The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night, but the biggest takeaways have been the rookies stepping up in key situations.
The Kansas City Chiefs were coming off of a tough loss to the New England Patriots last week. Coming back home to Arrowhead Stadium, it was apparent that one game was not going to set them back. It was clear that all of the talks about a possible slump like we’ve seen midway through the season in years past was not going to continue in the new era of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Following that loss in New England, Kansas City handled its business with a bloodbath dominating the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. There was never a point in this game that Cincinnati was thought to be in this game. In fact, it was one of the best performances for the Chiefs defense so far this season.
Despite most of the season looking putrid, the defense stepped up again for the second time in three weeks. This time it was against Andy Dalton and the Bengals who were talked about as a playoff contender. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, most of the dreams about the team making a big run for the playoffs was shot down leaving Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night.
Probably the biggest takeaways from the game against the Bengals was the growth of some of the younger talents on defense. Breeland Speaks getting more playing time the past two games has given signs of some development. While he’s still not someone I want starting over Justin Houston or even Tanoh Kpassagnon at this point, he’s been showing signs of getting better.
Dorian O’Daniel finally got onto the field and made the plays that we have been calling for. He’s easily the impact that is most needed from this rookie class this season being able to cover running backs out of the backfield. Derrick Nnadi is getting starts over Xavier Williams at this point and getting more snaps as well.
If the rookie class can continue to not only improve but be significant impacts on a defense that needs to be average, we could be in for a better second half of the season from the defensive side of the ball. We could also see better performances going up against other top offenses.