The defense is holding its own
Speaking of defenders, the entire unit has made significant strides in the last three weeks. Some will scoff at this, considering the Chiefs haven’t exactly played juggernauts the past three games. That said, this defense was on pace to post some historically terrible numbers on the season before the last few weeks.
It’s uncommon for a team that is favored to win the Super Bowl to have one side of the ball considered at or very near the bottom of the league. Unfortunately, through six weeks it sure looked like the Chiefs were one of if not the worst defenses in the entire NFL.
The last three games have been a much different story. Though still not elite, this defense has posted some very impressive trends. In the last three games, they have ranked ninth in points per game, ninth in points per play, and 10th in red zone percentage. Their yards per game has crept all the way to 11th, and while their yards per play in the last three games is 18th it’s improved from 32nd on the season.
Probably most impressive is their improvement from 29th in rush yards per attempt all the way to number seven. The emergence of a competent unit of linebackers in Willie Gay and Nick Bolton has seemingly gone a long way in shoring up the run defense.
While the schedule has softened a bit, playing both the hapless Giants and the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, considering how poorly the defense was playing this is a sight for sore eyes. Assuming the offense can snap out of their funk, which we’ll get to in a moment, this defense is good enough to support a team to a very competitive playoff run.