With how explosive the offense is, the defense has been concerning, to say the least.
The Chiefs’ defense has been a concern this season. They are ranked as the 3rd worst rushing defense and the 10th worst passing defense through four games this season, that’s not great.
Especially when you are trying to get to a third straight Super Bowl, having a defense who can get some stops in a game is key to this team’s success. The Chiefs have recently had a defense who is comfortable playing with a lead, they are able to attack and blitz when they have the lead, but this season they have had the lead for a majority of two games this season and they lost one of them.
So should you be worried?
Yes and no.
The reason you should be worried is they are so inconsistent, they are good at most things but not great at anything. There are some moments of brilliance where they seem like they can stop the run, then they will give up an eleven-yard run. There are moments where they can rush the passer then the next play the quarterback has nothing but time to throw the ball. It mainly comes down to personnel being healthy and the Chiefs using the right personnel.
The Chiefs have not been healthy, they lost Willie Gay Jr in the preseason, Frank Clark has been out of the lineup for 3 games, and Chavarious Ward was out last game. With all of these injuries, they’ve had to get creative by putting Chris Jones at edge where he hasn’t been as effective, starting Mike Hughes at CB2, and having to use Ben Niemann in spots. The Chiefs’ defense hasn’t had their best unit out there with all of their injuries and it shows they aren’t comfortable playing without those key guys. Since they aren’t healthy, it’s making the rotations out of whack which means they aren’t using the right personnel in situations.
The Chiefs’ plan to put Chris Jones on the outside has not been good, he’s a great player and a game-wrecking DT, but he’s just not built to be on the outside all of the time. The Ravens were able to read him in their options plays and get huge gains. They’ve been hurt in the secondary and have had to use Dan Sorensen more than they should and he’s getting targeted for big plays. They should be using Juan Thornhill in coverage more because he has a better skill set than Sorenson in coverage. I think once the Chiefs get healthy they will use their personnel better and will have a better unit.
Here’s the reason you should be taking a deep breath: It’s only week 4.
The Chiefs will get healthier and they will figure out their personnel as we move forward. They have all of the pieces to get better and stronger, but they need to be healthy to do so. The Chiefs can get Clark, Ward, and Gay back and making plays they should be better and if they can play Thornhill in more packages they should be much better. I also think they should let the young guys play more, Bolton has been very good this season and I want to see more from Kaindoh. If they are able to make plays this season they could be really important as they make the playoff push late in the season.
The thing is, the defense needs to find its identity quick, and it probably will once the unit is fully healthy. I expect the defense to get back to normal once the proper people are in place for them, but it might be rough until they do.