Will Defense Doom the Chiefs in the Playoffs?




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[Read our predictions for the divisional spherical.]

The Chiefs’ protection completed final or second-to-last in passing yards (4,374), whole yards (6,488) and yards per rush (5.0). The Chiefs gave up the most first downs ever, with 419. And although they ranked 24th in factors ceded, with 421, solely three different groups since 1990, when the playoffs expanded to incorporate six groups from every convention, gave up that many and nonetheless superior to the postseason.

According to Pro Football Reference, solely 13 of the different 173 groups to succeed in the playoffs since 1990 have fared worse than the Chiefs in a minimum of a kind of statistical classes, together with Green’s group from the 2003 season, which allowed 5.2 yards per carry. Aside from Kansas City, the solely others to earn a No. 1 seed have been Green Bay and New England in 2011, and neither gained the Super Bowl. In truth, solely one among the 13 — excluding the 2018 Rams, who allowed the most yards per rush this season — gained a championship: the 2006 Colts, whose robust cross protection offset their generosity towards the run.

Plus, that they had that Manning man.

The Chiefs have a man, too — Patrick Mahomes — and that’s a reasonably robust counterargument. But it’s not an impenetrable one, as losses to the Chargers (Kansas City led by 14 with lower than 9 minutes left) and the Seahawks (Seattle ran for 210 yards) proved.

It’s troublesome figuring out a historic analogue to the 2018 Chiefs, a staff of such extremes. The closest may be the 2011 Packers, whose main receiver, Greg Jennings, acknowledged the similarities without delay. Like the Chiefs, Green Bay created a load of turnovers — a league-high 38 — whereas additionally scoring the most factors. The Packers additionally gave up extra passing yards and whole yards than Kansas City did this season.

“The defense recognized it more than even we did as an offense,” Jennings, now an analyst for Fox, mentioned of the imbalance. “What needed to be done was what we did. We recognized it and we had to make up for it.”

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