Will the Chiefs secondary success continue against the Chargers?

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Charcandrick West
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Charcandrick West /

The Kansas City Chiefs defense showed some light on Sunday afternoon against the Oakland Raiders, but I don’t expect it to stay bright for long.

The Kansas City Chiefs defense flourished against the Oakland Raiders as they didn’t allow a single point until the fourth quarter when it was garbage time. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton went into prevent mode in the fourth quarter, and that was the only reason the Raiders even got on the board Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, that prevent style of play is the kind of defense that Sutton likes to play, lining his cornerbacks ten yards off of receivers that aren’t even deep threats. For a brief three quarters, we got to see what the defense can look like when it is played to its strengths.

Most of the Chiefs cornerbacks like Terrance Mitchell, Marcus Peters, and now Darrelle Revis are physical corners. They aren’t the guys that have elite speed, but they play bigger and more physical to make a wide receiver’s day absolutely miserable. Even without Peters in the game, we got to see a lot of that in the first three quarters of the game against Oakland.

Don’t get too excited though as Sutton often plays this style of play with his secondary against the Raiders. As mentioned in the broadcast, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has the fastest release time among all NFL quarterbacks. The Raiders love to throw quick slant routes all over the field. Other than the Week 7 loss to the Raiders earlier this year, the Chiefs have always had Carr’s number and have been able to boil up a gameplan that makes Carr’s day miserable.

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Using the cornerbacks on this team for what they are good at ,which is pressing at the line and attacking at the catch point, the Raiders offense was unable to move the ball until the fourth quarter when the Chiefs defense loosened up. Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper leaving the game played another significant role. You might remember him from Week 7, when he had his best game of the year with 210 yards receiving.

With Cooper out, the Chiefs devoted more of their defense to the side featuring wide receiver Michael Crabtree. The Chiefs were able to not only press him at the line of scrimmage but to stack him with a safety or linebacker as well. When you take away those two players, Carr doesn’t have much talent to get the ball to.

Carr has always had some of his worst games in Arrowhead Stadium dating back his whole career. The only two times he has beaten the Chiefs were in Oakland. It’s not unusual for him to have a bad day when he comes to Kansas City.

Many fans are excited about Darrelle Revis after his second game as a Chief but at the same time, you have to look at who he was playing against. Most of the game he was lined up against guys only known by passionate Raiders fans. I don’t think we are at the point of saying “Revis Island” is back by any means. Let’s wait to see how Sutton plays him against his assignment next week and then we will talk.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about stat lines that read 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 3 sacks, 9 pass deflections, and 5 quarterback hits though. The reason I say to not get too excited about what you saw on Sunday is that the Chiefs will more than likely be back to playing their off coverage defense this next week as the Los Angeles Chargers come to town. The Chargers have plenty of big physical receivers but I still expect Sutton to revert back to playing his corners off even though that goes against all of their strengths. It’s what we have seen most of the season.