The Kansas City Chiefs are back on track after a big 44-23 win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.
Led by a dominant performance from All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, the Kansas City defense was very impressive. Following the game, Jones said that after the team’s 24-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills a week ago, he was proud of his team’s Week 7 performance.
“I think we gave last week’s game away,” Jones told reporters. “We had so many opportunities late in the game where we could have capitalized — whether it’s [with] a pass rush or a pass we could have caught.
“I think the focal point this week is that we capitalized on those opportunities. It’s a great team that we played today. We know it’s a hostile environment, so we capitalized on those opportunities. We gave ourselves a chance to win.”
The Chiefs finished with five sacks — tying their season-high — while forcing three turnovers. A large part of that was from Jones creating havoc across San Francisco’s offensive line. Kansas City moved him all over the formation, creating mismatches that allowed Jones to get to the quarterback more efficiently. He ended the day with a game-high two sacks — one of which forced a fumble whose recovery helped seal the game.
#95 is unblockable— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) October 23, 2022
Jones credited defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
“You know Spags calls the defense,” said Jones. “We just try to give them a different look. I got a heck of a supporting cast with me — and when they get double-teamed it frees me up to get a one-on-one. My job here is to win the one-on-one.”
But the game didn’t start that way. In the first quarter, the Chiefs were once again facing an early double-digit deficit. At that point in the matchup, the defense’s inability to put pressure on the 49ers’ offense had played a big part in that.
Chiefs with one pressure against Garappolo in nine dropbacks, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Going to be difficult to win today at 11%— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) October 23, 2022
But Jones acknowledged that the challenge of coming from behind provided the spark that caused the Chiefs to come alive — on both offense and defense.
“I think we actually play better when we’re down,” Jones explained. “I don’t like to be down because it puts so much pressure on us to go out and score — or go ahead and make a stop; I guess we like challenging ourselves at this point.
“But no one — no one — got rattled. We came together as a team. I said at the beginning of this year [that] we’re going to face a lot of adversity as a team. But it has continued to build character as a whole.”
The team now gets some well-deserved rest as they head into its Week 8 bye — a break that arrived at just the right time .
“We’re 5-2 right now; we’re in a good spot,” said Jones. “Most importantly, we’re missing a lot of key pieces within this team. A lot of guys are still hurt — banged-up. So we will get those guys back healthy. Everyone can get a little rest, get off their feet, take care of their body — and we can come back and make some strides.”