Kansas City Chiefs film room: Anatomy of a sack

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Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

When we watch the Kansas City Chiefs, it is easy to miss the intricate details that actually spell the difference between success and failure, winning and losing. We follow the ball and watch the quarterbacks mostly, but the real work is happening elsewhere.

In this vein, we are going to start breaking down film on a regular basis here at Arrowhead Addict. We are going to learn not only what happened, but more important why and how. For this installment, we’ll look at three of Kansas City’s seven sacks recorded in a 19-7 win over the San Diego Chargers in Week 17. I’ll provide screenshots along with my descriptions of the events happening on the field.

Let’s get down to business.

Sack #1

Here we see the Chiefs showing six in the box. From left to right, we have Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, Dontari Poe, Josh Mauga and Husain Abdullah. San Diego, including the running back, have six in to block. Should be even, right?

Wrong. Look at the heads of every lineman from the left guard on over. They are all looking at Houston, Hali and Poe. Just their presence alone creates a mismatch. Hali is actually dropping into coverage, serving as a decoy. So what does Bob Sutton want? He has Poe crashing down the line, with Mauga taking on the left guard. Abdullah is forcing the left tackle, King Dunlap, wide. Sutton wants Ford on Brandon Oliver, the running back.

Look at Poe. The man demands a triple-team. With Poe getting that type of attention, Oliver is forced to block Mauga. The result is Ford screaming in untouched. Ford actually can’t bring Philip Rivers down alone, but Mauga comes in to clean up. Ford and Mauga get credit, but it was Poe, Hali and Houston drawing attention, and Abdullah forcing Dunlap wide, that made the play.

Next: We see Justin Houston destroy Philip Rivers