The Kansas City Chiefs defense has been one of the worst defenses in the NFL through four weeks of regular-season play. This was evident against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 when second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 387 yards — a career-high — and two touchdowns in the 42-30 shootout win for the Chiefs.
Kansas City’s defense, which has been bailed out by nine total touchdowns from quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the team’s two wins this season, has been criticized heavily for their lack of quality play this season. Most recently, the criticism has been administered to them in the shape of an offer from one former NFL Pro Bowler, who says he’s willing to un-retire to help them.
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Ryan Clark: I’ll Un-Retire to Help Chiefs Defense
Former NFL safety Ryan Clark, who is now an NFL analyst for ESPN, took a shot at the Chiefs’ defense on Monday, October 4, by saying he could help Kansas City defensively despite being washed up.
“Gonna dust them off and go tryout for the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense,” Clark wrote on Twitter. “Yea, I’m super washed but they can’t be real particular right now. Every able body deserves a proper look. See you guys on Tuesday. Gonna practice these 40 starts, and work my pedal.”
Clark Highlights Chiefs’ Struggles
While Clark is clearly joking about un-retiring, his remarks highlight the struggles that Kansas City is having on the defensive side of the football.
The Chiefs defense ranks 32nd in the league in total points allowed through four weeks, 30th in rushing yards allowed, and 27th in passing yards allowed, according to ESPN. They are 31st in yards per carry allowed (5.4), and 30th in average yards per completion (8.8).
“I think there are areas we got to take care of and it’s more situations we got to take care of and certain coverages and just calls,” head coach Andy Reid said Monday of what the points of emphasis are for Kansas City’s defense moving forward. “So, the scheme and we just tighten that up a little bit I think we’ll be okay. Never quite as good as you think and never as bad as you think. A few tweaks here and there I think we’ll be alright.”
Part of the reason the Chiefs have struggled so much defensively is because of injuries. In Week 4 alone, they were without two of their top 3 cornerbacks — Rashad Fenton and Charvarius Ward — and defensive end Frank Clark missed his third game this season due to a lingering hamstring issue. Tack on the fact that second-year linebacker and starter Willie Gay is still on injured reserve, and Kansas City is far from 100% healthy defensively.
“I think that you play three run teams is a factor to it and that’s probably added to the numbers there,” Reid explained when asked if he felt something was missing along the Chiefs’ defensive line. “I think that you start getting guys back in here and I think you add Frank [Clark] in the equation. Frank was an All-Pro and you’re missing that element, but I think once we get everyone back in there going and kind of in the flow, I think it will pick up a little bit. Second half, I thought it was better. When you look at it, the first half wasn’t quite as good as the second half.”
In Week 5, Kansas City will take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football. Buffalo is averaging 33.5 points per game this season, which is second-best in the league. While five touchdowns against the Eagles from Mahomes was enough for the Chiefs to scrape out a win in Week 4, the Chiefs offense will likely have to score more than 42 points in Week 5 to come out with a win against the Bills based on how their defense has looked this season.
That’s easier said than done.
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