Leftovers From Jaguars Roast

It was one of those plays that was lost in the 119 offensive snaps that went off on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium with the Chiefs and Jaguars.

But it was a great postcard of what the Chiefs defense was able to do against the Jacksonville running game.

After the defense scored thanks to LB Derrick Johnson’s interception return, the defense had to go right back on the field. It was late in the third quarter and the game’s outcome was still in doubt as the Chiefs held a 28-20 lead.

On second down, Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew took the handoff from QB Todd Bouman and was headed for the gap between the left guard and left tackle. That’s where he found Glenn Dorsey in his way, as the Chiefs defensive end was manhandling LG Vince Manuwai and pushing him aside.

Jones-Drew bounced off the Dorsey-Manuwai scrum and went right. After two steps he was met by Shaun Smith, as the defensive end drove RG Uche Nwaneri backwards. Smith grabbed Jones-Drew and dragged him down, holding him to no gain and forcing a 3rd-and-10 play. Jacksonville failed to convert and punted the ball away.

There was no room for Jones-Drew to breathe on the play and that was the type of afternoon it was for the Jaguars No. 1 offensive threat. He finished with 47 rushing yards on 16 carries, a 2.9-yard per carry average. The little man broke defensive containment once, running for 21 yards. That means the other 15 carries by Jones-Drew produced just 26 yards, or just 1.7 yards per carry.

“When you’re able to come out and hold a guy to yards like that, it just shows that our front did our job because that is our job,” said Dorsey.

Defensive coordinator kept the defensive game plan pretty simple for the most part. They had three basic alignments with the base 3-4, along with a nickel and then a dime defensive set. The defensive line had the most rotation, as Dorsey, Smith and NT Ron Edwards were the starting lineup. DE Tyson Jackson was the first reserve off the bench, stepping in for Smith, who then moved to NT. There were also about a half-dozen snaps for a second defensive line unit as DEs Jackson and Wallace Gilberry joined NT Anthony Toribio.

Most of the game was spent in the 3-4 base, with the dime defense getting the most play after that, with Gilberry, FS/LB Jon McGraw and CB Javier Arenas coming into the game. When OLB Mike Vrabel injured his right hand in the fourth quarter, Andy Studebaker replaced him in the base defense, but Demorrio Williams came on the field in the nickel & dime.

More than in any game this season, Crennel sent extra pass rushers at Bouman with four, five and several times even six guys going after the rusty veteran. Berry was very active on several blitz plays. So was Johnson from inside. Even with those extra rushers, the Chiefs were able to record only one sack, as OLB Tamba Hali got his fifth sack.


When CB Brandon Carr was called for pass interference in the end zone, it set up the Jaguars with a 1st-and-goal at the Chiefs 1-yard line with 25 seconds to play

Crennel went to his goal-line defense, a 5-3-3 set. First down brought an incomplete pass from Bouman to TE Marcedes Lewis, as SS Eric Berry tipped away the pass. On second down, Jones-Drew went over right guard and did not score. The play was reviewed and upheld. On third down, the Jags went to a passing formation and Bouman’s pass to Lewis in the end zone was handled by Johnson.

That forced an 18-yard FG by Jacksonville K Josh Scobee.


The 2010 Chiefs are learning one of the secrets of winning in the NFL.

Teams that score a touchdown on defense markedly increase their chances of winning. In the last 20 years (1990-2010) the Chiefs are 42-10 when they score on defense. When the guys on the other side of the ball find the end zone, it’s a shot for the entire team.

That was certainly the case on Sunday when LB Derrick Johnson found the end zone after his 15-yard return of an interception against Jacksonville. It was the second time this season the defense produced a touchdown. The first was in Cleveland when CB Brandon Flowers returned an interception 33 yards for a score.

Johnson’s interception was one of three takeaways for the Chiefs defense, which has been one area where they’ve needed to improve.

“To get three today and not turn it over … you’re going to be in a lot of football games if you can do that,” said head coach Todd Haley. “We’ve got to keep a focus on it.”

In recent weeks, when the Chiefs begin their practice session split up into position groups, all three defensive positions work on takeaways. They work on catching tipped passes. They work on picking and/or falling on fumbles. They work on tackling and stripping the ball.

After six games the Chiefs have eight takeaways, with five interceptions and three recovered fumbles. That ranks 27th in turnovers caused. They are among the top five that have recovered the fewest opponent fumbles.

3 Responses to “Leftovers From Jaguars Roast”

  • October 25, 2010  - Michael says:

    Good; an area in need of improvement. This is a hardworking bunch, and I think they relish the challange of improving. I really wanted to see Berry get his first INT out of the way. As he and the other young DBs gain confidence, I expect to see them make more plays on the ball. Flowers and Carr are usually in good position on most plays already. They just need to make that little extra turn sometimes, and they will come up with the turnover. If the entire defense keeps working at creating turnovers the way they’ve worked in other areas, the turnovers will come and in bunches.

  • October 26, 2010  - RW says:

    I’ve been impressed from the jump on the vast run defense improvement from this 2010 Chief’s defense. If there’s one big key to the success the Chiefs have enjoyed thus far, the run D is it.

  • October 26, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    After watching the meltdown of the Cowboys this season and especially last night, it makes me appreciate even MORE what clark, pioli, haley & co are doing w/ this organization. Everyday, I see more and more that they are doing it the right way. Will they make mistakes, of course, becasue they are human, but I’m willing to bet that they will have more right than wrong. Just thought I would share my thoughts and I thought a comment on this article about the chiefs playing like a “team” was a good spot.

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