Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs were one game away from getting to the Super Bowl before losing to the Patriots in the AFC title game. Kansas City’s success was all because of their offense. The Chiefs’ offense, which was led by QB Patrick Mahomes, was the number one ranked offense in football. Also, the Chiefs’ offense put up the third-most points in NFL history.
However, as good as the Chiefs’ offense was, their defense was equally bad. Kansas City had the 31st ranked defense in football. In the offseason, the Chiefs made some changes on defense, and it started at the top. Kansas City fired DC Bob Sutton and brought in Steve Spagnuolo to run the defense.
Also, Kansas City made some changes to their personnel on defense. They acquired DE Frank Clark from the Seahawks, who had 8.0 sacks this season. They also brought in Tyrann Mathieu, and his presence has helped stabilize the back end of Kansas City’s defense. The “Honey Badger” was named first-team All-Pro this season.
The Chiefs’ defense went from the 31st ranked defense in 2018 to the 17th ranked defense in 2019. Additionally, the Chiefs allowed 26.3 points per contest last season, but this season, they allowed 19.2 points per game.
This is a different defense in 2019, and according to Mahomes, he’s glad he does not have to go against his defense in a game.
“You get to see all the different schemes and stuff they’re doing,” Mahomes said on Wednesday. “Obviously, they don’t game plan for us, but you get to see the different looks and how the quarterbacks have to combat that. I’m glad I’m not playing against them, I’ll say that.”
With the additions of Clark and Mathieu, Mahomes believes the Chiefs have developed a new mentality.
“You aren’t going to be feeling the best. You aren’t going to be in your perfect, tip-top shape, but you have to have that mentality that every single day you’re going to try to be great,” Mahomes said. “I feel like with this team with Tyrann and with Frank (Clark) and the offensive guys like Travis (Kelce) and Tyreek (Hill), we’ve built this mentality that every single day we’re going to go out there and be the best players we can be.”
The Chiefs will need that mentality if they want to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, and the chance to do that starts Sunday in the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Texans at Arrowhead. Kansas City is a much more balanced team in 2019, which should bode well for them.
Will that balance put them over the top? This next few weeks will give us our answer.