4. Put pressure on the quarterback
The key to the Chiefs defense is getting pressure on the opposing quarterback. Period. Look, I’m not saying that stopping the run or playing good coverage isn’t important for the defense. Obviously it is. It’s just that getting after the quarterback is by far the most important part when it comes to the Chiefs winning formula.
If the Chiefs are playing with good fire and energy, are committed to running the football, and are getting Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill the football, I am convinced that is going to put pressure on opposing offenses. When opposing offenses feel that pressure to score and then you put physical pressure on them with a pass rush, it is a proven formula for creating turnovers. Saturday night against the Chargers was a prime example of that. The Chiefs were the more aggressive team. In the second half, as the offense started putting up points, the pressure on Rivers directly lead to forced throws that the Chiefs intercepted.
Justin Houston and Chris Jones are both talented enough to be a disruptive force every game. If Bob Sutton will just have the nerve to dial up some additional blitzes to help those two out like he did on Saturday, the Chiefs can create enough pressure to get an opposing quarterback off balance. However, Sutton has to be brave enough to do it. Sutton often opts for trying to disrupt an opposing quarterback by dropping so many guys that nobody is open. The problem is that with no pressure on the quarterback eventually someone does come open. Instead, Sutton needs to be the aggressor and force the opposing QB into a quick decision with pressure. That may lead to an occasional big play allowed, but the Chiefs are already giving up an occasional big play so at least this gives them a better likelihood of forcing the other team into a mistake.
I believe that all four of these elements I have listed make up one comprehensive formula for the Chiefs winning football games. They all work hand in hand. When the Chiefs run the ball, it opens things up for Kelce and Hill in the passing game, and when Kelce and Hill are making plays in the passing game, it opens up the run for Kareem Hunt. When those things are happening on offense, it puts pressure on the opposing offense and then an effective pass rush can force them into critical mistakes. You add in the Chiefs playing with fire and energy, and it makes all of these things more likely to happen.
I don’t know if the Chiefs will continue to use this winning formula to finish the regular system and carry it on into the playoffs, but I do believe that if they do they could actually be a team that could do some damage in January. I certainly wasn’t feeling that way after their 1-6 stretch but the Chiefs seem to have rediscovered their winning formula.
Here’s to hoping they keep it up.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!