Despite the slow start to the season for the Kansas City Chiefs, they have an opportunity to move ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders in the standings as the two meet on Sunday night. If the Chiefs win and get some help from the Vikings against the Chargers, the Chiefs can move to the top spot in the AFC West. In order for the Chiefs to pull this off on Sunday, they will need their pass rush to step up again.
The Chiefs defense took advantage of Jordan Love’s inexperience last Sunday against Green Bay. With Melvin Ingram making his Chiefs debut, that pushed Chris Jones back to defensive tackle while Frank Clark lined up opposite of Ingram. The three of them together were too much for the Packers to handle.
The Chiefs will need a big game from the defensive line in order to beat the Raiders and move ahead in the standings on Sunday night.
In Ingram’s debut with the Chiefs, he pressured Love four times. Jones excelled at his natural position as he recorded seven quarterback pressures. Clark has come through for the Chiefs the last two weeks, and was in the top five the last two weeks in quarterback hits.
The Chiefs face a far more experienced quarterback in Derek Carr on Sunday night. Carr is third in the NFL in passing yards and has more first down completions than any quarterback in the league. Yes, there is a notable difference between Love and Carr when it comes to experience. However, even the most experienced quarterback struggles if the defense comes up strong in the pass-rushing department.
The trio of Ingram, Jones and Clark is not one any offensive coordinator wants to face and it might be what the Chiefs need to turn the defense around. The three combine for seven Pro Bowls since 2017. It’s only one game, but Ingram has made a significant impact in Kansas City’s defense. It could not come at a better time as the playoff race is about to heat up and the Chiefs need to go on a run in order to win the AFC West and guarantee at least one home game during the playoffs.
As we all know by now, the Chiefs offense has underperformed, especially as of late. In the last three weeks, the Chiefs offense has scored 12 points per game on average, which is heavily low. If the Chiefs offense struggles for a fourth week in a row, Kansas City’s pass rush could be a difference maker and could force this game to be a low-scoring contest.