While the Kansas City Chiefs were preparing for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 we heard from a few Romeo Crennel-coached players who said his approach to Peyton Manning is to simply sit back and coverage and not blitz him. So the Chiefs did that and were relatively successful against him in the loss.
It's not just the Colts against whom the Chiefs are stressing coverage. ESPN's John Clayton included this nugget about the Chiefs defense in his latest column at ESPN.com.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Chiefs have blitzed less than any team in football. Crennel has rushed an extra defender on only 18.9 percent of the pass plays. Last year, D-coordinator Clancy Pendergast blitzed on 32.4 percent of the pass plays, but quarterbacks had a 106.2 rating against Kansas City. This year, opponents are completing only 46.3 percent of their passes against Chiefs blitzes.
That's nearly cutting your blitzes in half. It's apparently working considering the Chiefs brought back largely the same defense from last year (albeit a year older). If the last few years are any indication, the Chiefs are not a team that can consistently blitz the quarterback anyway so I've liked the defensive game plan to this point. It also highlights how much Tamba Hali is excelling.
It seems simple but playing it safe and keeping the ball in front of you has worked well for the Chiefs.