Tamba Hali Kansas City Chiefs

Offense grabs headlines, but D is the story

I don’t know if even the most optimistic Kansas City Chiefs fans had the team down at 3-0 at the bye week.

But that’s exactly where this team is after Sunday’s exciting 31-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

It was a win that had a little bit of everything, as the Chiefs pulled out all the stops.

Did you want to see Matt Cassel play better? How do three touchdown passes and 250 yards work for you? What about a quarterback rating of more than 111?

How about allowing Jamaal Charles to touch the ball more? Nearly 100 yards rushing, including some huge plays catching the ball out of the backfield.

Looking for some more Dexter McCluster? Hopefully you saw him hitting the turbo button soaring into the end zone on one of the most exciting plays of the game in the second quarter.

Even Dwayne Bowe made a third quarter appearance, catching a 45 yard touchdown pass.

Offensively, it was as if offensive coordinator Charlie Weis woke up this morning and realized what he had with this offense.

However, it wasn’t the offense I was truly worried about coming into Sunday. It was the defense. My worries were unfounded.

Tamba Hali sacked Alex Smith three times. Glenn Dorsey, Ron Edwards and Shaun Smith dominated up front. Frank Gore never got going. Brandon Flowers was a force in the secondary. San Francisco never had a chance in this one. And it was because of the defense.

What defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has done is nothing short of miraculous. This was one of the worst defenses in the league last year. Now, it’s one of the best in scoring defense. But he’s done something more important.

He’s restored this team’s identity.

In the 2000s, then head coach Dick Vermeil changed the identity of the Kansas City Chiefs. They went from hard-nosed, blue collar to fun and gun. Priest Holmes, Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez racked up a lot of numbers. But one number never increased – playoff wins.

When the Chiefs were winning playoff games in the early 1990s, it was because of the defense. And I think it’s something Kansas City needs in order to be successful.

Everyone loves watching good offense. But this is a town that loves its defense.

Can you imagine Pittsburgh without a good defense? That’s kind of how I see this team. Defense is its identity. Crennel gave that identity back.

So while everyone is going to ooh and ahh about what happened to that offense this week, the bigger story – and the one everyone is ignoring in order to gripe about things offensively – is what this defense has turned into.

And now Crennel has two weeks to get ready for one of the biggest tests his defense is going to get all year – against the Indianapolis Colts on the road.

No matter what the offense does in that game – or in any other – it’s going to be this team’s defense that is going to set the tone and keep this team afloat for a playoff berth.

One thing is for certain. In an offseason with a great draft and some good free agent signees, Romeo Crennel has been the top offseason acquisition for this team to this point.

6 Comments Say Something
  • good read

    The turnaround so far really has been remarkable on defense.. but we'll see if it keeps up. it's far from a certainty. lets still keep in mind that this is the same front 7 that got run over last year by everyone. If we can hold the Colts under 30, i'd be thrilled.

  • Great Read, Jason.

    I'm right there with you… Until the Niners game, I found myself wondering if this defense was for real… I haven't re-watched the game yet, but with a case of Miller Lite, pizza, friends and other assorted snacks… I found nothing to complain about with this Chiefs defense.

    49ers fans were even complaining throughout the game about their offensive line not giving Alex Smith enough time to throw… That's a good sign for Chiefs fans.

    The Chiefs absolutely shut down Gore in the running game (although he had more than 100 yards receiving), which was key, and the biggest test for the defense… Maybe for the entire season!

    It's no surprise that when, way back on Sept. 6, Chiefs Command asked Chiefs fandom, <a title="Charlie Weis or Romeo Crennel: Bigger Impact as Chiefs Coordinator?" href="/chiefs-blog/offense/charlie-weis-of-romeo-crennel-bigger-impact-as-chiefs-coordinator/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Charlie Weis or Romeo Crennel: Bigger Impact as Chiefs Coordinator?, that fans chose Crennel at a 75% clip. While KC loved the high-flying offense of Dick Vermiel… We would rather wins playoff games, and we've seen defense is the place to start that journey.

  • Offense grabs headlines, but Defense is the story http://chiefscommand.com/chiefs-blog/off... #49ers #NFL #KC #Chiefs Blog by @jasontarwater

  • RT @ChiefsCommand: Offense grabs headlines, but Defense is the story http://chiefscommand.com/chiefs-blog/off... #49ers #NFL #KC #Chiefs Blog by @jasontarwater

  • You know what they say, defense wins championships. The Patriots proved that – even that defense got NO credit and Brady got all of it. How are they doing with an awesome offense and no defense?

    If the Chiefs have a chance against the Colts, it will be because of the defense.

  • The same players are on hand to make up the front 7 but DJ and Belcher are better than Demorrio Williams and Corey Mays, Glenn Dorsey is much better, Shaun Smith is an upgrade. The Chiefs can do better than Ron Edwards but he had a good day as well.

    I think that Romeo Crennel has managed this group of defenders better and they have matured and adjusted to the 3-4 defense. I am not ready to give the DC all the credit but the defense functions much better as a unit. They were rushing the passer with three guys and no blitz and the Niners struggled to block them.

    I would hope that Pittsburgh is the benchmark the Chiefs strive to reach. They have an elite safety prospect that could be that Polamalu element. Perhaps next year they will have the depth.

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