Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer during the second half of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Terrorhead Returns: The Kansas City Chiefs Boast The Best Defense And Fans In The NFL


October 28, 2012

It was an absolutely beautiful fall day. I was at my favorite place in the world, Arrowhead Stadium. The parking lot was full of Chiefs fans enjoying their favorite game day tailgating traditions. The air was full of the smell of delicious grilled meats, and despite the team’s then 1-5 record there was hope in the air that KC would at least defend their home turf against the also struggling Oakland Raiders, the team’s oldest rival.

About four hours later I took the picture above. The final minutes of the game were ticking away with the Raiders in the lead 26-16. Ten points doesn’t sound like much, but that day it was clear that the Chiefs weren’t up to the challenge. The KC faithful had almost all retreated back to the parking lots where their tailgate that morning had proved to be the highlight of the day. Most fans didn’t feel the need to see the final minutes, they knew the outcome. The Chiefs were pushed around on both sides of the ball by a bad football team. Worst of all, the fans left in the stadium at the end were mostly Oakland Raiders supporters. Dressed in black, gloating and cheering, they laughed and yelled out things like “YEAH, RAIDERS BABY, THE CHIEFS SUCK!!!!!!” They turned the sacred confines of Arrowhead Stadium, home of the best fans in the world into a giant Raiders victory party. Worst of all, it was the 6th consecutive win in Arrowhead for the Raiders.

There wasn’t much you could even say back to them. I just sat there, slumped in my seat, sick to my stomach, and prayed that I would never have to see a sight like that again in my lifetime.

Fast forward to present day, and things are a LOT different.

Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; An overall view of Arrowhead Stadium during the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. Kansas City won the game 24-7. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

On this day, the Chiefs would not be the ones that got pushed around. On this day, the Kansas City faithful would not have to watch the opposing team’s fans celebrate. On this day, the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans sent a 137.5 decibel message to the rest of the NFL.

Arrowhead Stadium is back in it’s rightful place, sitting on the throne as the most feared home field advantage in all of football.

This is not up for debate.

There is no argument any other team can make.

The Chiefs Kingdom set the official Guinness World Record for the loudest open air stadium on Sunday. The previous record was held by the fans of the Seattle Seahawks at Centurylink Field. Here’s the thing, Centurylink has an architectural advantage.

Oct 13, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; General view of the goal posts with the pink NFL breast cancer awareness logo during the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Notice the overhangs? While Centurylink is technically an open air stadium, those overhangs hold in the sound and reflect it down towards the playing field. This is why Seattle developed their “loudest fans” reputation only after the new stadium was built. KC was known as one of the NFL’s loudest stadiums going back decades. The Seattle record was set during a night game against a Super Bowl contender.

The KC fans on Sunday didn’t need an overhang. They didn’t need a featured prime time game, or an elite opponent.

No, Chiefs fans took back what was rightfully theirs on a typical Sunday afternoon by doing what they always do, scream like there is no tomorrow in support of the team they love.

Chiefs fans set a world record with passion, not architecture.

For years this passion was muted by poor defenses. Even a decade ago under Dick Vermeil when the Chiefs were winning games, it was with offense. A loud crowd really has it’s impact when their team is on defense.

And so the “sleeping giant” known as the Chiefs Kingdom lie in waiting while Seattle claimed bragging rights as the loudest fans in the NFL. They dreamed of the glory days of the 80′s when Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith lead one of the most feared defenses in the NFL.

Their wait is officially over.

The Kansas City Chiefs defense is back and poised to give those great defenses of KC’s past a run for their money.

In case you don’t believe me, here’s some numbers to back that statement up.

The NFL record for fewest points per game in a 16 game season is held by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens at about 10.3 PPG.

The Chiefs are currently giving up 10.8 PPG.

The NFL record for most sacks in a season for a team is held by the 1984 Bears at 72 sacks.

The Chiefs are currently on pace to get over 82 sacks.

If that’s not enough, they are also creating turnovers better than any other team in the league. They currently lead the NFL with 18 combined interceptions (10) and fumble recoveries (8). That means that the Chiefs defense is averaging exactly 3 turnovers per game to go along with 5.2 sacks and 10.8 points allowed.

When you sack the quarterback five times per game (leads the NFL), force three turnovers per game (leads the NFL), only allow 10.8 points per game (leads the NFL), and your fans’ screams reach 137.5 decibels (leads the entire history of outdoor sports) it’s safe to say that NO TEAM wants to come to your house and play ball.

It’s more than that though. This defense is special on so many levels. Yes, they have two elite edge rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston that will get a lot of the attention. However, it is the combination of all the different strong players that make this defense so special.

In addition to Hali and Houston coming off the edge, they may have the best NT in the NFL in Dontari Poe. Poe is constantly collapsing the pocket and forcing QBs into the arms of the edge rushers. Plus, his 4.5 sacks is actually more than some of the best known pass rushing defensive lineman in the game like JJ Watt (3.5 sacks), Geno Atkins (4.0 sacks), Jared Allen (3.5 sacks), and DeMarcus Ware (4.0 sacks).

