Remember the Wendy’s commercials featuring a little silver-haired old lady who would go up to the counter, look at the tiny burger in front of her and inevitably always demand to know the same thing: “Where’s the beef?!”
Has everyone forgotten about how great the Kansas City Chiefs‘ defense was early on in the season? They had arguably the most unforgiving and best defense in the NFL, and it showed. The Chiefs went undefeated their first nine games and were the last undefeated team in the league this season in large part due to their defense. They were the stingiest on the planet on yardage allowed, and weren’t allowing more than 17 P/PG until they met AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos in Week 11 and lost 27-17.
Granted, the Chiefs lost star linebacker Justin Houston in Week 12 in their game against the San Diego Chargers, and sacks and forced turnovers began slipping drastically, but certainly a team’s defense can’t rely on one of its players alone.
The Chiefs started allowing more P/PG on average at that point (with the exception of the Washington Redskins scoring 10), but fortunately, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith, running back Jamaal Charles and the rest of the Chiefs offense began breaking out and scoring at least 28 points per game, eventually defeating the Redskins and the Oakland Raiders in Weeks 14 and 15 by a combined 60 points. They secured themselves an AFC Wild Card spot for the playoffs.
Then the Chiefs’ 23-7 lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. If the loss itself wasn’t bad enough (the Chiefs will not be able to win their division championship now), it left fans wondering, “What happened?” But no one made more than passing commentary about the missing defensive machine they saw earlier in the season.
The Kansas City offense has certainly taken shape nicely this season, but the Chiefs need their powerhouse defense back going into the playoffs. It will be nice to have Houston back in the defensive ranks, but the rest of the defense needs to get their act together.
They certainly have the talent.