You don’t often hear the term ‘boom or bust’ applied to a defense, but that is exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs squad has been this season. Bob Sutton is the most aggressive defensive coordinator in the league, and his style leads to a lot of big plays for both the Chiefs and their opponents.
Before their bye in Week 10, Kansas City’s defense was considered by many to be the best in the league, but a slump since that time has definitely changed people’s perceptions. In their first nine games, the Chiefs allowed 12.3 PPG compared to the 28.3 they’ve allowed in their last five matchups. Though the squad that now ranks 22nd in total defense definitely needs to get back on track, things aren’t as bleak as the numbers make them seem.
There is more to a defense’s value than point prevention. Kansas City leads the NFL in takeaways (35), points off of turnovers (133) and defensive touchdowns (seven). These aspects have been huge for the Chiefs, but they still need to allow fewer points. They’ve allowed a decent chunk of yardage all season, but it wasn’t a problem during their 9-0 start because they did a much better job of keeping opponents out of the end zone.
Kansas City has been out gained in six of their 11 wins, but came away victorious because of their big play ability, and the way the defense bent and didn’t break. In their three losses, they flat-out broke allowing 13 offensive touchdowns in those contests. Fortunately for the defense, the Kansas City offense has grown immensely of late, taking a little pressure off of them.
If the Chiefs can get back to their early season form on defense, they could be one of the scariest teams in the playoffs. The offense is finally reaching its potential, and if the defense can once again add some stops to their big-play ability, a Super Bowl run could definitely be in the cards.