in the NFL have started the season 1-4 and have made the playoffs, so it can happen.
"We are definitely in a hole," halfback Priest Holmes said. "This is not high school or college football. Guys that we line up against every Sunday are licking their chops to be able to keep us down."
The Chiefs are 16-3 against NFC foes at Arrowhead since 1995 that is tied for the best record with the Denver Broncos. The Atlanta Flacons have not played at Arrowhead since the 1991 season when they were beat 14-3. One of those three losses at Arrowhead came earlier this season to the Panthers, who have currently won only once thus far.
"(The losses) add up," Vermeil said. "I told the squad today and I said to (wife) Carol last night, when you get my age, each one of those kind of losses takes about a month to two months to maybe six months off the end of your life. I mean it."
The last time Kansas City was 1-4 was Vermeil's first year at the helm after he took over for then head coach Gunther Cunningham after the 2000 season. That year the Chiefs ended the season at 6-10. However this year the Chiefs were not supposed to be 1-4, they were supposed to be more like 4-1 and act like the elite team that everyone predicted before the season started.
"This is what I get paid to do. This is what I love to do. I had better handle it. This is too good a football team to be 1-4 and we're 1-4." Vermeil said to the KC Star. "That's a reflection on me and my whole organization."
Last Sunday the Chiefs defensive backs were picked on, mainly Dexter McCleon, but Byron Leftwich burned the entire Kansas City secondary for nearly 300 yards. However the Chiefs corners should get a bit of a break, because Vick is not known for his gun and he is still learning how to maneuver in the Falcons west coast offense.
"Michael Vick, to me, is not a quarterback per se. He's a guy that lines up in that position and just does everything else different." Vermeil said. "He's special, very, very special. You have to defend every pass as if it's going to be a run; you have to defend every run as if it's going to end up being a pass. He adds to their running attack."
If one good thing can come out of the bad start, the Chiefs are not the worse team in the NFL; the Miami Dolphins hold that distinction. However if Kansas City does end the season with a bad record they would get a high draft pick. Let's hope if that happens they don't pass up on the next Dan Marino and settle for another Todd Blackledge. It's premature to think that but a loss on Sunday would force the Chiefs into a rebuilding mode.
"The only thing that that win did was guarantee one win and guaranteed that we wouldn't go 0-16." Vermeil said. "That's how you have to look at it in the National Football League because every week presents its own new time span, a different opponent, a different field, different match-ups and they all have to be approached differently and handled differently. If you do enough things right and your match-ups are good and things go your way you win. If they don't you don't."