Who was the defensive MVP for the Chiefs this regular season?
The Kansas City Chiefs had their own ups and downs on defense this year, but the unit came up big in some games and helped carry the team. We all know this group had to play well again this year for the Chiefs to have a shot at repeating as Super Bowl champs. The defense had a lot of guys step up in a lot of different spots this year, but who was the MVP of the defense for this regular season?
This seems like a given every year for the Chiefs when you think about their defense. The defensive tackle came into this year fresh off of signing a large contract extension and his play backed it up. He was the most disruptive defensive lineman on the Chiefs once again. According to Pro Football Focus, Chris Jones had the 2nd highest pass rushing grade and 2nd highest overall grade at his position. He only trailed arguably the best defensive player in football, Aaron Donald, in those two categories.
Jones had 60 total pressures, which is his second-highest total in his career. He only came up with 7.5 sacks this season, but was still selected as a second team All-Pro once again. He is a dominant player and someone every team has to account for when playing the Chiefs.
This year was nothing new for the Honey Badger coming into this year, as he was once again all over the field wreaking havoc. Mathieu set a career high in interceptions with six this season. He also remained the vocal leader of the defense. You always see him getting his teammates fired up on the sidelines or trying to get them in the right pre-snap positions on the field.
Mathieu was once again named to the All-Pro first team this year which tells you the impact he has outside of the statistics. If you put on the tape, you know you will see him all over the field making plays as a man in the right spot on a consistent basis. He is a crucial part of the Chiefs defense.
I know Sneed only played in nine games this season, thanks to a fractured collarbone, but when the rookie cornerback was in the game, he made a big impact. He was selected to Pro Football Focus’s All-Rookie First Team. He had an overall grade of 73.9 which was the highest grade among rookie cornerbacks and was third among rookie defenders as well. As a promising young corner, Sneed showed great ball skills and was versatile in coverage. He definitely deserves some recognition for defensive MVP this year.
The Chiefs had their concerns on defense this year, so there weren’t a ton of picks to really consider for defensive MVP. When it comes down to it, Chris Jones was the best player on defense, the engine that makes unit go in my opinion. When he is getting pressure on the quarterback consistently, it makes everyone else on the defense better, and allows Steve Spagnuolo to do a lot more things. He will have to keep his great year going in the playoffs for the Chiefs to have a shot at repeating again. I expect him to be at his best though when the bright lights are one.
Chris Jones is the Chiefs 2020 defensive MVP.