October 07, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Ravens won 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Is Chiefs’ Tamba Hali Overrated?


How dare I suggest that our boy Tamba Hali, one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL, is overrated.

NFL Network has been airing their annual Top 100 countdown this offseason. There five Kansas City Chiefs on the list, the last of which was Jamaal Charles, who came in at No. 20. Joining Charles was ILB Derrick Johnson, WR, Dwayne Bowe and CB Brandon Flowers.

Missing from the list, was Hali.

Tamba not making the list this year doesn’t mean he is overrated but I do think it is possible that as Chiefs fans, we overrate Hali just a little bit. Nobody is saying he isn’t good but perhaps we are letting past performance dictate our current opinion?

For the record, I am not sure that is the case. I think that Hali’s stellar 2010 campaign meant that he was bound to face more double-teams in 2011 and 2012. Factor in that the Chiefs were pretty bad the last couple of years and you have a pass rusher that is rarely in the position where the Chiefs are playing with a lead.

As for Justin Houston, I think he is going to be a huge star but I also think that he has benefitted somewhat from playing opposite Hali.

Sadly, Tamba isn’t going to be around forever. He will turn 30 this season and at some point his skills are going to start to diminish.

What do you think, Addicts? Are we overrating Tamba Hali or has his failure to duplicate his 2010 season just a result of factors beyond his control?

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs Tamba Hali

  • thomjohn

    an ass rusher!!!!!!!

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      I’m sorry. ;)

      • antony555

        Why was that lewd comment allowed, it was not funny!

        • Billie Cabral

          Seriously, F’N hilarious!!!

          • paul pace

            Here, here!

        • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

          I made a typo in the original version of this article and wrote “ass rusher.” He’s giving me a well-deserved ribbing.

          • paul pace

            I figured it was a typo. I have them all the time. Can’t type worth sh@t. Life is too short to take something like that seriously. Anyone that does needs to lighten up a lilttle. It was funny!

          • antony555

            Look son I figured it was some idiot from another fan base talking about one of our best players and I am a bit overly protective of anyone in the Red and Gold!

          • Michael Shaw

            Good thing Patrick came clean, this could’ve gotten ugly by the looks of it! And yes sometimes hypo’s are tilarious!!!

          • antony555

            Why are you trying to beat a dead horse dude, it was explained an everything is all good..

  • DTVTechGuy

    Ass Rusher…

    Hit the edit button PA… You the man… But that is hilarious…

    As far as Tamba goes…. He has truly been, until Houston, the only threat to get at the QB for a few seasons now, the other teams focus has been Tamba… That is the ONLY reason his numbers have not just been duplicated, but passed. Aside from that, the inspiration for this piece, Kansas City players have been NOTORIOUSLY left off of alot of lists and have been looked beyond and through for any respect around the league and also by the media. It’s just the way it is.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      My editor is on vacation this weekend and this is what happens. Natasha will be thrilled to know I can’t survive without her. Ass rusher…classic.

    • Michael Shaw

      DTVTechGuy……..you are a 100% right. How does Ray Rice get rated higher than JC on this year’s list when he was not even in the top 5 for rushing, yet he is rated higher than JC and Beast Mode??? Not to mention the fact that JC did everything he did with a weak QB and offense and still got 4th in rushing last year. Everyone talked about AP and his comeback, but JC had the exact same injury and performed just slightly below AP.

  • Brandon

    His numbers are almost identical to Cameron Wake the last three years, and Wake is getting a lot of respect right now. I think a lot of emphasis is put on last year/last game in this league and last year was not Hali’s best.

  • Chris Foosman

    He’s not overrated if you think he’s the best defensive end in the NFL who is playing linebacker. He’s an amazing pass rusher who is a liability in coverage and has so little lateral speed that Tebow made him look like a fool when the Broncos just ran college option plays at him all day. I have been championing a move back to the 4-3 just so he can move to his more natural position where his lack of classical linebacker abilities is not so apparent.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      He is a bit of a one-trick pony in the 3-4, though I think he plays the run pretty well. But you are right, he is a 4-3 end at heart. Houston, on the other hand, is a perfect OLB with solid pass coverage, run play and pass rush.

  • Danny W

    No he’s far from overrated. I think he’s woefully underrated. If you counted how many times the guy gets held and chocked game in and game out then people would realize how hard he is to block. I think he’s double digits year after year if 100% healthy and not held.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      He gets held like nobody’s business.

      • Carlos Nevarez

        No excuses.
        Elite rushers beat blocks.

        • Billie Cabral

          Trolls will Troll!!!

          • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

            He has a point that great pass rushers still get their pressures/sacks. Disagreeing doesn’t make Carlos a troll.

