Chiefs Backups Batting 1.000

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James-Michael Johnson & Josh Mauga

Born in Vallejo, California. James-Michael Johnson also hails from the University of Nevada and is in his 3rd year in the league. He was drafted by the Browns in the 4th round of the 2012 draft. He was claimed by the Chiefs off of waivers in 2013, and has since been the back-up to Derrick Johnson.

At the beginning of the season,I’m pretty sure everybody thought we were screwed at inside linebacker when we saw Derrick Johnson go down. However, Johnson has held his own filling in for the injured Johnson. I wouldn’t go as far to say he has shown the same influence on that field that DJ does but our middle line-backers have certainly not been a weakness on defense. This season James-Michael Johnson has twenty-six total tackles and five stuffs for negative thirteen yards as well as a forced fumble.

JMJ looked amazing in the Chiefs game against the 49ers. He was all over the field and wound up with eleven tackles, as well as three stuffs and his lone forced fumble of the season.

Oct 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal (11) makes a catch while defended by Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker James-Michael Johnson (52) during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Mauga was born in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. Mauga is also a product of the University of Nevada. In college, as a Junior Mauga led the team in tackles with eighty-two until he tore his MCL keeping him on the sideline for the rest of the season. He was also named captain his junior season, an honor rarely given to juniors at Nevada.

Mauga was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free-agent in 2009. He was then signed by the Chiefs in 2014 off the Jets practice squad presumably a move orchestrated by Bob Sutton, former Jets linebacker coach and current Chiefs defensive coordinator.

This season he has really stepped up to assume a starting role in the defense, and it will be interesting to see whom the Chiefs decide to start next year along side Derrick Johnson between Mauga and James-Michael Johnson. Mauga has definitely been one of the most influential players on our defense this season. He’s currently leading the team in tackles with fourty-one, which means he is doing his job by getting in the middle of plays and making some himself.

Between the two, I would say they have done a great job filling in the gaps left by cuts and injury at the middle linebacker position. So for that, James-Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga are batting 1.000 in my book.