Chiefs Defense Can’t Get On Track

From Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

Two takeaways … one sack … 11 touchdowns allowed … 89 points given up … an average of 387.5 yards allowed each week.

Those are the numbers of a defense in trouble. Those are the numbers of the Chiefs 2011 defense. They are ugly; they are the type of numbers that are hard for this team to believe they’ve posted after two games.

From the front seven, through the secondary, things are not working together or correctly. No matter what buttons that defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel punches, they don’t seem to work.

It does not help when the Chiefs offense puts them in bad field position time-after-time due to interceptions and fumbles. Those situations are hard to overcome a few times, let alone constantly like the last two games, when the Chiefs had nine turnovers.

But there are problems within the defense as well, mostly with the sub-defense, or what some people would call the nickel. The Chiefs spent most of the game in the nickel. That pulls rookie DE Allen Bailey, DE Wallace Gilberry, OLB Cameron Sheffield, S Sabby Piscitelli and CB Javier Arenas onto the field. Leaving are Belcher, DEs Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, along with NT Kelly Gregg, and OLB Justin Houston.

Stafford and the Lions offense spent a lot of time with three receivers wide, sometimes a tight end was part of that group. The quarterback was in the shotgun and they were in strictly a one-back offense with Jahvid Best.

The defense barely slowed down the Lions, as they put 411 yards on the board. Of course, it helps when the average starting field position for the Lions was their 42-yard line.

“Miscommunication, guys running free through the secondary,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “We’ve got to stop guys from running free. We need to get turnovers, we need to get take the ball away. That takes away points from them and gives us a chance to score some points.”

Let’s start there. The Lions had completions of 43, 36, 35, 29, 28 and 27 yards. They lost plays of 47 and 24 yards to penalties. Not all of those catchers came with receivers wide open. But too many of them came with yards after the catch and that means the defense was out of step.

“This game we needed to have better communication,” said Flowers. “We had too many guys running free.”

The Eric Berry factor? Possibly, but Berry’s role was not really that of the guy who got everybody in the right positions. That’s something that generally falls to inside linebackers Derrick Johnson and Belcher.

“We need to keep our confidence, even though it may be wavering at this point,” said Johnson. “Know your role and do it better. We have to get better.

“We have to make more plays in the back end (linebackers and secondary). Every part of the defense, linebackers, DBs, D-Line has to do better.”

Upfront, there was very little pass rush on Stafford. He broke from the pocket less than a half-dozen times in the game. Several times he escaped the clutches of OLB Tamba Hali, and once he ducked under a late blitz from CB Javier Arenas. But nothing much slowed him down as he completed 23 of 39 for 294 with four touchdowns.

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and correct our mistakes,” said Dorsey. “The only thing that’s going to help us is to get back on the practice field.”

One Response to “Chiefs Defense Can’t Get On Track”

  • September 19, 2011  - ED J says:

    How about stop playing like the Raiders with all the personal foul penalities. IF Lewis doesn’t improve we might need start free safety he looks lost. McGraw needs to be cut after this season drops interception, misses several tackles today, and then fumble interception he actually caught. Worst safety in football no question.

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