I don't write a lot of posts. 12 or so in the past 4.5 years. But after yesterday's game I was inspired.
A little background:
I was born in the 70's, a product of the 80's and became a Chiefs fan in 1990. In brief, I had some friends that were big football fans, which at the time I was not. They convinced me I should become one, as it was the greatest sport ever. So with little to go off of, and only a few choices to help narrow things down as to my future team (Offense or Defense, Run game or Pass game), I chose with my gut. I wanted a big D, a big Running game and all heart. Well that was the Chiefs of the 90's. And to be honest, my 13 year old self's budding outdoorsmanship took the form of Native American infatuation, so the Chiefs were perfect.
Then I learned all about players like Christian Okoye, Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, James Hasty, Dan Saleaumua Stephon Page and Dale Carter (yeah you can see my Defensive focus even then). And have been a die hard fan ever since, although to my great chagrin, I've never been to a game before (I know, I know blasphemy from someone who has been a fan for 23 years).
One of the things I loved about this team in the 90's was that no matter the score I always ALWAYS had faith in our D. They'd keep us in it. Score when we needed to. Make something happen. That of course didn't always come to fruition, but, I still had faith it would.
And that is something that over the last decade plus has simply evaporated. That faith in D. It went from Faith, to hope, to fingers crossed, to fingers crossed while crossing myself and saying a few Hail Mary's, and I'm a freaking Jew! Point is, our D just hadn't been there. Not really. Not like it was. We had the players, or so it seemed. We had the potential. It just wasn't happening.
This article is not about what's changed (Thankyouthankyouthankyou Andy Reid for hiring Bob Sutton, who is a beautiful evil overlord), as RDOguy does a beautifully eloquent job of that in his article here. It is however about a few stats, some numbers and the resurgence of
In 2008 (ugh what a painful year) our D had 10 (yes 10) sacks all year.
In yesterday's game we had 10 sacks! Think about that for a second (both to reflect on how bad we were in 08, but also how good we are now, how far we have come. In one game we equalled the number of sacks by the entire D for an entire season!
Currently Justin Houston has .5 sacks less than we had as a team in 08, while Tamba Hali has 2.5 sacks less than the 08 squad.
In yesterday's game we had 3 turnovers (interceptions by 3 different players!) upon which we scored 17 points. Not only did we have a pick 6, but also our O (which we all know did not do well yesterday) DID capitalize on each of the turnovers they got and scored points off of it (10 on O and 7 on D).
According to PFF (as of yesterday) somehow Tamba had QB disruptions on 82 snaps (H/T to ArrowSpread for posting that in this thread.) This is simply UNREAL. And I also am not sure how that happens - doesn't it break a law of physics or something?
And everyone is getting into the fun. Even Catapano got a sack to end the game yesterday!
A few comparisons:
In 2009 our D had 22 sacks and were a paltry +1 in takeaways, Currently we have 31 in 1/3 (SWIDT?) of the games.
In 2010 Our D had 38 Sacks and a +9 in Takeaways.
In 2011 we had 29 and -2
And in 2012 we had 27 and were -24!!
To compare currently we have 31 sacks and are +9 in Takeaways!
So what can we take from this? In 6 games we have more sacks than in any season for the past 5. In 6 games we have a much improved (and by a hellovalot) turnover ratio (asides from 2010). In other words we've had a +33 swing from last year. That's unheard of. In 6 games we have not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points on us with half of those games being only 1 score or less! That is recockulously good play by anyone's standard.
One FINAL comparison
The Chiefs 1968 D (arguably the team's best of all time) allowed a franchise low 170pts and a 12.1ppg (granted that's in a 14 game season)
2013 D currently has allowed only 68 points (in 6 games) for a whopping 11.3 ppg.
This D is Sickly Good. And shows no signs of doing anything but getting better. Not only that, but it's on pace (at roughly 5.2 sacks/game) to finish a 16 game season with... 83 sacks. And even better than that, everyone is getting in on the action. Currently 10 defensive players have a sack. 10! Additionally 7 players have contributed to 10 interceptions and 4 players have made forced fumbles. What all this means is that we have players getting in on the feast from every part of our D. And that's tremendously exciting. It's not a D where an opponent has to worry about 1 or 3 players. They have to worry about EVERYONE! A Pick can come from anywhere. Hell a Pick 6 can come from anywhere.
So thank you Chiefsdom for bringing back the NOISE at Arrowhead and restoring our PRIDE. Thank you Chiefs D for playing some serious lights out football. And most importantly. Thank. You. BOB FREAKING SUTTON, for restoring my Faith in the Defensive Unit that I have been missing for so very long.