Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is amazing. And so is the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense after a rocky few seasons and a slow start a year ago.
The decline was steady and it pretty much hit rock bottom in 2018. The defense of the Kansas City Chiefs slowly but surely became a liability instead of a strength for Andy Reid’s team. Under the control of NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, the club’s offense was scintillating two years ago. The Chiefs scored 565 points, the third-highest total in one season in NFL history.
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But Reid’s team also allowed a disturbing 421 points and a disappointing 49 offensive touchdowns and that was just during the regular season. In the playoffs, Kansas City limited the visiting Colts to 13 points but a week later in the AFC Championship Game, the defense couldn’t get off the field when it counted most in a 37-31 overtime setback to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Hence the next offseason, which saw defensive coordinator Bob Sutton out and former Reid assistant Steve Spagnuolo in. The Chiefs would make the switch from the 3-4 to the 4-3. The team brought in plenty of new faces, trading for defensive end Frank Clark, signing safety Tyrann Mathieu (voted the team’s MVP in 2019) and linebacker Damien Wilson, to name a few. Still, that didn’t seem to make a difference 10 games into 2019. Reid’s team owned a 6-4 record and the team had already allowed 239 points and 28 offensive touchdowns.
And then everything began to click. Reid’s team won its final six regular-season contests, swept the Texans, Titans, and 49ers in the postseason, and this year the Chiefs are off to a 3-0 start. That’s 12 consecutive victories and in those wins, the team have surrendered only 204 points and 20 offensive TDs. Last Monday night at Baltimore, Spagnuolo’s unit limited the Ravens to 228 total yards and defensive tackle Chris Jones (team-high 3.5 sacks in 2020) made life miserable for quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Will it be more of the same on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium for New England Patriots’ quarterback Brian Hoyer and Bill Belichick’s team in a game that was rescheduled due to Cam Newton testing positive for COVID-19? Regardless of the circumstances, there’s obviously a lot more to the defending Super Bowl champions than Patrick Mahomes.