The Chiefs started 9-0, and all was well with the Chiefs Kingdom. Very solid defensive play, good special teams, and an average to above average offense. We all knew this division one way or another would run its course through Dever. Then Denver came. We all know how that game turned out, a 27-17 loss in Denver to take the goose egg away from our beloved Chiefs. We couldn’t be expecting the 72 Dolphins, but it was very nice while it lasted.
Then came San Diego, and this is where most of this story is going ironically enough. San Diego exposed the “best” defense in the NFL. They did it with short crossing routes that made us look like we had never seen anything like it before. We continued to play man-coverage through it and never made the right adjustments with our secondary to prevent the gashing from happening.
We lost Hali and Houston that game, yes I know. I am not saying that it didn’t hurt the Chiefs but they had done very little the previous two games before that. Zero sacks to be specific. This is when the yardage and points started to add up. Honestly, I do not think the Chiefs would have won that game with the two of them. Rivers was getting the ball out of his hand so quickly on those routes it would have been difficult to get to the quarterback. Our safety Eric Berry was the only guy that recorded a sack in that game. Let me say that one more time, our safety. This was the game that exposed the Chiefs defense and has continued on until this very day. The inability to get any kind of pressure on the quarterback, puts an extreme amount of pressure on your secondary to hold receivers down-field for an extended period of time.
Combining the Charger’s game to last week’s Raiders game here are the Chiefs defensive stats. We haven given up 1,259 yards through the air, 314 per contest. 405 yards on the ground, 100 yards per contest. 117 points including the abysmal Washington game where they scored 10, but that’s an average of 29 points a game allowed rolling into the playoffs. Am I saying this can’t be fixed? Of course not. There is loads of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Do they need to fix it? Yes, immediately. With a playoff spot solidified we need to get our defense back to top shape if we want to even consider making a run at a playoff win(s). Point blank they are not playing at a high level and it’s the worst time of year to not be in top form. Only time will tell if the second half Chiefs defense are the same Chiefs defense from the first half of the season, or something else. I sure am hoping the first half because with that defense and our offense rolling the way it has recently, we could be a serious problem for any team in the NFL. INCLUDING YOU DENVER!
By: Matt Hendrickson