The Kansas City Chiefs defense has had back to back vigorous performances and should have another against the Miami offense.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense has come alive these last two weeks after struggling much of the season. Many think it has to do with the presence of safety Eric Berry being around the team and on the sidelines the last two home games. Whatever it is, something is working as we have seen a much-needed spark and posture from the defense over the two divisional games against the Oakland Raiders and L.A. Chargers.
The defensive line has been aggressive creating pressure on the quarterback the last two weeks along with the secondary creating turnovers. Cornerback Darrelle Revis has looked better since his first game against the New York Jets. Cornerback Marcus Peters returned from his one-game team suspension with elite play. With a season total of 14 interceptions, the Chiefs defense has robbed five of those in just the last two weeks.
Being the last regular season game at Arrowhead Stadium in 2017, here is why I think the defense is in for another great game.
Playing at Arrowhead
Over the past couple seasons, it’s been hard to believe in a home-field advantage for the Chiefs. There have been numerous games that should have been easy wins turn into losses. For the defense, however, there is a sizable advantage. The loudest outdoor stadium in the world has been where the defense has it’s best games of the 2017 season.
The Chiefs are 5-2 when playing at home this year only losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers (19-16) and the Buffalo Bills (16-10). Notice that both teams scored less than twenty points in those two losses. In fact, the Chiefs haven’t allowed a team to score more than 20 points in Arrowhead all year. The last time the defense gave up more than twenty points at home was week six of last year.
On average, the Chiefs have given up 17.4 points per game when playing at home as opposed to giving up 25.7 points when traveling. They also only give up 334.4 yards per game at home compared to 392.7 yards on the road. It’s fair to say that the Chiefs defense plays remarkably better when on their own turf.
The noticeable difference comparing the defense to last year is the number of turnovers. The bend-but-don’t-break system only works when the defense is creating opportunities and robbing the other team’s offense of the ball. Many games in 2017 the Chiefs defense has failed to do much robbing except when playing at home.
In seven games, the defense has forced 16 turnovers while playing at Arrowhead while only creating 5 on the road. The same goes for pressuring the quarterback as the Chiefs have 17 sacks at home and only 9 when playing away games.
Jay Cutler is the opposing quarterback
As much as the name should do enough talking, we will go into the issues of Cutler this year. After coming out of retirement when Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down in camp, Cutler has been a waste of money for Miami. With his 18 touchdowns on the season, he has 14 interceptions to follow. Cutler is averaging pitiful 197.83 passing yards per game.
This is a perfect example of Cutler. He likes to throw the deeper balls but has never had great accuracy. One of the most careless quarterbacks in the league which is why he struggled immensely during his time in Chicago.
The Dolphins offense revolves around short passes and as of the last few weeks, running the ball. Their lead receiver, Jarvis Landry, has 143 targets on the season making him the third highest targeted receiver. The twist to this stat is 104 of those targets were less than ten yards past the line of scrimmage.
While the Dolphins make their plays in the short yardage game, you can always count on a few turnover opportunities when playing a gunslinger like Jay Cutler.