Carlos Dunlap: Rising
Carlos Dunlap was brought in as that veteran edge defender the Chiefs missed when they let Melvin Ingram leave in free agency. Through two games so far, Dunlap has 9 total tackles and 1 sack, and he has been a real enforcer in the run game. On Thursday against the Chargers, I noted a few positive snaps in run defense, which is huge for the Chiefs who have struggled to consistently contain the run.
Most of the Chargers’ successful runs were outside and away from Dunlap’s side. In the Chiefs’ next game, they’ll be facing one of the top running backs in the league in Jonathan Taylor, and Dunlap will be a critical piece in putting a cap on Taylor’s impact.
Rashad Fenton: Falling
One of the ugly parts of this Chiefs win was the mistakes made in the secondary, and no player made more critical errors than Rashad Fenton. I noted three total penalties against Fenton including two critical pass inference calls and one that didn’t matter as he gave up a big catch putting the Chargers at the 1-yard line. Fenton has always been noted as a limited corner due to his unimpressive athletic traits, but he has typically made up for it with sound technical skill. On Thursday, Fenton seemed both physically and technically outmatched.
Every guy has their bad days and Fenton has been one of the Chiefs’ most consistent defenders. But this performance was concerning and it’s something we’ll need to keep watch of as the season goes on.