Inside the numbers: Chiefs defense dominates Broncos in breakout effort
By Matt Conner
The Kansas City Chiefs defense enjoyed a breakout effort on the road against the Denver Broncos in a game that showed just how good they can be.
In a divisional win marred by the loss of their starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs actually put up an incredible effort in every facet of the game. Against the Denver Broncos, the Chiefs defense had its coming out party in the form of 9 sacks and a final 30-6 drubbing of the Donkeys on their home turf.
For the Chiefs, it was a nice win after losing consecutive home games and it helped to solidify their position in the AFC West standings. Let’s take a look inside the numbers to see how the Chiefs won.
That’s the Denver Broncos third down conversion percentage on Thursday, a pitiful effort that shows just how much the Chiefs dominated them when it mattered most. While penalties kept the Broncos alive on their opening touchdown drive, it’s clear that the Chiefs were ready for them and stuck to their game plan in order to keep them in difficult third down situations.
That’s how many total yards the Chiefs defense pushed back the Broncos offense in their 9 sacks on the night. Alex Okafor, Frank Clark, and Anthony Hitchens each had 2 sacks apiece and the Chiefs put on several more quarterback hits and hurries on Joe Flacco. Even the official takedowns were enough to nearly drive the length of the field.
That’s the difference in total yards for the Broncos compared to the Chiefs second-best defensive effort on the season (Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders). The Chiefs held the Broncos to 205 total yards on offense. In Week 2, the Raiders had 307 total yards. It’s a picture that shows just how dominant last night’s performance really was and how much the team had been needing this sort of performance through the first third of the regular season.
That’s the number of rushing yards/carry that the Chiefs had surrendered on average from Weeks 1-6. Broncos running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman came into the game averaging 4.7 and 4.3 yards/carry, respectively. Against the Chiefs, both backs averaged 3.4 yards/carry combined as Steve Spagnuolo’s defense dominated the line of scrimmage.
Last night, Dustin Colquitt put up 266 total yards on 6 punts for the Chiefs. Given the efficiency of the Chiefs offense, Colquitt isn’t utilized as much as other punters. That stat showed last night when he was relied upon fairly heavily as Patrick Mahomes’ injury forced the offense to stall a bit in the transition to Matt Moore. The end result was Colquitt earning nearly 30 percent of his total punting yards (966) on the season in a single game in Week 7.
That’s the length in yards of Tyreek Hill‘s longest play from scrimmage. It’s important to note that the other longest plays were a 22 yard run by LeSean McCoy and a 21 yard catch by Mecole Hardman. Hill’s 57 yard touchdown reception was a thing of beauty, but it also shows just how much of a big play threat that he is at any given time. While they have other weapons, the Chiefs simply cannot match his ability to pull off such huge gains.