The other area where KC is special is the coverage ability of their cornerbacks. The Chiefs have three CBs that they trust alone in single man to man coverage in Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, and the emerging rookie phenom Marcus Cooper. Having CBs that can excel one on one on the outside does a couple of things for a defense. It allows the pass rushers time to get to the QB and it frees up other defenders that would have been providing coverage support for lesser CBs.

That later is where the final two pieces of the puzzle come in. With Hali, Houston, and Poe providing constant pressure on the QB and Flowers, Smith, and Cooper locking up WRs it allows KC’s two best athletes on defense (Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry) to roam the middle of the field and make plays. These two are all over the place. They stop the run, they blitz the QB, they drop into coverage, they’re all over the field. It’s no surprise that they’re the top two tacklers on the KC defense.

The combination of those four elements (elite edge rushers, dominant NT, good man coverage CBs, and DJ / Berry roaming the middle of the field) makes KC’s defense one of the most dominant units on either side of the ball in the entire NFL.

You add to that the loudest fans in the history of outdoor sports and you have yourself the best home field advantage in the NFL. You have a home field advantage that EVERY team in the NFL should fear (looking at you Donkeys). You have a home field advantage that will eventually break opposing teams. The defense and crowd on Sunday wore down the Oakland Raiders until they eventually crumbled. As the game progressed the Raiders gave up more sacks, committed numerous false start and delay of game penalties, and eventually young Terrell Pryor cracked under the pressure and started throwing the ball to the Chiefs defensive backs.

Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (left) celebrates with outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) after a sack against the Oakland Raiders in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 24-7. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


This is what every opposing QB that walks into Arrowhead should expect. This is what every QB that walks into Arrowhead should fear.

Simply put,

Terrorhead has returned.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Follow me on Twitter: @LyleGraversen

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

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

    Cooper has been sensational. He got beat a couple of times yesterday but he also makes plays. And the kid is a rookie 7th rounder, being asked to play in a very difficult defensive system for a CB. The Chiefs didn’t have Flowers yesterday and Cooper really stepped up.

    I think where we will really see his value is when the Chiefs play Denver. The Broncos have so many weapons that Cooper and his physical play will be very important in that game.

    • berttheclock

      I wrote before that while Schiano is proving to be an ineffective NFL HC, he was the one who spotted defensive talent in Cooper. In HS in Connecticut, Cooper had a fine wide out career. For some reason, this did not translate into catching passes at Rutgers for his first year and a half. Schiano had to force him to switch, but, that next 2 and one half year of training to be a DB is reaping huge benefits, now, for the Chiefs.

      He is the closest to being a shut down corner a new DB with the Chiefs has shown in years. However, we really need a fully recovered Flowers to return for the Broncos. That experiment of putting him at slot should really help to offset Welker. BTW, I am still waiting to see any “takes plays off” by Sean Smith. That was the main theme on Dolphin Fan sites. Did you catch his over the top knock away of a pass by Pryor? This is becoming the best defensive secondary the Chiefs have had since the early nineties.

    • Danny W

      Don’t forget to give Quinten Demps some love too. Kid has three picks and is making me want to never see Kendrick Lewis again. Especially when Abdullah is playing awesome special teams and seems to be showing up on defense too.

      • berttheclock

        Don’t throw Lewis under the bus, as yet. Yesterday, he had two solo tackles. Demps had two solo tackles and one pass defended. Lewis is getting stronger from his recovery. The Chiefs need both of them. This is the depth the Chiefs have needed for years. Sutton has the quality of backups, Romeo never saw in KC. Sutton uses them as though he was conducting a massive chess game with the offensive co-ord of the other team. One other point about Lewis is how he came up in the Dallas game and kept their excellent TE from getting a 1st down after he caught a Romo safety valve throw.

        • micah stephenson

          If you had to pick just one guy to upgrade it wud b Lewis. He has good coverage skills but misses some tkls. I don’t like how when he tackles someone how they often fall foward for 2-4 yards.

          • berttheclock

            The premier TE for Dallas did not fall forward.

  • Todd Worrel

    Cooper for rookie of the year?

    • Danny W

      I mentioned that too. Defensive rookie of the year has to be considered but Kiko Alanso will run away with it.

  • berttheclock

    Thanks for another fine work, Lyle. Thanks for showing the overhangs at Century Link (the company where you learn to spend at least an hour a month arguing with them about your bill). Because of those overhangs, I didn’t believe the fanatical crowd at Arrowhead could surpass the noise level. Tremendous news that they were successful. Take that, Twelfth Man, which really is nothing more than a bunch of front runners. Century can be extremely quiet when the Seahawks are losing.

    • Jared Watson

      Not to mention that the seats at Clink are closer to the field than those at Arrowhead, which makes the Arrowhead Crowd that much more impressive.

