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Kansas City Chiefs Front Seven Evaluation: Preseason Week 1 - First Half


Dear Clark and Scott, thanks for signing Tamba and making this awesome Christoffer banner relevant for awhile.

It. Is.  Back!  That's right, the KPM has returned for yet another season for those out there (like me) that like to see our Chiefs numerically once a week.  For those new readers out there, I formulated a system last year that I use to go through each defensive snap and assign points based on each players actions during that play.  That system is located here.  Each week during the season, I will sit down and watch each play in detail and tabulate the scores.  Obviously, I will be limited to the feed that the standard fan is privy, so please, keep your complaints about "game tape" to yourself.

These preseason weeks will differ slightly from the standard regular season posts.  As there are so many players shifting in and out of the game, I won't be doing a player by player breakdown (might do one in the 3rd game if consistent players are on the field).  Also, because there are such an incredible number of players to keep track of, I have only tabulated the first half.   Because of this, it means I will not be assigning an MVP, and I will not do a running tally for KPM and KPM/Snap.  Call me lazy, suggest I ran out of beer, whatever.  It's preseason for me, too.  =)

Alright, on to the good stuff!


  • 80.5% of the time, the Chiefs were in a 3-4 defense
  • 19.5% of the time, the Chiefs were in a nickel defense
  • The team played a whopping 36 defensive plays in the first half.
  • The very first defensive play of the game, there are some surprises on the field: no Dorsey, no Gregg, no DJ, and no Tamba. Toribio and Gales (!) get the start on the line, and Demorrio and Walters get the start at linebacker.
  • Play #1 is exact what I've been harping on all offseason. Tyson takes a great step forward, secures the tackle/guard double team, and Studebaker is free to get deep into the backfield. Now, Andy missed a tackle, then Demorrio missed a tackle, so the play resulted in a gain, but Tyson allowed both linebackers to get to the running back freely, and he didn't give up any ground.
  • 3rd and 3, and the Chiefs line up in the first nickel formation of the game. Tyson and rookie Allen Bailey are the down linemen, Studebaker and Walters at outside linebacker, Justin Cole at inside linebacker, and Donald Washington lining up as a hybrid safety/linebacker. Very interesting. Solid pass rush up the gut from Tyson and Bailey, and great coverage by Kendrick Lewis.
  • After a turnover deep in Chiefs territory, and a short gain on 1st down, the defense dropped everyone but the defensive line into coverage. None of the three down linemen could beat their man, giving Freeman plenty of time to scan the field. As he ran to the sidelines, Walters looked lost and went the other direction. Good coverage, poor pass rush, poor contain. Full team to blame for that TD.
  • Walters dropping into coverage again after the second fumble, and he loses track of the running back in the flat. He just looks confused when he's dropping back so far.
  • Bailey grabbed an unorthodox double team in his first 3-4 snap spelling Tyson, but it allowed Belcher to fill the gap and line up the running back...for a missed tackle.
  • Toribio with back to back free men in short yardage situations. He's not helping a linebacker corps that is struggling to read the game early.
  • After a play action pass completion, Sheffield is in for Studebaker, Siler is in for Belcher, and Greenwood is in for Demorrio. On that play, Bailey let a man through and got pancaked. Ouch.
  • Great blitz by Greenwood up the gut on a 3rd and 1 to force an incompletion and keep it to a field goal. He looked pretty quick there.
  • Siler fights through yet another free man left by Toribio and gets to the gap to slow the play down. Good fight.
  • Walters again in coverage, loses his man and allows a pass completion again.
  • At the start of the second quarter, Justin Cole took Siler's spot. Tampa Bay still has their starting offense in the field, so these 2nd and 3rd string players are getting some good reps.
  • Not part of the front seven, but Quentin Lawrence with two key stops on passing plays to his side. The passes were completed (smoke route and a screen pass), but he made solid tackles on plays he couldn't have gotten to the pass.
  • Piscatelli playing the hybrid safety role in the nickel at the start of the second quarter.
  • To contrast Walters, Sheffield is looking comfortable in coverage. He's dropping back and taking away options.
  • Justin Houston now in the game in the nickel situation, taking over for Sheffield. On the next 3-4 snap, Houston stayed in the game, and Eric Bakhtiari came in the game for Walters.
  • There is such little pressure coming towards the Tampa Bay quarterbacks. They have all day to throw, and it's accentuating the fact that the Chiefs have very little in the way of rushing outside of Hali, Gilberry, and Dorsey.
  • And on the very next play, it's a Bakhtiari sack. Right on cue.
  • The very next play, Gales blows right by his man for the second negative yardage play in a row. Well done there.
  • Amara Kamara takes over for Cory Greenwood on a 3rd and 14. Chiefs still in the 3-4 on 3rd and long.
  • Houston with the pressure on 3rd and 14. Good 3 down stand by the Chiefs there.
  • After the safety, Powe comes in for Toribio, Amon Gordon comes in for Bailey, and Brandon Bair comes in for Gales.
  • Right off the bat, both Powe and Bair grab a double team, Houston seals the edge, and Cole steps into the free space to stop the quarterback for a short gain.
  • Houston is very comfortable with the read and react element of his game. He just diagnosed a passing play and shifted himself back into coverage, watching the running back out in the flat. His backpedal was quick, and after the pass went away from him, he was quick to get 8 yards downfield to make the tackle.
  • POWE SMASH!!! Great play to grab the double team and hold it when the run started, preventing linebackers from being picked up. The quarterback out runs most of our team, but Powe busts his ass to get down the field and make a stop to save the touchdown. Nice technique, then nice hustle by the rookie.
  • An odd nickel front on 1st and goal: Gales and Bailey in the dirt, Houston, Walters, and Sheffield as outside linebackers with Cole as an inside linebacker. Play is an all out blitz for a no gain stop by Piscatelli.
  • Reverting to the 3-4, Powe grabs ANOTHER double team, Bair grabs another one as well, and a combination of Houston and Greenwood stuff the play at the line of scrimmage. Good stuff.
KPM Rankings

