I can’t speak for any other Kansas City Chiefs fans out there, but I was very jealous of the four teams that advanced to the conference championships this weekend.
Yes, I am jealous that “my” team is done for the season and they are still playing.
Yes, I am jealous that the fans of one of those four teams will get the experience of cheering on their team to a Super Bowl win, something that I have never known.
However, there is something more specific about these four teams that I am very jealous of. Simply put, it’s their defenses.
All four teams have the type of defense that a team can count on. They keep their teams in games even when the offense is struggling. They usually even take it a step further and set up their offenses with big plays and turnovers. The bottom line is other teams fear playing these defenses because they know they are going to get punched in the mouth on every play.
The thought first came to my mind as I watched the Ravens/Steelers game on Saturday. “Wow, I would give anything for a defense like these guys have!”
Then on Saturday night as Green Bay went on the road and shut down “Matty Ice” and the Atlanta Falcons I thought: “That is what KC needs to make a real playoff run!”
Finally on Sunday as the team I loath more then any other shut down the greatest post season quarterback of this generation I lost all reason. “I don’t care about a #2 WR or upgrading the offensive line! We should spend every draft pick and FA move to get a dominant defense!”
The logical part of my brain knows we need balance. Patrick did a great piece just this last week on how the Chiefs finally are starting to find balance for the first time since before Marty was here (unless you count sucking on offense and defense under Herm as balanced). So I decided to look at the numbers for the remaining playoff teams to see what kind of model they set.
The results after the break.
The stats back up the notion that all four teams still alive this week have top ten defenses.
The Steelers are #2 in YPG allowed, #1 in PPG allowed, and #3 in opponents 3rd down percentage.
The Jets are #3 in YPG allowed, #6 in PPG allowed, and #10 in opponents 3rd down percentage.
The Packers are #5 in YPG allowed, #2 in PPG allowed, and #9 in opponents 3rd down percentage.
The Bears are #9 in YPG allowed, #4 in PPG allowed, and #6 in opponents 3rd down percentage.
So how do the Chiefs compare? Well they’re close, but not quite there yet.
The Chiefs were #14 in YPG allowed, #11 in PPG allowed, and #13 in opponents 3rd down percentage.
So they were below all four teams in all three categories, but not by a drastic amount.
I was expecting to see about the exact same thing when I looked at the same stats for offense.
The Steelers are #14 in YPG, #12 in PPG, and #6 in 3rd down %.
The Jets are #11 in YPG, #13 in PPG, and #15 in 3rd down %.
The Packers are #9 in YPG, #10 in PPG, and #8 in 3rd down %.
The Bears are #30 in YPG, #21 in PPG, and #27 in 3rd down %.
The Chiefs were #12 in YPG, #14 in PPG, and #20 in 3rd down %.
So the Chiefs were right there with these four teams in terms of offensive production this season. You would like to see that 3rd down % ranking higher, but overall it looks pretty good.
This is probably about the time I should mention that KC put up their numbers on what we all know by now was a very soft schedule. When up against a top notch defense the offense looked worse then those rankings show.
So here’s my question for you Addicts. What is the fastest way for the Chiefs to become a Super Bowl contender? Should they continue to build an overall balanced team, or should they build the defense (or offense I guess) to an elite level so they have a strength to lean on while they develop the other side of the ball?
I really believe the defense is much closer to being at an elite level then the offense is. Tamba Hali is one of the best pass rushers on the planet, Brandon Flowers is becoming an elite shut down corner, Glenn Dorsey is starting to look like the dominant force we drafted him to be, and Eric Berry is going to be a very special player. If we could upgrade a few more spots (NT, another pass rusher, run stuffing ILB, anyone other then McGraw in dime packages) I really think we could make the jump from “a good young defense” to “an elite defense”. I think the offense is going to take more time. However, there are enough pieces in place on that side of the ball (Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, etc.) that with a little more consistency they can still put enough points on the board to win games if the defense is creating turnovers and giving them a short field.
So there you have it Addicts. I am officially on the “Defense Wins Championships” bandwagon. I’d love to hear what you think.
Once again, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!