Short and to the point captured Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s post-game press conference after his team suffered a 43-14 shellacking at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Listen, this is my responsibility,” Reid said. “We clearly didn’t play well enough as a football team. We didn’t coach well enough. I take full responsibility for it. We’ll go back to the drawing board and make sure we make it right.”
Linebacker Derrick Johnson was equally blunt.
“You learn a lot about yourself when you get your butt kicked,” Johnson said. “Today we got our butts kicked.”
Reid saw his team under performing early in the game.
“Right from the get-go, we weren’t playing the way we normally do,” Reid said.
That out-of-character beginning included turnovers on two of the team’s first three possessions. Running back Spencer Ware fumbled for the third straight game, and Alex Smith threw a screen pass tipped for an interception.
Smith said the early deficit turned the Chiefs offense one-dimensional.
“That game got out of hand early,” Smith said. “You are trying to catch up and do the best you can. You can’t have those turnovers. You can’t play like that early on.”
The only bright spot for the Chiefs was the return of running back Jamaal Charles. But tight end Travis Kelce said the All-Pro’s return means little if the offense doesn’t get out of its current funk.
“It does not mean anything if we cannot stay disciplined and cannot hold onto the ball,” Kelce said. “We have to come together as an offense and play mistake free football.”
Veteran linebacker Tamba Hali tried to put the lopsided loss into perspective.
“We played the Patriots a couple years ago and beat them badly, and they went on to win the Super Bowl,” Hali said. “I’ve never been part of this before.”
Johnson reminded his teammates that even a bad loss only counts once in the standings.
“It does not put a damper on the season, and it does not set us into panic mode,” Johnson said. “Do we need to figure it out? Yes, we need to figure it out.”
The Chiefs have a week off before traveling to Oakland Sept. 16 for an AFC West matchup with the Raiders.
Smith said the bye week comes at a tough time following a bad loss.
“We have to look at this and look at ourselves in the mirror and move on,” Smith said. “At the same time, you can’t let it linger. It’s just one game and it’s a long season.”