Kansas City Chiefs players never will forget where they were Saturday, when they found out teammate Jovan Belcher had taken his own life after murdering Kasandra Perkins, the 22-year-old mother of his daughter.
And the Chiefs never will forget Sunday's 27-21 win over the Carolina Panthers, which came during a sad, strange and emotional afternoon for the franchise. A win won't change anything, but it gave the Chiefs something else to focus on for a few hours.
"We wanted to play the game because we're football players," Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "We love the game of football. When something happens like this, what we're going to be doing is sitting around three or four hours when we're supposed to be playing just thinking about the tragedy that went on."
Johnson spoke about pulling together as a team after waking up and realizing Saturday's events weren't just a bad dream. Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel emphasized that two families were torn apart by Belcher's death.
"Knowing that it's not over today, it will still go on tomorrow and the next day and the next day, but life is going to go on as well," Crennel said. "After we leave here, we'll still work through the tragedy we had to endure yesterday."
Crennel showed a lot of strength to his team and in his words Sunday. But he knew a victory wouldn't bring back Perkins or Belcher. The Chiefs' second win of the season showed a great deal of character, but it can't erase what Crennel witnessed Saturday.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.