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The Chiefs defense gives up big numbers in the nickel

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A few weeks ago MNChiefsfan pointed out the differences for the Chiefs run defense when they had two defensive linemen on the field vs. three. This stat from ESPN’s NFL Matchup show speaks to some of that and where the Chiefs struggle.

Note that this is yards per play (runs and passes). A few thoughts on this:

  • The Chiefs play a lot of dime, not as much nickel as other teams. Dime is six defensive backs. It’s an interesting philosophical question on whether you load up to stop the run or the pass (hint: it’s the pass).
  • It’s a small sample size. They’ve had 60 nickel snaps this season which is among the lowest in the league.
  • The Chiefs miss Eric Berry in run support. He played more in coverage but when he played closer to the line he did a great job against the run. It shows when you compare him to Daniel Sorensen.
  • Derrick Johnson has a role in this defensive struggle.
  • The Chiefs give up a lot of yards both in the run and the pass. It’s not just one area.
  • Note the second team listed there — Monday night’s opponent, Denver.