KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Todd Haley wouldn't have changed the Kansas City Chiefs' bye week for any other point this season. Not any sooner, not any later.
He'll find out in a hurry whether it truly came at the right time.
The Chiefs were among the teams with an early bye for the second straight year, getting a week off after just five games. The first two were blowout losses to Buffalo and Detroit, but the Chiefs had shown encouraging signs in a narrow loss to San Diego and two straight wins.
It was enough momentum for many to assume the Chiefs would just as soon keep playing, rather than sit around watching the Oakland Raiders, the team they'll play next Sunday.
"I do know from a number of guys that the bye came at the right time, as far as feeling a little better physically," Haley said before a light walkthrough Monday. "I wouldn't have pushed the bye to some other time if we were given the option."
The Chiefs carried a similar bit of positive feeling into last year's week off, when they were riding high after three straight wins to start the season.
Kansas City came back and lost 19-9 in a lackluster performance at Indianapolis, then lost 35-31 at Houston. The Chiefs also lost twice more in the next four weeks before figuring things out in time to rattle off three straight wins and eventually wrap up the AFC West title.
Haley said the approach to the bye week changed slightly from last year, though he wouldn't go into great detail. Some of that had to do with new rules in the collective bargaining agreement that requires teams to ensure players get four consecutive days off, two of which must be the weekend.
After a light walkthrough Monday, Haley said the Chiefs would get back to their normal routine.
"Last year we came out of the bye and went and played a real good Indianapolis team and felt like we had multiple opportunities to win that game," Haley said. "I don't know if the bye week had something to do with that. I felt very good about the way we prepared."