The Kansas City Chiefs defense is playing much better than you think
While many fans are deeply concerned about the defense, it has clearly gotten better from last season. It wasn’t long ago that we were all discussing how a defense ranking in the mid-twenties would get this team to the Super Bowl—or just not having Dee Ford to line up offsides. Remember this: even with last year’s defense being much worse than what we have seen so far in 2019, they still were one penalty most likely away from going to the Super Bowl.
Another thing to consider is that the team’s high-powered offense is going to affect the box score for the defense. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks even better than a year ago when he won MVP and he has an unending supply of playmaking weapons, fans need to understand that there is going to be a large number of garbage time stats involved for the other team many weeks.
While the Chiefs rank towards the bottom of the league through three games in points given up in the first quarter, they have done an excellent job of making adjustments on defense throughout the game, which is still something that is new for us fans. Their ability to limit offenses in the second and third quarter allows the offense to take a big lead. Ranking 3rd in points given up in the second and third quarters so far this season has made for a big lead by the fourth quarter in every single matchup they’ve encountered.
There is plenty of football left in the season in which things could go wrong, but as of right now, the Chiefs defense has been pretty good defending the pass. Ranking 9th in passing touchdowns allowed per game, the secondary has been much better than what the stats will lead you to believe. The part that makes this stat even more impressive is that the Chiefs rank 8th in opponent’s passing attempts per game.
Quarterbacks have struggled against this defense given the additions of playmakers over the offseason and Spagnuolo’s willingness to adjust during the game to shut down what the opposing offense is doing which has allowed them to rank 10th in QB rating of opposing quarterbacks.
While some may disagree with some of the expensive moves the team has made this offseason, let’s give things time to develop. Three games are not enough of a sample size, especially with the amount of turnover and changes, to label a bust.
Given the team has faced offenses like Jacksonville and Oakland that get the ball out in just over two seconds and a team like Baltimore where you have to worry about a quarterback taking off on the ground, the team has still come up with 6 sacks and 13 quarterback hits. Despite the garbage time yards allowed, the coverage has actually looked improved and not nearly as bad as many fans believe it to be.