Stock Up: George Karlaftis
Furious George has played like a man possessed in his first year as a full-time starter. On Sunday afternoon, he picked up 4 tackles and 2.5 sacks, a career-high. He may not have the ceiling as a pass rusher like Chris Jones, but his motor is always on, as indicated by his big-time strip sack on Mr. Unlimited at the end of the first half. That play led to a long-distance field goal by Harrison Butker at the first-half buzzer and helped the Chiefs take some momentum into the break.
Karlaftis already has eclipsed his sack total from his rookie year, and we still have half of the season yet to play. This is one of the breakouts the Chiefs have been waiting for from their 2022 draft class, and it has been a massive catalyst for this defensive unit. Chris Jones has been receiving double- and triple-teams from opposing offensive lines, and Karlaftis has been cleaning up.
Karlaftis' production will continue to open up opportunities for other defensive linemen, such as Mike Danna and Charles Omenihu, to wreak havoc on the pass rush. Pretty soon, teams may start having to pick their poison because it is apparent that you cannot leave Karlaftis on an island and expect him not to eat.