Chiefs: What Happened to the Defense?

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Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton watches against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The popular answer seems to be pointing the finger at Bob Sutton for failing to make adjustments. I can’t argue with that. If you haven’t been able to watch the first few games, then just read the Bob Sutton section of Lyle Graverson’s article from Monday and will get the idea of why the Chiefs Kingdom is less than thrilled with him right now.

But when the defense has been this unproductive (at least in the last two games), I find something unsatisfactory about just pointing to the coordinator, saying “that guy did it!,” and just leaving it all there.

This defense ended last season ranked second overall in team defense and passing defense, and Sutton was the coordinator then as well. I just can’t accept that he is the only reason that a squad of mostly the same players is now 32nd in team defense.

I understand not having your best game against Rodgers or Manning. Really, I do. But there is too much talent on this roster, and too much precedent of better play against quality opponents, for me to think that a scheme is the only thing that has to change. Don’t get me wrong though, the scheme needs an upgrade as well.

But what else has to give way?

Better pre-game speeches? Veterans stepping up? The offense giving them a little momentum to work with? I honestly don’t know.

I do know that the Chiefs offense is averaging more points per game than last year (25 vs. 22). They are also averaging a time of possession of over 30 minutes per game which puts them at ninth best in the league according to Sporting Charts. They were 19th in the league last season.

K.C.’s offense still has a lot of room to improve, no doubt. But at least in some areas they are already better than last year. So if the Chiefs are going to salvage this season, they have to start with the defense.

The good news is that there is no reason to believe the defense can’t turn itself around. But unless they do so quickly we are in for a lot more of the same over the last three quarters of the season.

Go Chiefs!!