A Look Ahead: Four defenses that could give the Chiefs trouble in 2021

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The Chiefs have revamped the offensive line after a dismal showing in Super Bowl 55. Today we take a look at some defenses that may cause the Chiefs the most trouble in their quest for a third straight Super Bowl appearance.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers did a very good job of keeping the Chiefs in check in their two matchups in 2020 allowing 21 and 23 points respectively. The pass rush duo of Joey Bosa and Jerry Tillery was too much for the Chiefs at times. Their secondary combines a great combination of experience and talent with names such as Chris Harris Jr., Nasir Adderly, and Derwin James. Their linebackers a young and athletic and built to cover. At all three levels, it looks like the Chargers have built a defense to challenge the Chiefs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

TJ Watt is turning into one of the premier pass rushers in all the NFL. The loss of Bud Dupree hurts but Pittsburgh is always building depth in their front seven. Stephen Tuitt and Cam Heyward combine to make one of the best defensive line duos in all of the NFL. The Steelers are young at corners but seem to rely on their pass rush to supplement the defensive backfield. Joe Haden had a breakout season a year ago and looks to build on that. Minkah Fitzpatrick plays at an All-Pro level and is the leader on the back end, similar to Tyrann Mathieu. If they can run the ball effectively and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field this defense can cause trouble for the Chiefs.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens secondary when healthy is as good as any in the NFL. Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Jimmy Smith can cover with the best of them. They have a rising star with Patrick Queen in the middle. Justin Madubuike is a huge specimen in the middle and Callais Campbell and Derek Wolfe have a great veteran presence. If the Ravens can learn from past mistakes and hold back from rushing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at a 60% clip, they have the pieces to create an upset.

Washington Football Team

Few would probably venture to guess that the Washington Football Team finished 2020 with the number 2 overall defense in the NFL. They have a megastar in Chase Young, Montez Sweat is vastly underrated and has a nose for the football. Teams that can sustain a pass rush with their front four have had success against the Chiefs and the Football Team is very much equipped to do that. The two-headed Jonathon’s Allen and Bostic plug up the middle and really control that area of the field. The loss of Ronald Darby hurts but they still have a very solid secondary with Kamren Curl, Landon Collins, and Kendall Fuller. Of all the defenses the Chiefs will face in 2021 this is the one that could potentially present the most problems.

It’s really difficult to predict this far out what combination of players and scheme could be a mismatch. As convenient as it would be to say there is some magic blue print to beat the Chiefs, there really isn’t. The best combination over the last three seasons is the ability to rush the quarterback without blitzing and have a good run game to manage the clock.

Well, the Chiefs spent most of the offseason building an offensive line to neutralize the aforementioned pass rush, so really that could be a moot point. As with last season the team that will give the Chiefs the most problems are the Chiefs when they won’t get out their own way. I’m not predicting 20-0, but anything is possible.