Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) celebrates after a sack against the San Diego Chargers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Without any question, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are going to start on their respective sides. Hali will continue to dismantle left tackles, and Houston will destroy right tackles. It will be fun, and we will cheer. Last year, the duo combined for 28 sacks. Can they hit that number again? It might be tough for Houston to come near his 22 sacks, but Hali should improve from six.
Of course, Dee Ford is the X-factor here. Ford was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2014 but had a tough time getting on the field. When he did play, Ford showed his explosiveness and quick first step. If defensive coordinator Bob Sutton gets him on the field a bit more, look for Hali to get rest. Also, the Chiefs might try to dial up sets with all three on the field.
Beyond Ford, Houston and Hali are Josh Martin and Frank Zombo. Martin has been lauded by Hali in the past but is yet to make a real dent defensively. Zombo is only good for special teams at this juncture of his career. Look for both guys to make the team but don’t expect much from Martin or anything from Zombo in terms of defensive stats.