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Checking in On Former Chiefs DC Gunther Cunningham

When Gunther Cunningham's defense took the field for the Chiefs' final game of the 2008 against the Bengals, he probably knew that his time in Kansas City was limited. He had run out of time, continually fielding poor defenses for the last few years.

The Cincinnati game was Cunningham's final, sub-par farewell. His defense gave up 16 points and a gob of rushing yards in a loss to the league's worst offense.

On January 21st, Cunningham became the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator. The Lions were right there with the Chiefs last season as far as bad defenses go. Has Gunther improved them?

Let's check in to see what Gunther has done with the Lions' D:

Rank 08 Chiefs D 09 Lions D Difference
Yards 31 32 -1
Rushing yards 30 25 +5
Passing yards 28 32 -4
INTs 20 29 -9
Sacks 32 30 +2
1st downs/game 31 31 0
Points/game 29 32 -3

As you can see, there isn't much difference between a Gunther-led Chiefs defense and a Gunther-led Lions defense. Here is a statement you cannot argue with: Gunther Cunningham has fielded some of the worst defenses in the NFL over the last decade.

Here are some comments from Pride of Detroit, our resident Lions blog. Sound familiar?

"I have no faith in either of our coordinators, Scott sucked at St. Louis and Gunther sucked at K.C. I did not understand bringing them in at all. And it shows up every 2nd half, I don`t know what the hell they are adjusting to but it sucks."

Wow, that is spot on in describing the 2008 Chiefs. Remember how we got destroyed nearly every second half because of our team's inability to adjust? Have fun Lions fans.

"The Lions can not generate a pass rush with the front four. So, they are forced to blitz. This leaves holes in the pass coverage. Gunther said himself that he wants to go quarterback hunting. 5 sacks from the position that is suppose to provide most of the pressure, is not getting it done."

This is making me smile this morning. No pass rush Detroit? Hell, you've got 21 sacks this season. Gunther couldn't even get KC half that last year (The Chiefs have 19 sacks so far this year, which is second to last in the league behind Jacksonville's 14).

"I don't see how we can bring Gunther back at this point his blitzes aren't getting through and they leave everybody open."

Yes, Lions fans. We feel your pain.

Clancy Pendergast may not be a serviceable defensive coordinator but at least he doesn't have a tough guy act to go along with poor job performance.

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