Nov 24, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Derrick Johnson (56) breaks up a pass intended for San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) during the second half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers won 41-38. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Derrick Johnson on Loss of Hali and Houston

The leader of the Chiefs defense is unarguably inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. After the heartbreaking loss to the San Diego Chargers earlier today, Johnson was asked if Justin Houston and Tamba Hali leaving with injuries impacted the defense

“No, this is the National Football League, when people go down, everybody has to step up. Obviously, it hurt us a little bit not having two better players on the field. Regardless, we still had a chance. (San Diego) had 70-some yards to go with a minute and 22 seconds. We just have to pull away with that win. We’ll take that every game.”

In theory, Johnson is absolutely right about the next man up theory. However, losing the two most elite members of the defense within two series of each other is a tough order to fill, in the same game. If Hali and Houston are going to miss a significant amount of time, it will be up to Johnson and the rest of the defense moving forward to get this squad back on track. If that doesn’t happen, the Chiefs season could be in serious jeopardy. If the Chiefs defense can’t reestablish its identity without an elite pass rush, the miraculous nine game winning streak that started the season will have been for nothing.

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Tags: Derrick Johnson Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Tamba Hali

  • GDL40

    I would’ve said something along the lines of ….. ” NO EXCUSES – San Diego had 70-something yards to go with 1:22 left we should’ve stepped up, odds favored us. But of course when you lose 2 of the best linebackers in the league it’s going to have an impact no matter what team they play for….bottom line is we got outplayed and hopefully we (deffense) can get back on track against Denver, and hopefully our offense plays like they did today ” …………. something like that ….. GO CHIEFS !

  • Jim Harper

    I can’t in good conscience agree that it will all have been for nothing. That’s pretty strong Jason. This team has made great strides in many other areas. I could not be prouder of them. It will be tough going forward if they are out for an extended period, but they will figure it out. It is just tough to do on the fly in the middle of a game. But again, to say that what they have done so far counts for nothing is just an unfair assessment.

  • Andy

    “No” is the team mate answer. “Yes” is reality. I hope it is cold as heck this Sunday

  • berttheclock

    Yes, the loss of both Hali and Houston hurt the overall defensive effort and should their return be prolonged, it really will hurt the team. But, they were not responsible for the Number One reason for the loss of yesterday. That reason was called the ungodly “Prevent Defense” which can not prevent a damn thing except creating a loss for any idiotic defensive coach who attempts calling it. The prevent made a “winner” out of Tebow, when, both Chicago and Pittsburgh used it against him. In the case of Chicago, it was even more pathetic due to the fact they had curtailed him for most of the game. Only when they tried it did he start hitting passes. Yesterday, the prevent made stars out of two backups. Just look at what backing off Whitehead did in that drive. Two long gains with little time run off the clock. Mr Sutton, the prevent simply does not work. Give it up. All the prevent does is turn a team into playing passively in a playing not to lose rather playing to win mode. No matter what his detractors say about his perceived whining to the refs, Phillip Rivers is a deadly quarterback against a prevent. For the last minute and 22 seconds, the Chiefs played not to lose instead of playing to win. Not having Hali and Houston would not have mattered how those receivers been jammed. You could have played a three man rush and dropped 5 into jamming the receivers at the line of scrimmage with 2 deeper safeties. Mr Sutton, your stupid prevent defense snatched a victory away from this team.