Defensive Line:

Dion Gales 8
Jerrell Powe 6
Brandon Bair 4
Allen Bailey 0
Amon Gordon 0
Tyson Jackson 0
Anthony Toribio -8


Justin Houston 6
Cory Greenwood 5
Eric Bahktiari 4
Cameron Sheffield 3
Brandon Siler 2
Jovan Belcher 0
Amara Kamara 0
Andy Studebaker 0
Justin Cole -2
Pierre Walters -2
Demorrio Williams -4

KPM/Snap Rankings

Defensive Line:

Jerrell Powe 1.00
Brandon Bair 0.67
Dion Gales 0.27
Allen Bailey 0.00
Amon Gordon 0.00
Tyson Jackson 0.00
Anthony Toribio -0.33

Justin Houston 0.38
Brandon Siler 0.33
Eric Bahktiari 0.29
Cory Greenwood 0.23
Cameron Sheffield 0.21
Jovan Belcher 0.00
Amara Kamara 0.00
Andy Studebaker 0.00
Justin Cole -0.08
Pierre Walters -0.09
Demorrio Williams -0.50


Well, there's the first half against Tampa Bay.  Powe and Houston showed really well, Gales played better than expected, Bahktiari came out of nowhere and caught my eye, and Toribio and Walters were less than stellar.  I'd like to see some of these guys get more snaps with the starters (including Tyson, Belcher, Siler, Powe, and Bair), but I think the mission was accomplished in the first half by Haley.  Lots of guys who likely won't see the field outside of special teams got good reps against a good 1st string offense, and that's nothing to turn your nose up at.  Here's hoping for our bigger names to get some good reps this coming week!

Thanks for reading, and GO CHIEFS!

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