In a loss to the Packers, the Kansas City Chiefs still provided a courageous effort. There was some positive moments for guys who needed a big night or in pressure packed roles. The report cards are in. Who’s stock is either rising or falling entering Week Nine? Let’s find out with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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We saw how effective Damien Wilson could be on Sunday night. He was amped up all night, and it looked as if his energy inspired others on the defense. He attacked the ball and the line of scrimmage consistently. Additionally, when Wilson got the call to blitz, he seemed to catch the Packers off guard. One example is, when he ran through the arms of three different blockers for his lone sack of the game. Overall, he did a nice job of flying around, finishing with six tackles and three quarterback hits.
With an injured Patrick Mahomes, Matt Moore was effective as the starting quarterback. Moore was aware of when to throw quick, short passes. Also, he was conscious of knowing where his opportunities lied for downfield throws. More so, it stood out how often he would stand in the pocket to take a big hit after releasing the ball. His effort was important after the Chiefs fell into an early 14-0 hole. All in all, Moore did his job of putting the Chiefs in a position to win. The result just didn’t fall in their favor.
The Pass Rush
Just a few weeks ago, it felt like the Chiefs pass rush was never going to get any pressure on the quarterbacks. Now, they are 5th in the league in sacks with 25. This is significant improvement, considering guys like Chris Jones and Frank Clark have missed time. The disguises and different looks are essential for a Steve Spagnuolo defense to work. Along with the aforementioned Wilson, players like Emmanuel Ogbah, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Khalen Saunders stood out against the Packers. Given the usual success of the Green Bay offensive line, there is plenty to like about a five sack, twelve quarterback hit night. Also, give credit to the secondary for forcing Aaron Rodgers to hold onto the ball for an extended period of time.
The running game has had a shaky campaign. Nothing got any clearer in this week’s game. LeSean McCoy enjoyed some big gains throughout the evening, finishing with 4.4 yards per carry. But then, he fumbled at the most inopportune time. With the game tied, his blunder came on the opening play of a drive. The Packers would go on to take their first lead since they were up 14-0 soon after that. Following the turnover, the Chiefs only gave carries to Damien Williams. The Chiefs enjoyed a strong night by pounding the rock, but now the plan is cloudier than last week.
While Daniel Sorensen has surprised at times this season, he is still struggling in crucial moments. It was questionable that the Chiefs put a linebacker out on Aaron Jones on that final touchdown. However, if you watch Sorensen on the play, he’s late in attacking the ball carrier and Jones raced right by him. We have seen similar results when the Chiefs faced the Ravens earlier this year too.
Another player who seems lost in space at times is Ben Niemann. Niemann was a victim of that amazing play by Rodgers, who connected with Jamaal Williams in the corner of the end zone. That play was one where he seemed to have good coverage. But, Niemann like Sorensen, is still slow to recover in coverage. There is the argument that he is still developing. Meanwhile, the Chiefs could be wise to look in another direction for a coverage linebacker.
That will wrap up this week’s version of three up and three down. Be on the lookout for more Chiefs articles throughout the week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.