Some Kansas City Chiefs players said they weren’t tough enough in the run against Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some said it didn’t have anything to do with toughness. Some said it was about the gaps. Others said there weren’t big gaps.
Whatever the reason, Bell ran all over the Chiefs to the tune of 179 yards on 32 carries. Bell picked up 65 yards on one early scoring drive and the Chiefs did seem to slow him down in the second half. But the story of this game is about Bell beating the Chiefs run defense.
Since everyone had a different reason as to why, here is a collection of quotes from Chiefs defensive players on what went wrong against Bell and the Steelers run game.
LB Dee Ford: “He makes great cuts. He is a great back. We just weren’t gap sound at the end of the day. And you can’t not be gap sound against a great running back like that.”
CB Marcus Peters: “Y’all keep worrying about last year. We were just worried about stopping him today. The past doesn’t matter anymore. It is a new day. We came out here and just didn’t get it done.”
More Peters: “He ran the ball well. That’s why they need to pay him.”
LB Frank Zombo: “When you are down in the game, they are going to go into their four-minute offense. They are going to run the ball a lot more with more power type of runs. We loaded the box up with more people, with bigger people so we can get the ball back with more time on the clock.”
DE Chris Jones: “Just running the ball. We didn’t play up to our standards. We need to come back and reevaluate and be ready for Thursday.”
LB Derrick Johnson: “You know what, they didn’t do anything we didn’t practice. They just stayed with it. They stayed with it. At the end of the day. It wasn’t gaping holes. It was getting off of a block too late on this, not getting to the right gap on this, not getting over quick enough, and not recognizing what they were going to do. Their game plan was very simple, go punch the Chiefs in the mouth and see what they can do. We didn’t respond well enough early. It got better during the game in key moments but it’s not good enough.”