KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Romeo Crennel's first achievement as Kansas City's head coach was inspiring. He guided the previously downtrodden Chiefs past the previously undefeated Packers.
His next feat will have to be equally impressive. Crennel this week has to find a way to get the Chiefs to play with the same energy and emotion they showed against Green Bay. The 6-8 Chiefs will try to keep their playoff hopes alive Saturday when they play against the 7-7 Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.
"We need to get that energy level and keep it the same with the Raiders coming to town and not having all the hoopla that came with Green Bay being an undefeated team and (having) a great quarterback,'' Crennel said. "We're trying to get our guys to understand that we cannot get the big head. We really haven't done anything yet. We've won one game. Let's see if we can win two. To win two, we're going to have to have the same focus and energy and effort if not more on a Saturday on a short week.
"That's one of the harder things in the NFL is to get guys to continue to do that every week, week in and week out despite the distraction and pressures that build up. It's hard to do every week.''
Last week was an emotional one for the Chiefs after they fired coach Todd Haley and replaced him on an interim basis with Crennel, their defensive coordinator who is popular in the locker room.
When the 19-14 victory was complete and the Chiefs had handed the Packers their first defeat, the emotion came pouring out. The Chiefs dumped Gatorade on Crennel and chanted his name in the locker room.
That type of thing tends to empty the emotional tank. It's a particular worry for a team that delivered a series of uneven performances this season under former coach Todd Haley.
"We've had problems being consistent week in and week out,'' linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "We're aware of that. It's time to put two good weeks together.''
The Chiefs have some things on their side other than the momentum generated by the Packers victory. They are still alive in the AFC West championship and, despite being in last place and two games behind the first-place Broncos, the scenario for the Chiefs to make the playoffs is not an unreasonable one.
The Chiefs must win their final two games, including the Jan. 1 meeting with the Broncos in Denver. The Broncos must lose Sunday to the Bills in Buffalo while the 7-7 Chargers must lose at least one of their final two games.
The Raiders are also a long-time rival, so there's that as well. But Crennel acknowledged concern about how the Chiefs would respond.
"This team has shown some inconsistencies,'' he said. "We lost some games and then we got on a little winning streak and we thought we were halfway decent and then we turned around and started losing games again. So we've won one game. Now we're going to try to win another one.
"We beat the Green Bay Packers. That's great. But if we don't prepare, if we don't get ready to go, we'll lose to the Raiders and then everything we gained (Sunday) will be kind of down the drain.''
The Chiefs beat the Raiders 28-0 two months ago in Oakland. That was the Raiders' first game without injured starting quarterback Jason Campbell. Kyle Boller started, threw three interceptions and was pulled in favor of the newly acquired Carson Palmer.
Palmer also threw three interceptions. The Raiders were 4-2 with Campbell as their starter and 3-5 since they acquired Palmer.
"We went out there and we played (well) out there but what I'm going to remind them of is last year this Raider team came in here and whipped us pretty good,'' said Crennel, referring to Oakland's 31-10 win at Arrowhead in the final regular-season game last year. "I think they'll feel like they can come in here and do the same thing again.''