Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws the ball in front of Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike DeVito (70) in the first quarter at FedEx Field. The Chiefs won 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Of course, having the best rushing defense in the league is optimal. Obviously, K.C. needs to prevent opposing running backs from having a night like C.J. Anderson did in Arrowhead last year. But for all that bending, the Chiefs rarely broke.
As noted above, only Seattle allowed fewer points in 2014. And for all their woes against the run, the Chiefs did not allow a single rushing touchdown until Week 13 against the Raiders. They ended up allowing only four over the course of the entire season.
And in 2013, there was a similar story. Even with a poor statistical rank in rushing defense, the Chiefs ranked fifth in the NFL in points allowed, with less than a third of opponents’ touchdowns coming on the ground.
Those stats seem to reflect two trends: First, that the Chiefs will give up rushing yards in the open field. Second, that those yards are not likely to translate into touchdowns.
No, I am not sure that the return of Johnson and DeVito will be enough to have the stats necessary to climb into the top tier of rushing defenses in the league this season (though I would love to be wrong). At least not according to yards allowed. But yards do not win games. So long as that second trend above holds, I’ll be just fine.
Stats sourced from pro-football-reference.com.