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Chiefs waiting to hit bottom during 7-game skid

Associated Press Modified: November 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm •  Published: November 19, 2012
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That's why Cassel got the starting nod and Quinn was brought on in relief.

Things aren't much more settled on the injury front, where wide receivers Jon Baldwin and Dwayne Bowe are both dealing with head and neck injuries. It's uncertain whether either will be available this week, though Crennel sounded optimistic that they will be cleared to play.

The offensive line also remains in flux.

Right guard Jon Asamoah is being fitted for a cast after having surgery on his thumb, and he could be back after missing a game. Left tackle Branden Albert has been dealing with back spasms, and center Ryan Lilja has an ankle injury that kept him out of Sunday's game.

"It's tough," right tackle Eric Winston said. "My rookie year (with Houston), we were 6-10, and that was tough. To be honest with you, I don't know if we were even good enough to win that many games. But that was a different team. It was a young team, a ton of rookies playing, a new regime kind of thing. I've never been around something like this, to tell you the truth."

The Chiefs have only led twice in a game this season, and they've been outscored 185-84 during their seven-game slide. They converted just one third down against Cincinnati, two fewer than the Bengals converted on fourth down, and were fortunate to only lose one of their three fumbles.

Things have been so bad this season that Crennel fired himself as defensive coordinator.

Now, he's wondering whether there are any other strings he can pull to engender change in a franchise floundering hopelessly out of control, or whether the best he can hope for is to be competitive enough down the stretch that he still has a job come January.

"It's all about the mentality that the players have, because when you lose, nobody is happy about losing," Crennel said. "Everybody is frustrated about losing, you know? Players, coaches, fans, owners, everybody. What we want and what we need is to try to win a game to make us feel better, give us a little confidence, and then if you win one, maybe we can win another."