The Kansas City Chiefs defense has not been good through the first four weeks of the season. That is not a surprise to anyone, but how bad are they really?
There is no sugar coating how bad the Chiefs defense has been. They are giving up 31.3 points per game, putting them 31st in the league in PPG. They also rank 31st in the league in yards per game at 437.8.
So yes they have been horrible, but I do not think they will stay this horrible. They already took a step in the right direction against the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. The Eagles were held to only 23 points before a meaningless junk time touchdown. Yes, the defense did give up 471 total yards, but unlike the previous games the defense bent but did not break.
Prior to the Eagles game the Chiefs had allowed 11 touchdowns in 12 redzone trips. That changed against the Eagles as they only scored a touchdown on 3 of 6. The Chiefs also got two stops with no points. After the Chiefs first three games, them only allowing nine points in five of their eight drives is a big improvement.
Continuing to improve as the season goes along is not only the goal of the Chiefs defense, but it should be expected. I know what you are thinking, and no they team should not improving just because they can not get any worse. The defense should improve because when you look at the roster, that is the natural progression.
We think about the big changes on the offensive line, but the defense has made a number of changes as well. Like Andy Reid’s offense, Steve Spagnuolo’s defense is complicated and takes time to get for first year guys. Nick Bolton, Jarran Reed and Mike Hughes are all first year players. Bolton and Reed are starters while Hughes has been playing a ton of snaps due to injury. Those new faces in new places could be part of the reason for the confusion we see pre-snap. It should not be a surprise that guys like this need some games to get comfortable. It should also not be a surprise when they improve as the season moves forward.
On top of the new guys getting comfortable, the injury bug has hit the defense hard since week one. Three starters (Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark, Willie Gay) missed game one. Gay has missed all four games, Clark has missed three and starting CB Charvarius Ward has missed the last two. That means the planned starting 11 that team prepared all off season to have has not played a single snap. None of the injuries are long term injuries so we should be seeing that defense on the field soon.
So yes through four games the defense has been horrible and infurarting to watch. I understand why fans are angry and media is hitting panic buttons. Most of you live week to week with your views and opinions. But trust me when I tell you that this is not the defense you will see all season. They are getting healthier. They will get more comfortable. Will they ever be a top 10 defense? No. Will they be a top 20 defense? Maybe not. Will they be good enough to win a Super Bowl with this offense? Hell yes!