The defense needs to be cleaned up, but where should it mostly be, and how would they go about controlling/fixing it?
Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.
Sunday’s 35-31 win against the Las Vegas Raiders was anything but pretty; if it could be described in just one word, then it would be considered sloppy, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Throughout the majority of the game, it seemed as though the Chiefs’ defense wasn’t in the “correct” mindset this week, or rather, didn’t show up like how they had in previous showings. Some players played effectively, like Charvarius Ward who only allowed one yard on 31 coverage snaps, while others absolutely plundered in their play against their most feared division rival of the season.
It’s obvious that things must be fixed if the Chiefs are going to be able to hunker down in the playoff stretch, so if we had to pick one thing, what would be the biggest concern the Chiefs’ defense must work on? The answer, according to most, is blatantly obvious, and it’s none other than pass coverage (man and zone). Others lean on other instances, but this is the most common one discussed, so with that said, let’s analyze both sides of the aisle to see which has more of a link towards the biggest problem affecting the Chiefs.
Side Note: I’ll also be explaining on how the Chiefs COULD fix these issues moving forward.
The Chiefs’ pass coverage is the largest concern heading forward
On Sunday, it was jaw-dropping to see how many open holes there were in our defensive sets. Usually, I would use stats as Carr out preformed Mahomes this week (Mahomes still won, but stat-wise, Carr picked apart the Chiefs’ defense), but I believe some plays could speak for themselves.
One example was early in the 1st quarter when Carr dropped a time in front of TE Darren Waller, in between Sorenson and Mathieu; another one was the free play TD pass from Carr to Nelson Agholor at the end of the first quarter; a third example includes the wide-open touchdown pass from Carr to Waller at the start of the 4th quarter that made the score 24-21 in favor of the Raiders. Now, how would they fix this?
Take what I say with a lot of uncertainty as I’m not a coach, nor have I ever worked for the NFL in my existence as a human being; I’m only 19. I’d say that there has to be better coverage packages made by Spagnuolo as every fan could tell that it didn’t work, principally against Carr and the Raiders’ offense; they had the Chiefs’ defense’s number.
Another thing I would suggest is extra practice, chiefly for Breeland as he allowed the Agholor touchdown in the 1st quarter, and had a poor showing overall (Sorenson too, as even though he sealed the game, he had a lot of blown coverages). Practice makes perfect, right? Do these two things, and they’ll be able to worry less and have more trust for them; however, some suggest something different about the Chiefs’ largest defensive concern.
The Chiefs’ pass coverage isn’t the largest concern heading forward
Tackling is also one fans harp on and oh my was it atrocious on Sunday, and practically the entire season. If you watched Sunday night’s game, you could all but not see it in action; however, this has been an issue for multiple games (especially from you, Niemann). It seemed, in my eyes, that the defense was just trying to jar the ball from the runningbacks’ or receivers’ hands each play or just delivering heavy hits instead of wrapping them up for the easy tackle. I understand why and that’s to cause a turnover but doing it all the time wasn’t the way to go; multiple yards after contact and Jacobs shredding off mostly everyone that tried to deliver a huge hit solidified that claim.
How would they fix this? Just wrap them up for the easy tackle; not every hit needs to heavy, and sometimes, the best bet is to just take them down and possibly try to jar the ball the next play. This team can tackle, yet it seems like they don’t want to do it. Spagnuolo and Reid must deliver some much-needed change quickly to sort this out.
What do you think is the biggest concern for the Chiefs’ defense heading forward, and how would you fix it? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day!