Kansas City Chiefs: 8 Takeaways From Week 7’s Heart-Pounding Thriller

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6. Replacements Are Showing Improvement

Oct 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Josh Mauga (90) reacts after the San Diego Chargers scored during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Mauga only notched one start in four years with the New York Jets; he has five with the Chiefs.

Due to injuries of his teammates, he was promoted to the starting lineup, and the 27-year-old struggled out of the gate—especially pertaining to gap discipline.

In Week 7, Mauga played like a completely different person, staying true to his assignments and attacking ball-carriers with red-eyed aggression.

Moving elsewhere, I’ve been high on Phillip Gaines since Kansas City plucked him off the board. He’s a lengthy, athletic defender with grade-A ball skills. (Although, in terms of intercepting passes, his hands are average.)

With Chris Owens injured and Marcus Cooper floundering, Gaines saw the field infinitely more than weeks past. And while he has endured the usual ups and downs of a first-year corner, he looked like he belonged this Sunday.