If there’s one thing we learned from the Kansas City Chiefs‘ Week 17 performance against the San Diego Chargers, it’s that they definitely have some depth. With 19 of 22 starters resting, the reserves gave the Chargers all they could handle. Kansas City was a hair away from winning, but was robbed of a 36-yard field goal attempt to win the game due to an officiating error.
Somehow the defense made up of reserves played immensely better in San Diego than the starters did against the same team in Kansas City. At Arrowhead in Week 12, the Chiefs allowed 41 points, 491 total yards and didn’t force a turnover. In San Diego, they allowed 27 points, 405 total yards and grabbed an interception. In regulation, those numbers drop to 24 points and 343 total yards.
After a tremendous start, Kansas City’s defense has showed some weaknesses in the second half of the season. The Chiefs clearly have some options to examine on defense for their Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday afternoon. Cold stretches by almost everyone in the secondary not named Eric Berry have been hurting the Chiefs lately. If the starters can’t step up in Indianapolis, Andy Reid needs to make a move to plan B.
After their performances against the Chargers, Husain Abdullah and Ron Parker should be strong candidates to steal some playing time. Abdullah compiled eight tackles, Parker had six tackles, defended two passes and had a pick, and both provided solid coverage against one of the league’s best passing offenses. If anybody on the Kansas City defense tackles or covers as poorly as the team did two weeks ago against Indy, Reid should not hesitate to replace them with his very fresh, very hungry reserves.