      • berttheclock

        Yes. There is probably not a stadium which is better for viewing a game than Century Link. It is as though you are on top of everything. Having sat through many a game at the ancient LA Coliseum and even that terrible configuration of the old Angels stadium, I can well vouch for the need to be far closer to the field of play. Sadly, I have never been to Arrowhead. My days began 50 years ago next month going out to 23rd and watching the Chiefs. I am definitely going to put Arrowhead on my “Bucket List”.

        • Jared Watson

          Being that I live 900 miles from KC I haven’t had many opportunities to go. The only time being the 2010 rain soaked monday night opener, but man, I’ll never forget that. I could only imagine how much louder it was yesterday.

          • steve james

            I was at that game also. I was a Dex fan before that game (his first as a pro) & felt personal validation when he ran it back. Some didn’t like taking him silly doubters. Bert you have never been? Let’s go! I’ll be there next Sunday seeing as I finally get a day off.

  • berttheclock

    One other thing about Cooper. Someone wrote Cooper could have played it safe by letting Moore catch that short pass and tackling him. Cooper jumped the pass. This goes back to the great teachings by Sutton and his excellent assistants. Watching them on the sidelines shows me they are constantly reevaluating their positions. Defense has a lapse? They solve it ASAP. They adjust throughout the game. Teicher at ESPN has an article up about them sticking with their game plan of attacking Pryor and not backing off. Attacking him, plus the incredible crowd noise, had the young man extremely rattled. Those Giant Red Hornets were swarming him from every direction.

    • EditorMan

      Red Hornets, I like that!

    • Joe Myers

      I think that was more Emmett Thomas tgen bob sutton

  • Danny W

    So far, I say so far mind you…..this is the best defense I’ve ever seen in Kansas City. Been a fan for a long time ladies and gents. That’s a big statement right there. Offense, not so much. This defense is super bowl caliber though. Tip’s the hat to Uncle Bob Sutton.

  • berttheclock

    Loved a comment at sfgate/raiders. One fan wrote about that 4th and 48. He wrote that the Raiders should have gone for it. He had five faves.

  • berttheclock

    Understand Dennis Allen has had an early team meeting. First thing he asked was “Can anyone hear me now?” Lots of head shaking.

    • freshmeat62

      Huh??? What??? Speak up!

  • ArrowFan

    I now find myself more interested in our D snaps than our O snaps. Like I go pee and get a snack when we are on O.

  • steve james

    “Chiefs fans set a world record with passion, not architecture.” Thank you sir, another gem I will take with me for a smile later today:) So happy you now voiceless fans got it done. I thought that half dome in Seattle would be too much to overcome. Sorry I ever doubted you!

  • Michael Shaw

    So at what point in the game did the record get broken? They kept showing the giant screen on TV and it never went above 109 DB’s, which come to think of it wasn’t when they were cheering the loudest!

    • jeffromac23

      With 30 seconds left in the game. The guy from GWR said he thought it wasn’t going to happen and the end he was on filled back up and the rest is history.

    • micah stephenson

      At one point it was 132 and it was the loudest I’ve ever herd it. I didn’t think it was anyway possible to get any louder. 5 more pts seemed like a lot more loudness. Everybody was yelling and beating on the seats. You literally cud not hear yoself yelling. How is that possible? If the person sitting next to you was talking you cud only see they lips moving. wow. It was amazing. Yall shud have seen the look on the raider fans faces. they had a look of shock and aww. They cudnt believe how loud it was. I hope its like that everygame.

      • Michael Shaw

        Wish I was there!!!!

      • Tony Parker

        and that was with all the faiders fans in the stadium, imagine how much louder it could have been with the faithful filling those seats…..

    • Joe Myers

      We broke it during the pick six play .

  • micah stephenson

    Goooo CHIEEEEEEFS!!!!!!

  • Jarad

    What an awesome feeling watching this defense!! I honestly feel there is a chance for the Chiefs score everytime the opposing offense takes the field. Havent had this much excitement for the D since 58 was coming off the edge. I wont comment on the offense for fear of hurting feelings, but this Defense will keep the team in games all year! And AWESOME WORK BY THE FANS OF ARROWHEAD!

  • EditorMan

    Great piece, Lyle. Solid in all aspects!

  • PunjabiPete

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Marcus Cooper has something special. I bet they find a way to keep him in the lineup even after Flowers comes back. I know he gave up the TD but he is quick to forget it and move on, and I’ve been impressed with him.

  • PriestHolmes31

    After ten years of terrible defense, it is a really nice change to see Kansas City!! Instead of the Donkeys what if we call the broncos the Bronies!

  • Joe Sullivan

    Until the chiefs win more games in a row at home than the Seahawks, they will not have a better home-field advantage. And let’s be honest guys, the chiefs don’t look like a super bowl contender, maybe a one win playoff team.