Kansas City Chiefs Front Seven Evaluation: Preseason Week 2 - First Half

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Here we are, back for week two of the preseason, with the Chiefs facing the Baltimore Ravens.  As per usual,  the system is located here.  Each week during the season, I will sit down and watch each play in detail and tabulate the scores.  Obviously, I will be limited to the feed that the standard fan is privy, so please, keep your complaints about "game tape" to yourself.


Once again, these preseason weeks will differ slightly from the standard regular season posts.  As there are so many players shifting in and out of the game, I won't be doing a player by player breakdown.  Also, because there are such an incredible number of players to keep track of, I have only tabulated the first half.   Because of this, it means I will not be assigning an MVP, and I will not do a running tally for KPM and KPM/Snap.  

Let's get after it!
  • 78.5% of the time, the Chiefs were lined up in a 3-4 defense.
  • 21.5% of the time, the Chiefs removed a lineman and a linebacker for a dime defense.
  • Right off the bat, it looks like the 1st team for the Chiefs in the front seven is Dorsey, Gregg, and Jackson on the line, and Hali, DJ, Belcher, and Studebaker at linebacker. No surprises there.
  • The Chiefs came out in a Dime defense on the first possession, even on 3rd and 4. The down linemen were Bailey and Gilberry, and the linebackers were Hali, Sheffield, and DJ.
  • There is a lot of quick passing early on. Flowers is giving a lot of cushion on some of these plays.
  • Interesting to see the Ravens' Center go low on Gregg just after a first down. Tyson let a free man through, but closed the gap, and the Center tried to take out Gregg right off the snap around the knees. Gregg shrugged him off and made a great stop with Studebaker behind the line of scrimmage.
  • The very next play, Tyson has a great bull rush and forces Flacco to stop his throw, allowing Dorsey (and Tyson again) to get some pressure on the quarterback. The downfall: Both Belcher and DJ were guarding the running back in the center of the field, and both allowed him to make a catch, turn, and get past them.
  • It seems the Chiefs are analyzing Tamba's pass coverage ability early on in the contest. He's not rushing on these pass plays, instead dropping back to cover a tight end or back. He's not doing a bad job, either.
  • Another play where the line does it's job, only to be let down. Gregg pulls a fantastic double team and DJ is behind the line of scrimmage, dead to rights on the running back. Instead, he whiffs on the tackle and it goes from a 2-3 yard loss to a 2-3 yard gain.
  • Even though it was a dead ball, good hustle by Tyson to get on the perceived fumble in the first drive. Good pressure by Studebaker, to make Flacco panic, too. Andy's everywhere early on.
  • And just after that, Studebaker comes on a late rush that forces Flacco to throw around him into a pass break up for Berry.
  • Lots of blitzes early going out of Romeo. Stark difference between this preseason and last.
  • Good work at the start of the second drive on the strong side of the defense. Gregg nabs another double, Tyson forces the back into a small hole where Belcher is waiting. Solid effort all around there.
  • Next play, Tyson surprises the guard and tackle and knifes in between them, well behind the line of scrimmage, taking both men with him. DJ steps up into the hole left behind and makes the play with a little help from Tyson on the back end. Great work by the third year man nets him a bunch of KPM on that play.
  • And the third down play is yet another great effort. The offense gets lots of pull blocks off, but Belcher, DJ, Tamba, and Lewis sniff it out and string the play towards the sidelines. The back hesitates to cut back, but both Tyson and Gregg are bearing down. He starts back up and Carr makes a great low tackle to prevent a potential 1st down. Great stand on that series.
  • Dorsey's not looking so great on the right side. He just got pancaked, but has been 1-upped more often than not, and isn't getting by his man. That's his forte, so a little disappointing that he's not being more disruptive when the line is creating a good situation. Maybe it's just Oher that is keeping him in check.
  • 3rd and 1, Gregg does his job to grab another double, DJ steps into the gap, but Dorsey gets shoved off the line by Oher, and the result is a first down.
  • Studebaker with another quarterback pressure. Guy is playing really well with Tyson and Gregg there to eat up some blockers. Completely different show from last week.
  • And on a 2nd and 10, Dorsey knifes through his blocker, this time the guard. He forces Flacco out of the pocket, where both Gregg and Jackson force him to throw the ball away. Solid all-around job by the front three. Side note: Tamba got blocked out of the play by Oher. I think Oher's just a monster on this day.
  • After the Succop miss, a bit of a switch up for the front seven. Jackson and Dorsey still in the game, but Powe is getting some reps with the first team line. For the linebackers, Belcher and DJ stay inside, but Studebaker goes to the weakside and Houston comes in on the strongside, moving Tamba to the sidelines.
  • Right off the bat, Houston does a great job of identifying the play action and stepping into the passing lane in front of the fullback, forcing Flacco to go to the deeper crossing route for an incompletion. Good read and react by the rookie.
  • Houston occasionally puts his hand in the dirt in the dime. Interesting.
  • Leaving the corners one on one while blitzing seems to be less effective than the normal pass rush this game. Flowers especially seems to be giving up a completion when isolated.
  • Tyson gets another quarterback pressure! He blew right by his man and forced Flacco out of the pocket to a checkdown receiver that DJ had great coverage and a big hit for a very short gain. Houston got some help with the pressure as well, but Tyson threw his blocker to the side to get into the backfield.
  • Credit where credit is due, another blitz, Flowers had the man covered well this time.
  • Now Sheffield with his hand in the dirt in the dime. Looks like the defense is just trying to give some different looks...and he gets a BIG hit on Flacco, forcing the pass incompletion. Good work.
  • 5:35 left in the half, more changes in the front seven. Dion Gales comes on for Tyson, Powe stays in, and Gilberry comes in for Dorsey. Houston, Studebaker, and Belcher stay on, and Demorrio Williams comes in for DJ.
  • Chiefs bring the house again on a 2nd and 7. Belcher almost gets to Flacco, then Gilberry, and finally Studebaker. The play results in an incompletion. Flacco definitely hasn't been comfortable in the pocket this game. Oh, and Wallace got SEVERELY held.
  • Justin Cole comes in on the nickel formation in place of DJ on a 3rd and 7. Jalil Brown gets beaten badly for a big gain.
  • Pierre Walters in for Studebaker with about 4:00 left to go in the half. Good game by Studie. Siler also in for Belcher.
  • Siler allows a pass completion on his first play but lays a MONSTER hit on Vonte Leach that pops Leach's helmet off. Way to stand and deliver against one of the bigger pass catchers in the game. On replay, Leach may have gotten the better of that hit. Both players and sets of announcers thought it was for their side, though.
  • Uh-oh. Bad job on Powe for Rice's touchdown run. Not only does a let a man get to the second level, he then gets pancaked by a lineman, leaving a HUGE hole. Siler was there, but Leach sealed the gap and allowed Rice to scamper through, leaving Arenas as the last guy. Arenas whiffed on the tackle, and Rice was home free. Not a good way to end the half.
KPM Rankings

