Chiefs grades: AFC West champions
By Andrew Jones
The Chiefs defense did enough to win the game. Big plays saved the team from a much closer contest as the run defense allowed 129 yards rushing. What’s worse is that they allowed San Diego to have such short second and third down opportunities. Chargers running back Andre Williams really showed the Chiefs weakness in the run game. It isn’t a lack of penetration, it’s a lack of breaking down and tackling.
Williams was patient and often waited for the hole to clear up as the Chiefs defenders ran past him. Sound familiar? Le’Veon Bell is the most patient running back in the NFL. He will rip through this team unless they can sit and unselfishly plug gaps, limiting Bell to two or three yards on first down.
What did go right for the defense was Marcus Peters. He was thrown at five times, allowed two catches for eight yards, and picked off Philip Rivers. Peters doesn’t get thrown at much so he hasn’t been able to hang on to an interception since mid-season. Rivers is fond of giving defenses plenty of opportunities so it shouldn’t surprise Chiefs fans that Peters got one here.
The rest of the secondary performed well in man to man but the zone defense allowed far too many receptions to tight ends. Granted Eric Berry was out for almost the entire second half but Hunter Henry and Antoniio Gates did far too well for themselves. While the Steelers might not have serious threats at tight end, the Patriots definitely do.