Different Looks, Same Results For Chiefs Defense

From Arrowhead Stadium

Yes, Romeo Crennel did a winning job as a head coach on Sunday, leading the Chiefs to an improbable upset of the Green Bay Packers.

But the victory was built on Crennel’s role as defensive coordinator, where he came up with a game plan that appeared varied and different for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, but was very simple in execution for the Chiefs defense.

And it worked … boy did it ever work. Green Bay was held to 315 offensive yards, its lowest output of the season, and scored just 14 points on the afternoon, their lowest point production of the season.

“We went out there with a good plan and we made it work,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “Romeo really dialed it up and it worked.”

Part of what made it work was the changes Crennel made, as they showed five different looks:

  • Base defense – 3-4-4, with Reshard Langford starting at SS for the injured Jon McGraw.
  • Almost base – 2-4-5, with CB Travis Daniels coming into the game and DE Tyson Jackson leaving the field.
  • Sub-defense #1 – 2-3-6, the Chiefs normal so-called nickel defense, that brings Wallace Gillberry and Allen Bailey onto the DL, with Daniels, Javier Arenas and Sabby Piscitelli coming in, with the base defensive line, ILB Jovan Belcher and Langford leaving.
  • Sub-defense #2 – 1-3-7, with CB Jalil Brown coming and Bailey going out.
  • Sub-defense #3 – 1-4-6, with LB Cameron Sheffield in along with Gilberry and the sub-defensive backs.

“We tried to mix things up,” said Crennel. “Aaron (Rodgers) is a very good quarterback and sometimes you can’t contain him all the time. That’s all you can do, is mix it up and play good. Then you have a chance.”

The different defenses came in based on the players the Packers put on the field.

“It’s all based on the matchups we are looking for,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “They can put a lot of receivers out there, so you want to find a way to cover as much area as you can.”

This is one reason that Crennel did not call for much in the way of blitzing from his pass rush. Essentially, they went after Rodgers with a four-man rush, while the corners played man-to-man. On this afternoon it worked, as they got to Rodgers four times and knocked him down five other times. Three of those sacks and two other knock downs came from OLB Tamba Hali who tormented Packers second-year left tackle Marshall Newhouse.

“Tamba was something else today,” said DE Glenn Dorsey. “They should have hit those guys for holding about five times. For him to get in there the way they mug him is pretty amazing.”

Said Rodgers: “They got after me with a four-man rush and had a lot of guys in coverage. We weren’t able to make anything down the middle of the field.”

3 Responses to “Different Looks, Same Results For Chiefs Defense”

  • December 19, 2011  - Chiefs Pull Upset of the NFL season With 19-14 Victory : BobGretz.com says:

    [...] SIDEBAR: Romeo mixes and matches on defense. [...]

  • December 19, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    “They should have hit those guys for holding about five times. For him to get in there the way they mug him is pretty amazing.”

    This was crazy. I saw at least 3 of these and I was screaming at the TV because Hali was being held something fierce. And, yet the zebras kept the yellow in their pocket. It was ridiculous. Hali earned his money this weekend. He was so tired at the end he got help to get up from the ref.

  • December 19, 2011  - Fred Kelley says:

    I know holding happens on just about every play……but it was ridiculous Sunday. The holds I saw against Hali and Houston were as blatant as holds can be. It was mind boggling.

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