After struggling for much of the season, Kansas City’s defense has started to turn things around in the last two weeks.
The Chiefs allowed just 17 points in their win over the Giants in Week Eight. And they surrendered only seven to the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers on Sunday, also picking up a pair of turnovers.
“The last two weeks, I think the guys have played better,” head coach Andy Reid said in his Monday press conference. “Some of it is just getting the guys back on the field as a unit. Getting ’24’ [Melvin Ingram] in there I think helped. That’s a nice addition. If you can add a Pro Bowl-type player in on the defensive line, it surely can’t hurt, and he got quite a few snaps in there on nickel situations. But they’re playing well together, and I think [defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] ‘Spags’ is doing a nice job with the game plans.”
Ingram played 29 snaps in his Chiefs debut, recording one tackle. Getting Ingram to play on the edge has given Kansas City the freedom to have Chris Jones slide back to defensive tackle for more plays. He had performed well there for the last couple of years but had kicked out to defensive end to begin 2021.
“We talked to Chris and Chris just wants to do what’s best and help out wherever he can,” Reid said. “He played inside; he played a couple snaps outside. He sure did a nice job there; I mean that’s what I thought. I appreciate his attitude on that as he goes forward.”
Jones recorded a pair of tackles and two QB hits in Sunday’s win.
Some of Kansas City’s defensive success can be attributed to its last two opponents. The Giants are far from world-beaters on offense and Jordan Love was making his first start at quarterback.
But those two performances are better than the alternative, especially as the Chiefs have scored only 33 points in the last two weeks and 36 in their last three dating back to the loss to Tennessee.
The defensive improvement will need to continue against Las Vegas on Sunday if Kansas City is to improve to 6-4.