Chiefs defense: What to expect in 2015


It is easy to look at the numbers from the last two seasons and get excited about what the Kansas City Chiefs defense has in store for 2015.  In fact, you would be crazy to not get a little excited (crazy or a fan of another AFC West team that doesn’t play in Kansas City). But before I start getting too excited about this year I’d like to take a look at the defense level by level.

Defensive Line

Kansas City’s defensive line is anchored by a mountain of a man in Dontari Poe. Poe is arguably the best interior defensive lineman in the league. Not only is he a freak of nature in regards to his size, he also chased down a scrambling Michael Vick each of the last two seasons, showing incredible speed.

The Chiefs’ line also has something it was missing last season with the return of defensive end Mike DeVito. DeVito is an incredibly underrated end, and this unit clearly missed him last season.  The absence of his impact is evident when you look at numbers against the run, something which tortured Kansas City in 2014.

Combine these two with Allen Bailey and the rest of the supporting cast and you have a defensive line that is easily in the top half of the league, which will only help the linebackers and secondary.


This group of linebackers has set this defense up for something special.  When you have players like Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, and Justin Houston (seriously, pay the man) playing together, everyone is in for a treat. If  Johnson can get any help from whoever is paired up inside with him, the Chiefs run defense will be greatly improved from last year. I think the most-likely candidate for the job is Josh Mauga.

Mauga will be successful this season next to Johnson in a diminished role. Mauga is another guy that I feel is underrated, leading the team in tackles last year.  The one question mark with the linebackers doesn’t have to do anything with a players skill or ability, but rather what does Kansas Cty do with Dee Ford?

Two seasons is too long to leave a first-round pick without a shot. This season, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton will get creative with Ford and find more ways to get him on the field with Houston and Hali.  This could spell trouble for opposing quarterbacks.  It also gives Ford the chance to get experience playing with two of the best.

Ford has had a season to practice under Hali and Houston, but actually getting into games and playing a more consistent role is going to help him so much, in turn helping this defense. This is the best group of linebackers in the league.


How do you become contenders in the NFL? You take an already elite position group and make it better in one weekend.  That is exactly what general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid did with the draft this year.

The Chiefs were able to add Marcus Peters (widely considered the best cornerback in the draft) with the 18th-overall pick.  Additionally, Kansas City took Steven Nelson out of Oregon State, who can be a contributor immediately. And who could forget about Sean Smith?  Smith had a phenomenal season last year and look for him to carry that into this season as well. It’s too bad he probably won’t get to play against the Denver Broncos in Week 2 due to a likely suspension stemming from his DUI guilty plea.

Throw in Phillip Gaines, Ron Parker, and any contribution the team gets from Marcus Cooper and hopefully Sanders Commings, and this secondary looks beyond good.  Not only is it an incredibly talented secondary but it is also a fairly young one.  Obviously, this already quality secondary is missing its best player (get better E.B.).  Throw in Berry and Chiefs fans are going to be really spoiled for the next couple of seasons.

Taking a look a the defense in totality, there is a ton to be amped up about.  I think the defense alone with put the Chiefs into playoff contention, if the offense can get rolling this team could easily make a deep, deep postseason run.