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Anthony Hitchens says defensive line is making life easier

Kansas City’s veteran linebacker said the front four’s dominance helps every level of the defense.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Make that eight consecutive wins for the best team in football.

Yes, you read that correctly.

We haven’t been able say that with confidence since Week 1. Obviously, the season didn’t begin as planned; out of the gate, the Kansas City Chiefs struggled.

But following their 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon, the Chiefs are 11-4 — and for the sixth straight season, are also AFC West champions. Lately, the offense has started to look like itself again. But it was the defense that jump-started the team — and it’s still playing lights out.

“Yeah, I mean, it means a lot,” Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitches told reporters after the game. “Anytime you want to get to your goals at the end of the year, this is the first step. This is the first step for our organization and our team. We’re not done. We’re not satisfied. We’ll enjoy this one tonight like any other week — and then we’ll turn the page.”

Hitchens — a leader of this defense — totaled five tackles on Sunday, including one for a loss. Star defensive tackle Chris Jones — who cleared the league’s COVID protocols earlier this week —- made his presence felt up front.

“Our front four has been dominating,” stressed Hitchens. “The more they dominate, the easier it is for everyone else. We can sit back in two-high — and we don’t have to bring eight guys in the box. We don’t have to pressure as much when those guys are dominating... when they are playing well it definitely helps our defense — and our team.”

The Steelers were only able to garner 10 points — and their lone touchdown came when the game was way out of reach. Considering all of the week’s unknown factors, the Chiefs’ coaching staff deserves lots of credit for having their players prepared.

But Hitchens didn’t want to give all the credit to the coaches.

“I don’t think it’s just coaches,” he said. “At the end of the day, players got to play. There’s a lot of guys that stepped in and did what they were supposed to do. I wouldn’t sit here and say it’s all coaches or players. I think it’s a combination of everyone putting in the work to get this win.”

But next week, the Kansas City defense faces a tall task against the suddenly-hot Cincinnati Bengals offense — whose quarterback Joe Burrow threw for over 500 yards and five touchdowns in Sunday’s 41-21 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.