Reflecting back, it’s interesting to note the Kansas City Chiefs defense actually did their job against the Tennessee Titans in Week 10
I know what you are thinking, or rather screaming, at whatever high tech device you are viewing this on. I know the Kansas City Chiefs box score looked messier than a kid’s room at the age they considering cleaning to be shoving whatever slop is in their bedroom under their bed. For this defense, however, that should’ve been enough.
Let’s take a step back for a second to escape from the long season that has drained the enthusiasm Chiefs fans with unforeseen losses, injuries, and heartache. Put yourself back in the mindset of, say, August. Football was quick approaching and Chiefs Kingdom was eagerly awaiting a season deemed by most to be “Super Bowl or Bust.” If you’ll remember, Chiefs twitter and media outlets were simply begging this team to have just a not-historically-bad-defense.
Fans who were salivating at the idea of turning in the 24th best defense in the NFL in August have now turned their backs on the defense that has done its job.
This is what a below-average defense looks like in 2019-20: giving up a ton of yards to a hard runner and a mediocre quarterback on a Sunday afternoon on the road and still coming away with a few stops. We all knew entering the year this team would not boost a defense that could win a game for them. They would have to get it done by way of the offense—or even special teams, which had previously consistently ranked in the top five under Dave Toub.
Back to the loss to the Titans. When the Chiefs defense got off the field with under 2 minutes to play (1:50 to be exact) they did their job. They gave their future-Hall-of-Fame coach and reigning MVP the ball back with only a first down needed—not a tall order for what is considered the best offense in the sport. The Titans on that drive also came to terms with that being their final possession, given the offense on the other side, when they elected to go for it on fourth and long.
So if the Chiefs defense, who gave up over 200 yards on the ground and allowed Ryan Tannehill to lead a game-winning drive in 2019, is not to blame, who is?
From here, this article is a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I could opine for hours on the debacle that was a 15-year veteran launching a ball for intentional grounding and gifting the Titans 10 free yards from a botched field goal. I could do the same about late-game drops or a fumble that was returned the other way for a touchdown. You can pick even more offensive sputters that put the porous defense back on the field after they already salted the game away. There is even a lot of blame to be credited to head man Andy Reid.
No one is claiming that the Chiefs defense is a good unit, and that should not be the grading scale we use to judge this team. If you judge them relative to expectations from the preseason, they have consistently done their job. On Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, they got the final spot that should’ve ended the game. They fulfilled the lone request Chiefs fans had coming into the season for this unit.
Against the Titans, it was on any person, group of people or phase of the game besides the defense. This was the hot topic on the Arrowhead Addict podcast which you can find on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or where ever you get your podcasts.