The Kansas City Chiefs’ Hidden Gems

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Allen Bailey

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

In the three seasons prior to 2014, defensive end Allen Bailey played sparingly and had just two career sacks. Bailey had 19 sacks in his final three years at the University of Miami. He was drafted to be a situational pass rusher, but the organization saw few signs of that once he got to Kansas City. A dozen pounds of bulk later, he has four sacks in seven games and looks to be the best defensive lineman on the team not named Dontari Poe. You know who else has four sacks in 2014? Tamba Hali. Tyson Jackson had just four sacks the entire 2013 season.

There were some concerns that Bailey’s speed might be affected by a new playing weight that hovers around the 300-pound range. Bailey’s quieted those rumblings and has been an important part of Kansas City’s pass rush. He had three pressures and 1.5 sacks against the Rams on Sunday. Surprisingly, he’s also become a decent run defender.

Sean Smith

Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Smith had been one of the most maligned members of Kansas City’s defense. That’s all changed in 2014. I never thought I’d say this, but Smith’s playing Pro Bowl-caliber football this season. Chiefs Kingdom might want to sit down for this one. According to PFF, Sean Smith is currently ranked as the NFL’s 8th-best corner with a +6.6 grade on the year. He’s had a run of games over the past month where he’s looked like a shutdown corner. He’s putting together what appears to be his best season as a pro.

Last year, he was inconsistency personified. There were games where he looked like he was worth every penny of his $16.5 million contract (Week 3 at Philadelphia). In others, he looked like a blemish on general manager John Dorsey’s free agency record (Week 8 against Cleveland). In the latter, he surrendered 43% of the Browns’ passing yardage (128 yards). What a difference a year makes. He’s been as consistent as perhaps any defensive player on this team in 2014.

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