  • chiefridgy

    I always like a good ass rush….my wife not so much.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen


    • Matt Finucane


  • Patriot42

    I think most fans put the players of their team above other team players especially those in their division. I don’t see Hali as really outstanding but since he played on a team that was always behind and the opposing team didn’t need to pass to catch up he didn’t get the rushes as he could have if the offense could score.

  • Lyle Graversen

    I don’t think Chiefs fans are overrating how good he has been the past few seasons. I just hope most are realistic enough to know that he probably won’t be able to keep it up at that level much longer.

  • Jim Harper

    Given the fact that he did not make the 2013 list that would make him underrated and not overrated. Given the circumstances of last year and the extra attention he received and still got 9 sacks proves to me that he is as solid as ever. Yes he will turn 30 this year but he still has 3 or 4 great years left. He has come a long way since leaving war torn Africa. I believe he takes nothing he has acheived for granted and that alone is motivation enough for Tamba to play at a pro bowl level.

    • GDL40

      Couldn’t agree more ! …… and I really believe Hali will shine again this year with the new “attacking” defense. The fact that Justin Houston DID make it in the top 100 tells me every team knows he is a threat, and offenses wont be able to double team both of them all the time …… CAN’T WAIT !

  • James Wilson

    i don’t think he was overrated. everyone i know thinks the same thing about hali. a man with average skills, but limitless heart and motor. i’d take that any day over a guy with all the talent and no heart. he has work ethic like nobody’s business. that is why i don’t think he is overpaid. he works his ass off for every penny!

    • paul pace

      Here, here!

  • Nick Weisbeck

    I’ve never seen another player with his motor. I think with Houston getting more attention Tamba will see less double teams and hopefully or improved secondary will result in long third downs. I’m also hopefull our new DC will bring the blitz.

  • Billie Cabral

    I will say Tamba is great as a pass rusher. And yes he gets held more than Grand Baby at Christmas but at the same time when he is in coverage he gets burnt more than toast!!! I think with the overall improvement of the team and the possibility that the other team might have to play from behind at some point that Hali will get back to Qb killing form!!! Go Chiefs!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    The fact that people look at a 9-sack season as a disappointment says everything about his being overrated. He’s also pretty solid in run support.

  • Travis Hershberger

    You forgot to mention that Justin Houston also joined charles in the NFL top 100

  • jimfromkcj

    I have never thought that Hali is over rated, but I contend that he is overvalued. When you have a team that is up against the cap with a QB who is not on a huge contract, your team has been put together by idiots. Unfortunatly we don’ have people like Elway that can construct a team full of great players and one of the highest paid QB’s in the league without being as up against the cap like the Chiefs are.

  • Jim Butler

    I believe Tamba will have a good year, he has been a victim of the system and should flourish in the new scheme

  • e_racer

    He needs another move. Tamba Hali gets it done because he never takes a play off. He is always giving it all he can. However, he doesn’t seem to mix up his approach much. Hali got a lot of garbage sacks in college, and he has done this in the pros. That isn’t a knock on him. You need players like that. He is always going to be in the vicinity giving it his all. That is why he gets to clean up.

    Does Tamba Hali get held? Sure. He gets mugged. The refs aren’t going to call it in the NFL, so you are going to have to find a way to get it done. His only fault is he is a bit of a one trick pony, when it comes to the pass rush.

    • Sheldon Burke

      How do you get garbage sacks when you are behind and the o is just trying to protect the ball?

      • e_racer

        Good point. I could have chosen better words. What I meant was Tamba Hali has a nonstop motor. He does not have the talent that other players have. However, he keeps plugging on every play, and he has racked up a number of sacks in his career.

        To me it is more credit to the individual to be a guy who hustles. Before Pete Rose got into trouble he was known as Charlie Hustle because of his style of play. Rose collected a lot of garbage hits because he kept fouling off pitches until he could get one that he could dink into shallow outfield for a single.

        Tamba Hali does not have an extensive repertoire of rushes. He basically knows how to do it one way. Guys like that can easily get shut down. However, Hali is just so relentless, that he can sack the QB, and agitate the offensive line.

  • thabear04

    No he not overrated he gets held and double team and that free up Justin Houston one on one. Now they know Houston try to double team either one of them and either Nico Johnson if he start in the middle or DJ or one of are D linemen will get the sack.

  • ashton hastings

    Well it doesent help (and i dont know if anyone else has noticed this) but he gets held every other time he rushes the passer and it never gets called example two years ago against the bears tamba hali was about to get to cutler in the endzone gets held TWICE doesent get called like always and still sacks cutler and gets the safety

  • Sheldon Burke

    I bet if we were leading all those games and went 14-2 with the o passing against us we would be talking about a sack leading canidate last year.