Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs’ Defense: The Good, Bad, And Ugly

The Las Vegas Raiders will wrap up their 2022 campaign this weekend against their bitter rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a franchise more disliked throughout Raider Nation than Kansas City. Unfortunately, as has been common over the past decade, the Chiefs’ 2022 season has been far more impressive. The Raiders were eliminated from playoff contention last week but still have the opportunity to play spoiler this week, as the Chiefs need a win to secure the first overall seed. If the Raiders want to win this game, they’ll need to repeat their Week 5 success. Here are the good, bad, and ugly from that unit.

The Good? Kansas City Can Stop the Run

While this group as a whole had a less than stellar season, there is one thing they excel at. The Chiefs have allowed the ninth-fewest rushing yards per game in the league, just a tad less than 108 per game. Kansas City also gives up the seventh fewest first downs via running plays per game, at six. Finally, the Chiefs have given up the fifth-fewest rushing touchdowns in the league this season.

Now, this presents an intriguing matchup. Las Vegas currently carries the leading rusher across the entire league in Josh Jacobs. He’s had a little bit more of a struggle in the past two games, although those were both difficult matchups. Las Vegas ran the ball very well against this defense in week five, and had they stuck to it, they might have won the game. Hopefully, they won’t suffer the same fate.

The Bad? The Chiefs’ Defense Can’t Stop The Pass

Now, Kansas City is not nearly as impressive against the pass. They give up 223 passing yards per game, which ranks them in the bottom half of the league. Kansas City gives up the fifth-most completions per game and has given up the most passing touchdowns in the league.

This contest may come down to whether the Raiders are able to move the ball through the air or not. Jarrett Stidham looked sharp in his first career start against one of, if not the best, passing defenses in the NFL. With that, it makes sense that he’s got Raider Nation hyped up.

Derek Carr and Adams connected on several long balls in Week 5. With a quarterback that can now extend plays and a fully healthy receiving unit, the Raiders are set up for success here. There’s no reason the Raiders should struggle to move the ball through the air on Saturday against the Chiefs’ defense.

The Ugly? Automatic Points in the Red Zone

The Chiefs’ offense is so dominant that their defense just has to be pedestrian in order to win. Truth be told, if this defensive unit were attached to an offense, like the 2022 Raiders, for example, they’d probably miss the playoffs.

One of the reasons for that is their underwhelming red-zone defense. Once an offense gets inside the 20, Kansas City really struggles to keep them out of the end zone. The Chiefs currently have the worst opponent red-zone TD percentage. Kansas City gives up a touchdown on nearly 70% of drives that reach the red zone.

Red-zone scoring has been one of the low points of the Raiders’ offense for a couple of seasons now. Again, though, Stidham looked good last week, and this is a very favorable matchup. For the Raiders to keep up with the Chiefs’ offense, they’ll have to take advantage of their opportunities in the red zone.

Raiders’ Josh McDaniels Praises Jarrett Stidham’s Teamwork Trait

*Top Photo: ESPN/NFL

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