How Great is the Chiefs Defense?

The Chiefs are having an outstanding defensive season, no one can argue that. I set out to find out HOW good of a season compared to great defenses in recent history. I chose the arbitrary date of the year 2000 in which to set my parameters because it's aesthetically pleasing, and it constitutes the year when I started REALLY watching football as I am only 29 right now. And frankly, although football has even changed a lot since 2000, that really marks the point of the pass happy offenses and great QB play. The defenses I selected for this study are well known and I believe I have covered all of the top tier ones, they are as follows:

2000 Baltimore Ravens

2001 Pittsburgh Steelers

2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2005 Chicago Bears

2006 Baltimore Ravens

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers

All of these teams had great defenses, and all specialized in different things, but the one thing that holds true is all of these defenses led their teams to the playoffs and some went deep in the playoffs. I will only cover how these teams did in their first nine games since that is all the evidence we have from our Chiefs, but this is how the teams finished:

  • 2000 Ravens: (12-4) Super Bowl Champions
  • 2001 Steelers: (13-3) Lost AFC Championship
  • 2002 Buccaneers: (12-4) Super Bowl Champions
  • 2005 Bears: (11-5) Lost Division Round
  • 2006 Ravens: (13-3) Lost Division Round
  • 2008 Steelers: (12-4) Super Bowl Champions

This is how each team including the Chiefs have done in their first 9 games:

  • 2000 Ravens: (5-4)
  • 2001 Steelers: (7-2)
  • 2002 Buccaneers: (7-2)
  • 2005 Bears: (6-3)
  • 2006 Ravens: (7-2)
  • 2008 Steelers: (6-3)
  • 2013 Chiefs: (9-0)
Points per Game allowed by these teams in first 9:
  • 2000 Ravens: 10.9
  • 2001 Steelers: 13.2
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 12.1
  • 2005 Bears: 11.9
  • 2006 Ravens: 15.2
  • 2008 Steelers: 15.6
  • 2013 Chiefs: 12.3
Even in the current meta of the pass happy NFL, the Chiefs have a very respectable PPG allowed, and the best in the last 8 NFL seasons.
Most points allowed in any one of first 9 games:
  • 2000 Ravens: 36
  • 2001 Steelers: 21
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 26
  • 2005 Bears: 24
  • 2006 Ravens: 26
  • 2008 Steelers: 24
  • 2013 Chiefs: 17
Big Chief, The Best!!

Yards per Game allowed in first 9 games:

  • 2000 Ravens: 249
  • 2001 Steelers: 228
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 254
  • 2005 Bears: 254
  • 2006 Ravens: 251
  • 2008 Steelers: 240
  • 2013 Chiefs: 326
This stat isn't as nice as some of the ones to follow, but exemplifies to me the bend don't break defense. We have allowed people to move the ball on us but have put up some incredible goal line stands. And let's be honest, you don't like to see your team give up a lot of yards, but ultimately the points allowed is what matters, and we are dominating there. Also, we were allowing 308 ypg until last week's yardage thumping from the Bills, but I'm not a fan of cherry picking and throwing out numbers so 326 is who we are.
Most Yards Allowed in any One Game allowed in first 9 games:
  • 2000 Ravens: 421
  • 2001 Steelers: 299
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 387
  • 2005 Bears: 323
  • 2006 Ravens: 414
  • 2008 Steelers: 290
  • 2013 Chiefs: 470
Again, that 470 spot looks ugly, but before that the most we'd given up was 431 to the Eagles. The nuts thing about these numbers is the 08' Steelers, the most yards they allowed all season was 322 in week 16 in a game they lost to the Titans, 322!!! They did go on to allow 407 yards in the Super Bowl to the Cardinals, in which the Steelers only had 292 yards of offense and the Steelers still won the game. That is one stingy defense.
Now the fun stats, Turnovers Forced in first 9 games:
  • 2000 Ravens: 25
  • 2001 Steelers: 13
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 24
  • 2005 Bears: 20
  • 2006 Ravens: 26
  • 2008 Steelers: 12
  • 2013 Chiefs: 23
As good as those 08' Steelers were, they didn't force near as many turnovers as the Chiefs this year or those two Ravens teams. Chiefs are forcing an incredible amount of turnovers and have by far the best turnover ratio in the NFL, which has been a major key to their success.
Sacks during the first 9 games:
  • 2000 Ravens: 25
  • 2001 Steelers: 19
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 21
  • 2005 Bears: 18
  • 2006 Ravens: 14
  • 2008 Steelers: 30
  • 2013 Chiefs: 36
This is just ridiculous. We are AVERAGING 4 sacks a game. That is an incredible ability to get after the opposing QB, granted that list looks like this: Blaine Gabbert Tony Romo Michael Vick Eli Manning Ryan Fitzpatrick Terrelle Pryor Case Keenum Jason Campbell and Jeff Tuel
A guy that's won 2 SB's, a couple decent guys, and a string of 5 backups. Regardless, the guys are getting paid to get after the QB and they're doing just that, at an astounding rate.
Finally, Defensive Touchdown's in the first 9 games:
  • 2000 Ravens: 0
  • 2001 Steelers: 2
  • 2002 Buccaneers: 4
  • 2005 Bears: 2
  • 2006 Ravens: 4
  • 2008 Steelers: 1
  • 2013 Chiefs: 6
Defensive touchdowns are very fluky and a play that is as much about fortune as anything else. That being said, if you are putting pressure on a team from all angles, and they're consistently playing hurried, and from behind, then you're going to force them to make mistakes. Several teams a year don't even get a defensive touchdown, most teams get 2 or 3 at most. Barely over half way through the season and we have 6! This helps when you have first round draft picks and pro bowlers all over the defense, but is still a testament to this defense. And frankly, we wouldn't have won a couple of those games had our defense not made a huge play.
All of that said, do I think this defense is the best in the 21st century? Probably not, but at this rate definitely in the top 10. Do I think we are going to run the table and go undefeated? No, I do not. Do I think we get a lot of well due publicity and respect? Yes. Do I think ANYONE has made mention to exactly how great this defense really is compared to some of the great ones in recent history? No, but hopefully I just did it a little justice.
This defense is a blast to watch and I can't wait to see how good we do the rest of the season. It does scare me that we haven't really played a real QB in about 6 weeks, and the next one we face is probably the best to ever play the game. That being said, they may surprise us, and we may be talking about this defense at the end of the season as one of the greats of all time. We shall see... Thanks for getting this far. GO 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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