His team got that message as well before delivering one to the rest of the league. "The team we ran into today wasn't the one that came into the game with a 1--3 record," said Chiefs cornerback Ty Law. "That was the Pittsburgh Steelers team that won the Super Bowl."
DOUBTERS IN D.C.
The Redskins Get Run Over
Washington's defense has gone from the NFL's ninth-ranked unit in 2005 to one that can't even stop the Titans, who had averaged 12.0 points during the first five weeks of the season. Not only did the Redskins (2--4) lose at home on Sunday, 25--22, to the previously winless Titans, but they also allowed Travis Henry to run for a career-high 178 yards. The Skins have to figure out why, in slipping to No. 21 in the defensive rankings, they've given up 74 points in the last three games and 894 yards over the last nine quarters. "We're not pushing people around," says cornerback Shawn Springs. "I don't know where our swagger has gone. We're an average team. We haven't done anything to make people fear us."
The major trouble for Washington, as Tennessee discovered, is its inability to stop the run. Rookie defensive tackles Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery are struggling to fill the void left by injured starters Cornelius Griffin and Joe Salave'a, and defensive end Andre Carter, one of the team's high-priced free-agent additions, is known more for his pass rushing than his run stopping. As a result teams are getting into the secondary with surprising ease. In a 19--3 loss to the Giants on Oct. 8, running back Tiki Barber ran for 123 yards as the Skins gave up 411 total yards, the most in the 38-game tenure of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
The schedule isn't doing Washington any favors in the next three weeks, with games against Indianapolis, Dallas and Philadelphia. All three have offenses that are ranked among the top five in the NFL, which means the Redskins could quickly fall to 2--7. Says defensive end Renaldo Wynn, "Sometimes you think you're better than you are, but we can't live in the past. What we've done the past two years is not going to dictate how we play now."