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Losses piling up during Chiefs' lost season

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Losses piling up during Chiefs' lost season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The most turnover-prone team in the NFL has two banged-up quarterbacks who are struggling anyway, a head coach who appears out of touch with the offense and a defense that just gave up 26 points to the Oakland Raiders.

Is there any surprise the Kansas City Chiefs are 1-6?

Now, they don't even have a chance to ruminate over their dismal showing Sunday. The Chiefs have to be back on the field Thursday night at San Diego, where they'll try to end a four-game skid that has positioned them well to have the first overall pick in the NFL draft.

``When you lose, it gets tough on you, mentally, you know? You wonder about who you played, what you could have done differently, why things are happening the way they're happening. You get down a little bit,'' coach Romeo Crennel said Monday.

``When you have a whole week to recover, as the week goes on, you have time to put the game behind you,'' he said. ``We have to get them to put this behind us.''

That's not exactly going to be easy.

For one thing, the Chiefs aren't sure who they'll have under center after Brady Quinn took a blow to the head and Matt Cassel got banged up late in the game against Oakland.

Quinn was being evaluated for a possible concussion on Monday, and Crennel said he'll remain the starter if he's cleared to play. Otherwise, Cassel will be back under center after losing the starting job last week due to his own poor performance the first five games of the season.

``I'll be ready to go,'' Cassel said. ``Whatever the situation is, I'll be ready to go. I don't know what the situation is with Brady - we'll find out more - but I'll be ready to go.''

Quinn was just 2 of 4 for a single yard before getting hurt, either on a sack by Rolando McClain or on the ensuing play, when he threw an interception. Cassel didn't fare a whole lot better, throwing for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 26-16 defeat.

``There's always a sense of urgency,'' Cassel said after the game. ``As I said before, I'm going to be the same guy, I'm going to continue to work hard, I'm going to continue to prepare, I'm going to continue to be diligent about what I do.''

The two interceptions thrown by Chiefs quarterbacks, along with two fumbles, ran the team's league-leading total to 25 turnovers this season. One of the fumbles came late in the first half, when Javier Arenas was trying to fair catch a punt, and led to Oakland's first touchdown.

Then there was the Chiefs' inability to get the ground game going.

Jamaal Charles, who ran for 233 yards against New Orleans in the Chiefs' only win, only had five carries for four yards against Oakland. When asked why Charles got so few attempts, Crennel said, ``Now, that I'm not exactly sure either.''

``In the case of Jamaal from the running back position, he had the most touches of any (Chiefs) running back in the game,'' Crennel said Monday, when pressed about the subject. ``We kind of know what's happening and then we adjust the game plan to what's happening to get something done.''

Still, Charles only had eight touches in the game. By comparison, the slow-footed Cassel led the team in rushing with seven carries for 35 yards.

``When you're ahead, you can run it more,'' Crennel said. ``When you're behind, generally you try to throw it to get chunks of yards and move down the field a little faster.''

Therein lays another one of the Chiefs' problems: They've never played from ahead.

All season long.

The Chiefs are the first team since at least 1940 that has gone through its first seven games without holding a lead in regulation, according to STATS LLC. Their only victory came when Ryan Succop kicked the winning field goal against the Saints in overtime.

``All the time we go in planning to get a lead, or planning to score so we can have a lead, but here again, 3-0, 6-0 and 6-3, that's not even a touchdown's difference there,'' Crennel said. ``So even though it might not be a lead, you can still catch up really easily from that difference.

``Now as soon as it gets to be a 14- or 21-point lead, then it's a different deal.''

There's been plenty of those deals this season, too - blowout losses to the Falcons, Bills and Buccaneers. It's little wonder that two more banners, paid for by fans, were towed by an airplane over Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday pleading for general manager Scott Pioli to be fired.

The Twitter handle (at)saveourchiefs, which had a hand in the banners over the stadium, went over 100,000 followers over the weekend.

Anger has turned to apathy. Cynicism has set in.

``As a player, you get tired of losing, and that's where we are now,'' Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson said. ``We have to stick together. We do more together than apart. It's one of those year's It's going to be a tough year, and we have to stick it out.''

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS