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Opponents Going Up the Middle on Chiefs Rush Defense

Left End Left Tackle Left Guard Up the Middle Right Guard Right Tackle Right End












Plays: 14 Plays: 7 Plays: 5 Plays: 36 Plays: 4 Plays: 4 Plays: 14
NFL Rank: 6 NFL Rank: 22 NFL Rank: 22 NFL Rank: 3 NFL Rank: 27 NFL Rank: 31 NFL Rank: 7
Avg Gain: 4.29 Avg Gain: 3.43 Avg Gain: 3.60 Avg Gain: 3.56 Avg Gain: 3.00 Avg Gain: 3.00 Avg Gain: 2.21
NFL Rank: 15 NFL Rank: 17 NFL Rank: 20 NFL Rank: 14 NFL Rank: 12 NFL Rank: 9 NFL Rank: 6

 

When the Kansas City Chiefs moved to the 3-4 defense eariler this year, I didn't know a whole lot about the scheme itself.  But, one thing did stick out at me - If there's only three down linemen, instead of four, wouldn't the run defense suffer?  Now, in the 3-4, there's two huge gaps between the nose tackle and each end.

It seemed to me at the time that, while an important goal of a defense is rushing the passer, which the 3-4 is designed to help, the Chiefs run defense would take a hit.

And then my next thought was how would a defense that gave up the second worst yards per carry average in the NFL take a hit?

As I learned more about the 3-4, I realized my simplistic view of the scheme wasn't necessarily correct and, with inside linebackers and such, the run defense shouldn't suffer.

The nose tackle is a major, major part of this defense and, as the chart above illustrates, teams recognize that when they're playing the Chiefs.  Only two other teams in the NFL have been attacked up the middle more than the Chiefs.  How are we doing so far?  Middle of the pack which, if you watched the Chiefs in 2008, you'll gladly take.

I don't have a major point to make here.  I just wanted to bring this to your attention before tonight's game.  TheRams won't be running all their starters on the field but the way they attack the Chiefs shouldn't change.  

If the average keeps up, the Rams should take aim and Tank TylerRon Edwards and Derek Lokey about 12 times tonight.

Just for curiosity's sake, let's take a look at what the Rams do running the ball:

Left End Left Tackle Left Guard Up the Middle Right Guard Right Tackle Right End












Plays: 10 Plays: 6 Plays: 9 Plays: 22 Plays: 15 Plays: 17 Plays: 8
NFL Rank: 16 NFL Rank: 23 NFL Rank: 14 NFL Rank: 15 NFL Rank: 4 NFL Rank: 2 NFL Rank: 22
Avg Gain: 5.60 Avg Gain: 16.17 Avg Gain: 2.44 Avg Gain: 3.05 Avg Gain: 3.47 Avg Gain: 1.94 Avg Gain: 1.13
NFL Rank: 14 NFL Rank: 1 NFL Rank: 24 NFL Rank: 23 NFL Rank: 13 NFL Rank: 29 NFL Rank: 31