3. Mike Edwards is Kansas City's most underrated free agent acquisition.
Drue Tranquil's acquisition is paying off dividends following Nick Bolton's injury. But Sunday is only the newest chapter in Mike Edwards showing how valuable he is to Kansas City's defense. His lateral to fellow safety Bryan Cook will be on the 2023 season highlight reel. It exhibits what the veteran brings to his new team's defense: dependable selflessness.
What does that mean? It means that Edwards' role is not going to be a focal point in the Chiefs' defense. He will likely be relied upon to do the dirty work and make selfless plays that may not show up on the stat sheet. That lateral is a perfect example.
“I was like, ‘Nah, we’ve got to do something else,’” Edwards said postgame. “I kind of looked back and I saw my boy B.C., and I trusted him. You’ve got to have trust to do some stuff like that. I just pitched it back and he did the rest.”
Trust. That is what defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has in 27-year-old Edwards. His snap count has steadily grown since Week 5, and that mirrors two promising trends. First, fans are seeing Spagnuolo dial up more of the exotic blitzes he is known for, and the defensive backs blitzing played a big role in Sunday's win. Edwards only has a handful of pass-rushing snaps himself, but his versatility and dependability allow players like Jaylen Watson to thrive in their roles.
Secondly, the Chiefs' pass defense remains elite against the pass. Kansas City has been a top-five team in dropback EPA and success rate since Week 5, facing Tua Tagovailoa, Kirk Cousins, and other top quarterbacks. Even more, 67% of Edwards' coverage snaps have come in those five games as well.
I am not saying that this is a correlation or coincidence, but many signs point to Edwards being a positive contributor to the Chiefs' defense in many ways. That is not always the case for new free agents, and his game in Germany will hopefully bring more attention to how well Edwards is performing.