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Chiefs buy into interim coach Crennel after upset of Packers

The Kansas City Chiefs were a team in turmoil last week, and owner Clark Hunt and general manager Scott Pioli were searching for answers.

They might have found at least one in Romeo Crennel.

The interim coach led the Chiefs to an upset of the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers19-14 on Sunday, keeping its faint playoff hopes alive with two games remaining, and the dramatic shift in mood inside the team's practice facility was palpable.

"We should all feel pretty good. We should," Crennel said Monday. "I do."

The Chiefs still need to beat the Oakland Raiders on Saturday, but if the Broncos lose to the Buffalo Bills in a game that will be played at the same time, Kansas City will visit Denver in its regular-season finale with the AFC West title and a playoff spot riding on the outcome.

Who would have thought that a week ago? The players didn't hesitate in praising Crennel for keeping them together.

"You (saw) what happened on the field," wide receiver Steve Breaston told The Kansas City Star. "A lot of things could have gone against us. People could have gone into the tank. He kept us together. He told us to stick together. He believed we were going to come out here and win."

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Crennel helped keep Kansas City in many games this season as defensive coordinator, and it was his calming influence that Hunt and Pioli sought to keep the season alive.

The first thing Crennel did was to bench Tyler Palko, who had been ineffective in four games as a replacement for injured quarterback Matt Cassel, and anoint Kyle Orton the starter.

Crennel, who has made it clear that he wants to be considered for the permanent job, even received a Gatorade victory shower Sunday. Now it's up to him to make sure his players keep things in perspective.

"Hey, you beat the Green Bay Packers, that was great," Crennel said. "But if you don't get prepared, you don't get ready to go, we're going to lose to the Oakland Raiders, and then the game yesterday will be kind of down the drain."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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