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Halfway Home: Chiefs Have Five Sacks in 2009

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Yes, folks, the Kansas City Chiefs are well on their way to forgetting their record for futility in 2008 where they only sacked the quarterback an NFL record low 10 times.

(People forget that the original record was set in a 12 game season almost 30 years ago)

The Chiefs defense has tallied five sacks in four games this season.  That puts the projected total at 20, or double their previous year's total.  

Some of that can be contributed to the scheme, some of it can be contributed to the players and some to the coaching.  Whatever it is, it's working better than last year.  It's certainly not perfect.  Not by a long shot.  But the Chiefs are making progress and leading the way is defensive-end-turned-linebacker Tamba Hali.

Seriously. Did any of you expect Tamba Hali to amount to anything as an outside 'backer in a 3-4 defense?  I'll admit it. I didn't.  I mean, what is there about Hali prior to the change that would indicate he would make this transition so well?  There's nothing.  I didn't think he had the speed or experience necessary to make the switch but he's proving me wrong (and I'm fine with that).

In the predator position this season, he's been the biggest bright spot on the defense.  Two sacks (team leader through four games) and two forced fumbles (team leader through four games) are making a few folks take notice, including head coach Todd Haley.

I was one of the folks that pointed to Hali's statistical regression (8.5/8/2 sacks in three years) as a reason for him to be given the boot sooner rather than later.  This year?  He's on pace for eight sacks.  Well done, Mr. Hali.

Haley has been complimentary of Hali this season and for good reason.  To my recollection, Hali hasn't spoken to the media for some time and has worked hard since the switch to the 3-4.  Sounds like chef Haley's recipe for success.