In the second installment of the Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs’ 2016 stat projections on defense, I take on the team’s linebacking corps this week.
One could easily make the argument that the Chiefs possess one of the best groups of linebackers in the entire league. With Pro Bowlers starting at three of the four spots, and an up and coming former first-round pick in the same unit as well, it suddenly becomes difficult to make any kind of argument otherwise.
Let’s start with one of the main leaders of this corps, 11-year veteran ILB Derrick Johnson. DJ has been one of the most consistent linebackers in franchise history, totaling a team record 990 career tackles along the way. Although the ex-Texas Longhorn might be 33 years old right now, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down much after a 2015 season that saw him start all 16 games and rack up 116 more tackles, four sacks and two interceptions for the red and gold. I project Johnson to put up similar stats this season.
The two other big stars in this unit are none other than outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Both Hali and Houston are considered to be two of the best players at their position in the entire league and are very dangerous for opposing offenses to play against.
I am predicting that Tamba will have similar numbers to last year, maybe slightly smaller overall. As far as Houston goes, he is currently injured and his timetable to be ready for this team for the upcoming ’16 regular season is still unknown so I am expecting minimal stats from him this season due to these circumstances.
Next: Stat Projections