Dan Sorensen and Ben Niemann continue to be liabilities on defense for the Kansas City Chiefs.
After the tight win against the New York Giants 20-17 last Monday, the defense has improved, but only a few players stand out.
What stood out Monday was the impressive play of Willie Gay Jr., who had an interception. Unfortunately, the offense has continued to struggle with Patrick Mahomes throwing a first-quarter interception.
Regarding the defense, although the Chiefs have decreased drastically the role of Daniel Sorensen as safety, he is still playing a number of snaps usually in personnel groupings with three safeties. And on Monday night, the longest gain by Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was a long throw on Sorensen in coverage, proof that coaches have understood well what to do against him.
When Daniel Jones tried to connect with John Ross in the first quarter, Sorensen heavily interfered on the play. The pass interference was clear, but John Ross still caught it! And that is maybe the worst part… If you concede a pass interference, at least make a play to prevent the catch. Well, the Giants declined the penalty and earned a 50-yard completion. The Giants went on to score a touchdown.
It is quite obvious that Sorensen is having the worst season of his career. According to Pro Football Reference, Sorensen has missed more than 20 percent of his tackles, and that has been an issue all year long prior to the Chiefs benching him for Juan Thornhill. Social media, especially Twitter, got crazy this weekend criticizing him heavily and even creating a few memes to his expense.
It is hard to explain why Sorensen is still playing. The Chiefs have given many opportunities to the blonde player to be more performant but he always failed. Any time he is on the field, bad things happen to the Chiefs’ defense. Sorensen has allowed 18 completions off 22 attempts for 295 yards, per Pro Football Reference. He’s allowing a completion on almost 82 percent of the passes thrown at his direction while allowing 16.4 yards per completion. That is very bad indeed.
Another liability on the Chiefs’ defense is Ben Niemann. He is still on the field as a key player of the defense, instead of Willie Gay Jr., which I don’t understand. However, Niemann is still struggling in coverage, and let the Giants get their first touchdown in the second quarter.
Against the Packers this weekend, Bolton should still get opportunities in the base and nickel defense, but Hitchens’ return will cut someone’s snaps and put one player on the bench more often. Could that be Ben Niemann? Spagnuolo was not been clear about it during his press conference, he just said he wants to make sure he puts the right player in the right position to win this game.
However, at some point, when players are not having great performance, why not bench them? I have always been a fan of second chances and the previous years proved Dan Sorensen, for instance, could be underrated sometimes. But he is having a rough time this season, and keeping him doing mistakes on the field, does not help him or the team as a whole. It is the same thing for Ben Niemann, he is taking the spot in defense of a better player just because of veteran status, and it is not fair. The coaching staff should recognize that and react accordingly for the next game.