Defense has returned to Kansas City.
Through three games it is evident that the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs defense is much different than the 2009 version.
Not since the days of Niel Smith and Derrick Thomas has a Chiefs defense looked as good as it did Sunday against the 49ers.
Heading in to the season, most thought the Chiefs would have a strong young secondary and a soft front seven that would struggle to generate pressure.
Just weeks later, the front seven appears to be the strength of the team. The Chiefs generated pressure on Alex Smith all day long, sacking the 49ers QB 5 times, while hitting him 9 times. The number is even more impressive considering this defensive unit is only two years removed from the 2008 Chiefs defense that was only able to register 10 sacks on the entire season.
Linebacker Tamba Hali led the way with 3 sacks while OLB Andy Studebaker and NT Ron Edwards added the other two.
The Chiefs were once again stout against the run, limiting Frank Gore to only 43 yards on 15 carries. Through three games the Chiefs have yet to allow a back to rush for 100 yards.
“We just had to stop the run,” said Hali following the game. We knew they were a good team coming in as far as running the ball and QB Alex Smith had a good game against New Orleans last week and our whole focus was just stopping the run.”
KC’s secondary also played well. Lead by third year CB Brandon Flowers who recorded his second interception of the season, Kansas City defended 6 Alex Smith passes.After the game, Flowers talked about his interception.
“Yeah, I’ve seen that route on film a lot,” said Flowers. “WR (Michael) Crabtree likes to run to the flat and then angle it back in for a slant. I just played what I’d seen on film. I told myself before this year that I just have to be more opportunistic – if I get my hands on the ball I’ve got to come down with it. So that’s what I did.”
One thing is for sure, the Chiefs defense has a lot to be proud of.
“It feels good. I’ve been here three years, since I was a rookie,” said Hali. “There’ve been hard times, ups and downs, both personally and team-wise and it’s a good feeling to be 3-0. But like I said we’ve got a lot of improvement which is a good sign and we can improve and get better.”