The Kansas City Chiefs defense is playing much better than you think
The Kansas City Chiefs defense under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo displayed more scheme changes than before and looked better than box scores show.
Not only did the Kansas City Chiefs proceed to 3-0 in their home opener hosting the Baltimore Ravens, but they also showed a lot more schematic changes than the previous two weeks under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, the defense stayed very vanilla, especially when Nick Foles left the game. In Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders, the defense showed a bit more, but still wasn’t showing many schematic changes.
The story was different when Baltimore came into Arrowhead Stadium as Steve Spagnuolo did a tremendous job taking away Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s favorite targets and parts of the field. Like we saw against Oakland in Week 2, Spagnuolo also made some adjustments throughout the game to put the defense in better positions to stop the Ravens offense that had received so much hype through the first two weeks of the season. It also slowed talks of Jackson being a possible MVP candidate after just two games.
An offense that had put up a combined 59 points in the first half through the first two weeks was held to 6 points in Kansas City and held Jackson to season lows in passing yards, completion percentage, passing touchdowns, and quarterback rating. It gave the NFL a clearer picture on how much Jackson has actually improved following his rookie season and not just highlights against two teams who are rebuilding.
That is not to say that Jackson is a bum and will never have success in the NFL. It’s simply stating that most of the national media outlets were overhyping Jackson based on two performances that simply don’t hold any weight given the teams he faced. The same team that took the Chiefs to overtime in 2018 struggled to get anything going on either side of the ball, despite what the final score and box score stats might lead you to believe.
Today we will discuss what the Chiefs defense showed on film and how they took away Jackson’s strength’s for much of the game in Week 3 while also looking at the overall outlook of the Kansas City defense three games into the season.