Sunday was not a good day for the K.C. Chiefs defense.
Despite coming away with a 1-0 win against a worthy opponent in the Cleveland Browns, the reality is that Kevin Stefanski’s offense was able to do whatever they wanted for the majority of the game. Nick Chubb could not be stopped, and the same could be said for Kareem Hunt. Wide receiver Anthony Schwartz looked great in his NFL debut. Baker Mayfield had all the time in the world on most passing downs.
And that was without Odell Beckham Jr. and, for part of the game, left tackle Jedrick Wills.
But don’t panic just yet, Chiefs Kingdom. This defense will get better in the weeks to come, even starting this week, for a number of reasons. Let us count them down.
Tyrann Mathieu should be back
The Chiefs were without their admiral in the secondary in a game against one of the best offenses they are going to face all season. In particular, the Chiefs were forced to face a team with a solid tight end in Austin Hooper and a two-headed running attack that’s the best ground game in the business. Mathieu is important against both of those factors and he was inactive instead.
Moving forward, the Chiefs saw flashes at important times from their other top safeties in Juan Thornhill and Dan Sorensen. That’s good news because of the offseason plan was predicated on having a dynamic trio of safeties led by Mathieu’s versatile and instinctual presence in the heart of it all. If Thornhill is really healthy and Dirty Dan is ready for another season, this unit is something to boast about.