Defensive Line:

Linebackers:
Andy Studebaker 11
Derrick Johnson 5
Jovan Belcher 4
Justin Houston 3
Tamba Hali 2
Cameron Sheffield 2
Justin Cole 0
Demorrio Williams 0
Pierre Walters 0
Brandon Siler -1

KPM/Snap Rankings

Defensive Line:
Kelly Gregg 0.75
Dion Gales 0.60
Tyson Jackson 0.60
Wallace Gilberry 0.17
Glenn Dorsey 0.15
Allen Bailey 0.00
Jerrell Powe -0.56

Linebackers:
Andy Studebaker 0.48
Cameron Sheffield 0.33
Justin Houston 0.25
Derrick Johnson 0.19
Jovan Belcher 0.17
Tamba Hali 0.10
Justin Cole 0.00
Demorrio Williams 0.00
Pierre Walters -0.08
Brandon Siler -0.50

****************

Well, there's the first half tabulation.  Some quick notes about the second half, though:
  • Powe played very, very well in the second half.  He held his ground and was stout in the middle.
  • Houston was all over the field making plays.  Sacks, coverage, run stops...he was really good...until the final group of guys came on the field...he was very lacking after that point, whether it be from exhaustion or from the surrounding play.
  • Sheffield is a fine pass rusher for the Chiefs in the nickel/dime formations.  I'm still not sure about his coverage skill or run defense, but he's proving he should be on this team.
  • Gales was pretty good yet again, and I'd rank him slightly better than Bair.  Going to be a tough camp battle there.
As always, I appreciate any criticisms or questions in the comments, and I encourage you to watch for this stuff on gameday yourselves!  Thanks for reading, and go Chiefs!!!
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