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3 things we want to see from the Chiefs’ defense against the Giants

On this week’s Out of Structure podcast, we detailed three things we want to see from the defense on Monday night.

NFL: SEP 26 Chargers at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the latest episode of the Arrowhead Pride Out of Structure podcast, Stephen Serda and I previewed the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 8 matchup with the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

Before answering your questions from Twitter, we talked about what we want to see from both sides of the ball. Here are the three things we discussed about the defense:

1. Nick Bolton and Willie Gay’s continued development

With starting MIKE linebacker Anthony Hitchens out another week with the tricep injury, rookie Nick Bolton should once again be starting in his place — and we don’t believe the Chiefs should look back.

Bolton’s exceptional run defense is more impactful than Hitchens’ play — although neither of them is known for their coverage ability. If the Chiefs want their best players on the field, they need to strongly consider keeping Bolton as the starting MIKE.

As for Willie Gay, he is slowly getting back in the swing of things — but as he does, he is putting himself into positions to make plays; his Week 7 interception was just an example.

It’d be nice to see another step forward in a game where the opposing quarterback’s rushing ability could be neutralized with Gay’s athleticism.

2. Pass rush making an impact

With defensive ends Chris Jones and Frank Clark back from injuries that have plagued the beginning of their seasons, it feels like the pass-rushing unit has quietly gathered some momentum in recent weeks — and this game could be where it finally turns into production.

The Giants have three of their Week 1 starting offensive linemen sidelined with injuries. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ pass rush against the Titans — a game in which they were more worried about being gap-sound against Derrick Henry than penetrating — was neutralized by Tennessee’s effective play-action game.

The Giants don’t have a legitimate rushing threat — and quarterback Daniel Jones tends to hold on to the ball for too long. If the Chiefs can’t get some production from their pass rushers in this game, there’s little hope we’ll ever see any this season.

3. Coming out of the gate fast

In the last three games, the Chiefs’ defense has played well in each second half. While it’s a nice silver lining, it’s one that is almost irrelevant; their first-half performances were mostly bad.

We need to see the defense come out with a strong start — just as they did against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3. That will help the Chiefs’ offense from getting into an early hole and pressing — which has led to turnovers — while the defense can help itself by playing with a lead, forcing the Giants to rely on their passing game.

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