Edge rusher/Defensive line
Last week against the Washington Football Team, the Chiefs defense not only held them to a season-low 13 points, but the defensive line in particular began to show itself capable of generating at least some pressure for the first time all season. The only problem is that WFT’s front line was missing Brandon Scherff and Sam Cosmi, and the quarterback there is Taylor Heinicke.
Frank Clark is working his way into from after missing a few games due to hamstring injuries early in the year. Jarran Reed has been learning a brand new system for the first time in his professional career. Chris Jones has been missing games and even playing through a wrist injury. These are all things that can change and work themselves out over time.
That said, it’s also reasonable to ask about the startling lack of production for a line that’s getting paid more handsomely than anyone really deserves in 2021. If he’s only the field, Clark simply has to produce with a cap hit of $25 million. The experiment to move Jones outside has to yield efforts or there’s just no reason to mess with the league’s second most dominant interior lineman. Reed simply must provide some push in the middle or else he’s taking reps from younger players who could at least offer hope.
So far it’s been Mike Danna and company which is a great story for Danna but a pitiful overall narrative for a well-paid line of veterans.
By facing a smart offense with a future Hall of Fame in Derrick Henry leading the ground game, the Chiefs will learn a lot about themselves against the Titans offense. If they prove capable of slowing Henry and/or getting in the face of Ryan Tannehill, Brett Veach can feel a lot better about having to address the defensive front at the deadline.