Defense wins championships. That has always been the mantra in the NFL game for a long standing time. The Chiefs defense is revamped in many areas, as last year’s Wild Card loss to the Titans forced Kansas City to finally make some much needed changes. Last time we took a look at three breakout candidates on the offense side, now let’s take a look at three breakout players for the Chiefs defense in 2018.
First things first, we need to look at the pass rush. The pass rush has seemed erratic over the last couple of years. Besides Justin Houston, it seems like the other edge rushing spot could be a revolving door. But, Kpassagnon has the chance to lock that spot down. Kpassagnon looks to be in tremendous shape, even better shape than last season, which is unreal to see. With Kpassagnon entering just his second season, there is still some uncertainty in his durability. But his ability, is what will lead him to success in 2018. His speed combined with a 6’7”, 280 pound frame gives him some of an advantage going into camp.
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The Chiefs signed Robert Golden back in April during free agency. Golden is a free safety with above average cover skills and the range to chase down most receivers. The Chiefs will be getting Eric Berry back, which is huge. However, other than that nothing appears guaranteed in the Chiefs secondary for 2018. Honestly, it looks to be more of a committee approach other than number one starters for the Chiefs secondary. If Golden can grab a hold of the free safety spot, the Chiefs pass defense will already be better than last season, considering pass coverage. For Golden, one trait that particularly makes him stand out is how he rarely gets fooled by his opponents. If Golden can “breakout” the Chiefs will not have to pull as much of their defensive backs out of position for 2018.
Last year, Bennie Logan was brought in to replace Dontari Poe at nose tackle. Logan is already out of Kansas City after one season. Plus, the Chiefs decided to bring in Xavier Williams in free agency. Williams is back in his hometown of Kansas City, and he has stated how big of a Chiefs fan he was when growing up. The defensive tackle position is a spot that the Chiefs need to see some major improvement at.
In the last few years, the rotation the Chiefs used at defensive tackle really only made sure the Chiefs had eleven. With Williams, there’s an opportunity for Kansas City to find there lockdown tackle for the next few years. Last year, the production from Bennie Logan just wasn’t where it needed to be. Poe had some good seasons in Kansas City, but during the home stretch to his time with the Chiefs, injuries held him back compared to his first couple of years in the league.