DE Tim Ward
Tim Ward was very impressive in Week 1 when he co-led the team with five tackles. He also had two sacks and two tackles for a loss. Ward’s biggest play came on the final play of the game where he sacked Josh Rosen of the 49ers. Although the Niners snapped the ball, it was an illegal shift due to a receiver being far downfield in reaction to snapping the ball quickly after a sack.
The Chiefs have an interesting defensive line at the moment. Chris Jones has played some defensive end on early downs, which he has not done before in the 4-3 scheme. Frank Clark’s immediate future is uncertain if the legal issues from the offseason lead to some sort of suspension. Even then, Clark has been inconsistent with the Chiefs since joining the team.
For now, the Chiefs have logged five sacks in each of their two preseason games. With a lot of youth at cornerback, a stout pass rush will go a long way for the secondary this year and Ward could be a part of that.
I’m going to put these four together because there are a lot of positives with the cornerback position group altogether. It was hard to narrow it down to one or two players at this position given that so many have stepped up.
Kansas City’s corners have played very well this preseason. Outside of an 80-yard touchdown play given up against the 49ers, the Chiefs have not allowed a completion to go for more than 34 yards in two games. The Chiefs have surrendered 367 passing yards and a completion percentage of 62 percent.
Kansas City’s cornerbacks have also made great plays on the ball, and haven’t given opposing wide receivers many opportunities to make plays. If you look at pass deflections, Deandre Baker has three while Rashad Fenton and Mike Hughes each have two. Many noted Charvarius Ward’s aggressive play against Arizona when he stuffed a run on second-and-short.
With the loss of Bashaud Breeland, Kansas City hopes this young group can continue the good coverage when the games start to count.
It should also be noted how young the Chiefs are at the position. Ward is 25-years-old. Baker will turn 24 in the first week of September. Both Fenton and Hughes are 24.
Baker and Hughes are both former first-round picks, both picked exactly at 30th overall one year apart with Hughes being in the league one year longer. Both cornerbacks are looking to resurrect their careers in Kansas City after the teams who drafted them decided to part ways.