If you've missed our Bye Week Breakdown series from the weekend, make sure to check out the other entries here. Now we turn our attention to the Chiefs secondary to see just how things have played out thus far in 2012.
Entering the season, the Chiefs' secondary was expected to be an impact unit for a defense that was supposed to be the heart and soul of the team. Yet there were also several question marks that could undermine that impact if things went the wrong way. Still such a youthful group was expected to develop and mature even more with another year of experience.
Eric Berry was returning to the safety position after being lost with a torn ACL in 2011. Kendrick Lewis was also coming off of offseason surgery himself, meaning that both safeties were tender coming into offseason activities. Brandon Carr left for the Cowboys, and Scott Pioli brought in former Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt to replace him. In addition, the team added more depth than they've enjoyed in recent years with free agent safety Abe Elam and defensive back DeQuan Menzie providing competition in the defensive backfield.
In short, this is a group that was expected to perform at a high level while also boasting more depth than ever.
This has not been a good year for the Chiefs pass defense. Then again, the same could be said of the run defense. The Chiefs are among the bottom three in net yards per pass attempt in the NFL and only the Buccaneers and Saints are below them. The Chiefs only have 4 interceptions on the season, while opponents have 13 passing TDs against the Chiefs.
As for the players individually, it doesn't get any better. Brandon Flowers had a foot ailment that left him out for the entire preseason and into the regular season. Menzie was placed on Injured Reserve. Eric Berry is clearly not the same player he was before the torn ACL. Kendrick Lewis has been out for most of the regular season with a shoulder injury.
As for Brandon Carr, he has helped the Cowboys achieve the second-ranked pass defense in the league with just over 181 yards allowed per game.
It's been a disastrous year for the Chiefs in 2012 in many ways, and the secondary is one of the primary areas that has fallen apart. Injuries have taken their toll on nearly every starter, and not a single player that Scott Pioli has drafted to add depth has developed into a capable substitute. Expect the Chiefs to address the secondary in next year's draft once again -- possibly with two selections.