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Rapid Reaction: Kansas City Chiefs

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs' 17-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium:

What it means: The Chiefs lost their third straight and fell to 7-6. They're still alive for a wild-card playoff berth but probably need to win their final three regular-season games to reach the playoffs.

Stock watch: Quarterback Alex Smith started off hot. He completed 12 of 13 passes in the first half with the only incompletion being a drop by tight end Travis Kelce. Smith cooled off considerably in the second half and threw a bad red-zone interception in the third quarter, which Arizona turned into the go-ahead touchdown. Justin Houston entered the game with an NFL-leading 14 sacks and added two to his total. Jason Avant gave the Chiefs their longest pass play of the season when he hauled in a 41-yard throw in the third quarter.

More dropped interceptions: Josh Mauga, Phillip Gaines and Sean Smith each dropped a pass that should have gone for an interception. The Chiefs might lead the league this season in dropped interceptions. They've certainly dropped more than they've caught. The Chiefs got no interceptions against Arizona's Drew Stanton and have just four this season, fewest in the league.

Game ball: Who else but Jamaal Charles? Charles scored both of the Chiefs' touchdowns in the first half -- one on a 63-yard run when he busted a tackle and the other on an 18-yard catch and run. That's not a bad first half from a guy who spent part of that 30 minutes in the locker room with an ankle injury.

What's next: The Chiefs play against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Raiders had been 0-10 until beating the Chiefs 24-20 on Nov. 20 in Oakland.