FanPost

Kansas City Chiefs Preseason Defensive Grades:  Re-Rack

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via Kansas City Star

From the FanPosts   -Joel

In my previous posts about the 3-4 Position Primer, I've focused on specific personnel and where they fit into the 3-4 defense.  This one will focus more on the players in the front seven and the statlines so far this preseason, while still giving my grades to the various players/parts of the defense. 

So...here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I recognize it's the preseason, and these numbers may not mean everything.  It's simply an intro-analysis before Week 1.

 

Game 1:  Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs

In the first half, when it was mainly 1st's vs. 1st's, we gave up 11 first downs, 123 passing yards, 56 rushing yards, and 13 points.  Leggett had a first team sack, and both Flowers and Mike Brown forced fumbles.

Lowlights:

12 play, 94 yard drive given up by the first team, capped off by a 2-yd TD run.

Only one rush was tackled for a loss the entire game.

4 forced fumbles, no recoveries.

Highlights:

Held a prolific passing offense to a 15% (2/13) 3rd down conversion rate.  When they had to pass, we were able to lock it down.

Held the offense to a 33% (1/3) red zone conversion rate.  The scoreline shows this well.  When they got down the field, we did okay at forcing a field goal.

280 Net Yards in the game.  Not bad, but not great...certainly an improvement.

 

Game 2:  Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Ruined Brett Favre's debut, made Tavaris Jackson look like a superstar.  Gave up 150+ yards, 12 first downs, and 7 points when the 1st teams were on the field.

Lowlights:

No sacks, no picks, no fumbles forced.  Gotta have those.

Tavaris Jackson throwing for 202 yards after being replaced as the starter...and he only had 1 rush for 5 yards, so he didn't really beat us with his feet.

6.7 yards given up per offensive play.  Unacceptable.

Highlights:

4 Tackles for Loss on running plays against a solid line.

3.4 yard rushing average against one of the best rushing attacks in the league.

4/11 on third downs, and 1/2 in the red zone.  Still respectable numbers.

 

Game 3:  Seattle Seahawks vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Lots of yards given up, lots of poor play all around on the defensive side.  Not the way the 1st team wanted to show up to play for three quarters.

Lowlights:

406 Total yards.  Ouch.

11/19 third down conversion rate, one of the strong points in prior games, really killed us here.

Secondary ran ragged by their three starting receivers and Matt Hasselbeck.  Looked like we were just watching them run over us.

Highlights:

Couple sacks, one by Studebaker, and one by TJ.

Our only score:  a well read pick-six by Flowers.

2.9 yards allowed per rush on 38 rushes.  They tried to ram it down our throats, but we did well to stonewall them.

 

Game 4:  St. Louis Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs

A forgettable performance by the offense, but a solid outing for the defense.  Their offensive touchdown came at the expense of a couple big pass plays on our second team, but before that, we shut them down.

Lowlights:

Couple big pass plays leading to their only offensive TD, but not a whole lot else to say...mostly backups in this one.

Highlights:

Tank steps up with a 9 Tackle (2 for loss) and 1 Forced Fumble game.

3 sacks for 23 yards.

4 tackles for loss for 14 yards.

3.5 yards per play allowed, and a great 2.4 yards per rush allowed, most coming at the expense of the second team.

 

Total Stats (With League Rank):

16 points per game (9th)

324.5 yards per game (19th)

227.5 pass yards per game (27th)

97 rushing yards per game (9th)

3.1 rushing yards per attempt (1ST) - And we were ran on the 5th most

7.3 passing yards per attempt (24th)

7 sacks (21st)

 

Grades (starters):

Defensive Line:

Glenn Dorsey - 3 tackles and no sacks does not tie in well with the mountain of expectations from the young player.  However, he was responsible for disrupting the backfield a few times, creating opportunities for other players to step in.  For instance, Corey Mays was arguably the best find so far this offseason due to his preseason play.  He's lined up behind Dorsey.  Coincidence?  Not at all.  Dorsey is thus far eating blockers well, and when switched to an "under-tackle", he's knifed into the backfield and has been dangerous.  Those tackle totals won't skyrocket, but expect a few sacks and lots of linebacker tackles that we can attribute to him.  Grade: B.

