With big help from some unlikely sources, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of the last two undefeated teams left in the NFL. In their victory over the Oakland Raiders, everyone on the KC defense seemed to be making big plays with 10 different players recording at least a sack or an interception. The three second-half interceptions put Oakland down for the count, and not one of them came from a starter.
Not typically a starter, rookie CB Marcus Cooper started Sunday in place of the injured Brandon Flowers and made a huge fourth-quarter interception for the second straight week. Terrelle Pryor set out to pick on the rookie and it worked once when he was beat by Denarius Moore for the Raiders’ only TD. Outside of that one miscue, Cooper had another outstanding game with the interception, five defended passes and five tackles.
Backup Safety Quentin Demps also had a major impact on the game. With the score tied 7-7 late in the third quarter, Demps made an enormous momentum-shifting interception. After returning it nine yards to bring KC 23 yards from a TD, the Chiefs’ stuttering offense was able to put in in the end zone to grab their first lead of the game.
The final nail in the coffin came from Husain Abdullah, another backup safety. With the Raiders in desperation mode, Abdullah made a brilliant anticipatory move on Pryor’s pass and took it back for a TD, putting the game completely out of reach.
It’s not just the big names making plays on the Kansas City defense. When given the opportunity, the reserves are stepping up and making a huge impact. An inconsistent and stalling offense has required the defense to be nothing short of dominant. With the help of some tremendous depth, the D has been just that and they’re the primary factor for the team’s undefeated record.