Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton addressed what happened in the team’s 31-30 loss to the Oakland Raiders Friday afternoon.
“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” he explained. “We gave up a lot of explosive plays. That’s going to throw things out of whack a little bit, so you’ve got to prevent explosive plays. Sometimes those are skill, sometimes those are matchup.”
The Chiefs gave up a total of 505 net yards, but that yardage included some questionable calls, or non-calls, that went against the Chiefs throughout the game.
“Sometimes a guy makes a great big play, sometimes he might get nudged out of the way,” Sutton added. “All those things could happen, I’m not saying it did, just saying it could.”
Amari Cooper’s push off of Terrance Mitchell for the early 38-yard touchdown comes to mind here. Sutton continued.
“When you throw the ball the first thing you think of is pass defenders, but to do this whole thing you’ve got to apply pressure. You have to be able to rush, you’ve got to get the guy up the spot.”
The Chiefs have recorded just one sack the past two weeks and were held without one against Oakland. Andy Reid noted on Thursday of this week that there needs to be an emphasis on improving this.
“Then a lot of times you allow things to continue because you don’t do a good job on third down. So it’s both things.”
The Raiders were 6 for 13 (46 percent) on third down.
“The first and most important thing is elimination of the big play. Especially big plays that are touchdowns because you have no more chances. That sounds simple and basic, but it’s really true. Get him on there and then you get your chance on third down.”
The Raiders had scores of 38 and 45 yards, plus the key 29-yard catch-and-throw to Jared Cook that allowed for the wild last sequence in which the Raiders finally made it into the end zone.
“We’re actually doing pretty well on the third-and-mediums, the low ones, the forth-and-six, but we’re not doing good on that seven-to-10 range, which would be the opposite of what you would think.
“We’ve got to really hold that down, do a good job and work hard on our ability to rush, ability to pressure, ability to stay tight in coverage. All the things that are tied I think to playing pass defense.”
Sutton’s message was pretty clear: every player needs to be better.