The Kansas City Chiefs are red hot off their third straight victory and this time, it was all systems go.
Not only did Patrick Mahomes and the offense finally break out in a big way with five passing touchdowns and 406 yards through the air, but the defense also came to play. Steve Spagnuolo’s unit held a potent Las Vegas Raiders offense to 14 points, continuing a string of fantastic performances.
The Chiefs’ defense has gone from the laughing stock of the league to a brick wall in no time. Over the past three weeks, the franchise is averaging just 12.67 points against and that number has only risen to 15.6 since Week 6. KC is 4-1 over that span.
So, how has this defense gone from record bad to a recent strength?
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Mathieu Shows Support for Spags
After the game, team leader Tyrann Mathieu tweeted out a picture of him and Spagnuolo, the Chiefs experienced defensive coordinator. The caption read: “I RIDE WITH MY GUY!!”
It was no secret that Spags faced a ton of criticism after the 2-3 start but the playmaking safety never turned his back on his coach. The Chiefs DC is a 12-year NFL veteran that started with the New York Giants before landing a head coaching job with the St. Louis Rams from 2009 to 2011. He’s been under contract in KC since 2019.
Spagnuolo is as crafty as they come and now that his group is fully healthy, it has looked pretty stout. That includes Chris Jones wreaking havoc once again, Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton in the secondary rather than Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker, and Juan Thornhill over Daniel Sorensen.
It also includes trade deadline addition Melvin Ingram, who has become an impactful piece for the defensive mind. Mathieu spoke on the unit’s progress during his postgame press conference.
Follow the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest KC-related daily content, analysis, features and more!
‘They Don’t Crown Champions in October’
When asked about the current state of this defense, Mathieu stated: “I feel like it’s coming along. I think every year defensively you deal with what teams are going to present to you next, you know what I mean? So it took us a couple — obviously, more than a couple weeks to kind of start to communicate and see what teams are really trying to do against us but we got some good coaches and then the guys we got on our team, they’re all in, so we knew it was going to get there and we still feel like we can be much better.”
The overall vibe from the safety was that this unit has made the necessary adjustments to match their opponents and just from watching them play, that’s very evident. That starts with the coaches and Mathieu credited his often. “Spags is one of those guys I want in my foxhole,” he voiced to reporters.
Mathieu also labeled every game from this point on a “must-win” matchup. “They don’t crown champions in October and November,” the superstar noted, “we knew it was going to take some time, in the last couple years it’s taken us quite some time to kind of start clicking but we believe in it, I think at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.”
The playmaker added later: “Just like the last couple seasons, I see us being one of the better defenses when it matters the most, late in the season.”
If this defense can keep up their recent run of success and this offense starts coming together, watch out NFL. It’s November 14 and the Chiefs are leading the AFC West once again, don’t let them start rolling.