KC Chiefs defense is its best in 20 years (and 3 other overreactions to Week 9)

Let's look back at a crazy game between the Chiefs and Dolphins and overreact about a few things.
Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs / Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/GettyImages
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4. The 2023 defense is the franchise's best this century.

Let's stick with the defense and overreact not to this week alone but to the season as a whole. There is truth in saying the Chiefs have been winning this season despite their offense, not because of their offense.

That is a statement that feels strange to see, especially looking at how Kansas City has won games in previous years. But all signs point to Kansas City having a top-five overall defense so far this season. Sure, there are certainly issues to address on that side of the ball. But, looking at the box score, there is little doubt as to where this iteration ranks among the 22 previous.

The Chiefs' defense currently ranks second in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed to opposing offenses. 1995 was the last time the Chiefs defense had a defense that finished in the top five in both categories.

PFF dislikes the Chiefs' penchant for penalties too much to grade the defense fairly, but many of the surrounding metrics further point to an elite Kansas City defense this season. According to Pro Football Reference's Simple Rating System, the Chiefs' 2023 defense is the third-best in franchise history and the best since 1969.

The Chiefs defense is performing exceptionally well this season, and many things are gelling at the right moment for Spagnuolo's unit. L'Jarius Sneed is playing for a new contract and should see a significant pay raise next season. Trent McDuffie is playing at a Pro Bowl level without a single interception. George Karlaftis and Charles Omenihu are consistently exerting pressure on opposing quarterbacks as part of the new-look pass rush. Willie Gay and Leo Chenal are both taking significant steps forward.

Overall, the combination of individual performances and cohesive teamwork has resulted in a formidable defense that is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the league.