Tyson Jackson - 3 tackles and 2 sacks from the rookie.  He's shown that he's quite strong, and the two sacks are promising.  The neverending cycle of linebackers behind him make it difficult to judge his impact as a hole-opener in the straight 3-4.  Tends to get sucked outside a little too readily, maybe a hard to break habit from his little time as a 4-3 DE?  Inconsistent with blockers, seems to blow through a guy one play, then disappear for the next 3.  He's a rookie, though, and the speed/consistency of the game will come in time.  Grade: C.

Tank Tyler - 16 tackles at the nose, compared to Edwards' 3.  It's hard to argue with a preseason leading 3.1 yard per rush defensive line, and it obvious he's getting it done.  Teams have run up the middle most against us, with the least success.  Had to earn a spot back with the first team, but showed very well against the Rams.  If this is the type of player that shows up every week, we're looking a lot better.  Unfortunately, over half his tackles came against the lowly Rams.  Baltimore is a good test of a decent o-line to see if it continues.  Grade: B-.

Linebackers:

Mike Vrabel - 5 Tackles, no picks, and no sacks.  Definitely the team leader, his stat line looks a little weak.  However, three of those tackles were for a loss, usually shooting through the right side of the offensive line and tracking the RB across the field.  Looks to be helping the younger guys get better, especially Studebaker.  Doesn't seem to have the QB-blitz freedom that he did in New England, but Pendergast is allocating that elsewhere so far.  The dink-and-dunk pass coverage needs to be better out of him to get those passing stats down.  Grade: C.

DeMorrio Williams - 17 tackles behind Jackson in a very free-roaming position.  Most of those tackles have come further down the field, as he's playing pass more than the run.  Many times his first step is away from the line of scrimmage, with his eyes on the QB and TE.  This could very well be a call from Pendergast, so I won't judge.  Hasn't been blitzed yet.  Also needs to work on his center of the field pass coverage.  Too much space given so far.  Hard to really grade fairly, as he's been cycled in and out of that position frequently.  Grade: C-.

Corey Mays - Our new fan favorite?  13 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, and countless stuffs at the line of scrimmage.  Took the job away from a Pro Bowler and made it his.  Pendergast has blitzed Mays many, many times thus far, and he's done an excellent job of getting his hands on the QB, even after the ball is gone.  Another big reason why the rush defense has been effective.  He should probably take Dorsey out to eat every game for being so effective.  Grade:  A-.

Tamba Hali - 11 Tackles, 1 sack.  It's an understatement to say that Tamba has surprised me thus far.  His transition to a two point stance has thus far gone smoothly, and he's been dangerous in the backfield.  With defenses needing to worry about Dorsey and Mays, he becomes the odd man out and gets 1-on-1 with a free shot at the QB.  Looks much faster from this position, and has had no threat from other potential takers thus far, also a surprise.  Hasn't had to drop into coverage much yet, but also hasn't been exploited in that area, so kudos.  From the guy who wasn't convinced, Tamba, I salute you.  Grade: B.

 

So far, just okay.  The secondary isn't really shutting down the medium out routes, but I'm really not the guy to analyze the secondary...too focused on the front 7.  The run defense has been solid thus far.  The sacks haven't come as often as we'd like, but several QB hurries already this preseason show that there is potential for more.  We're throwing lots of looks at the opposition (unders, overs, 2-5's, etc.), and that can only work to our advantage.  Blitz packages have been a highlight so far, with Pendergast sending many different positions at the QB.  Pass defense needs to be better, and it would be sad if our once proud secondary became the low point of this defense.  Still, there are many positives to take from the preseason so far, and many tricks up our sleeve that I'm sure we haven't pulled yet.  A full game with the starters on the field will tell us more, as we seemed to see a definite dropoff when switching to 2nd's vs. 2nd's.

16 points per game allowed, with most coming near the end after the starters were out.  If we get some offense on the flipside, things can go well.  Yeah, it's just the preseason, but there's something we can take from all of this:  we're improving.  Finally.  =)

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CHIEFS!!!!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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