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Alex Smith: 2014 playoff meltdown a 'great example'

The Chiefs have demons to slay on Saturday. Kansas City hasn't won a playoff game since Joe Montana was an active player, a stretch of 23 years and eight losses.

But it is the most recent defeat that sticks to the organization like gum on the bottom of a cleat. On Jan. 4, 2014, the Chiefs stormed out to a 38-10 lead over the Indianapolis Colts as the two teams played into the third quarter. The game was over ... or so the world thought. Andrew Luck led the Colts to five second-half touchdowns and the Chiefs fell, 45-44.

It remains the second-biggest playoff collapse in NFL history.

Alex Smith, who played one of the best games of his career in that loss, says the team must learn from that stunning meltdown.

"We still talk about that as a great example," Smith said this week, per ESPN.com. "In this league, you can't take your foot off the gas pedal. You think you have something won, but teams are too good, too talented. I think that for this team, for the guys here, that will always be an example of that.

"Once you get there and you're that close, you don't know when the next opportunity is going to come or if it will ever ... I don't think you want to have any regrets."

"We all learned a good lesson there," said Andy Reid, who hasn't won a playoff game in seven years. "I try to draw something out of it that can make you better rather than dwell on it."

This game is unlikely to be a shootout like what happened two years ago, but there are lessons to be learned. If the Chiefs are ahead in the second half, don't expect their offense to go into a shell.

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