Will Defense Doom the Chiefs in the Playoffs?

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[Learn our predictions for the divisional spherical.]

The Chiefs’ protection completed final or second-to-last in passing yards (four,374), complete yards (6,488) and yards per rush (5.zero). The Chiefs gave up probably the most first downs ever, with 419. And although they ranked 24th in factors ceded, with 421, solely three different groups since 1990, when the playoffs expanded to incorporate six groups from every convention, gave up that many and nonetheless superior to the postseason.

Based on Professional Soccer Reference, solely 13 of the opposite 173 groups to achieve the playoffs since 1990 have fared worse than the Chiefs in at the very least a type of statistical classes, together with Inexperienced’s group from the 2003 season, which allowed 5.2 yards per carry. Except for Kansas Metropolis, the one others to earn a No. 1 seed have been Inexperienced Bay and New England in 2011, and neither received the Tremendous Bowl. In truth, solely one of many 13 — excluding the 2018 Rams, who allowed probably the most yards per rush this season — received a championship: the 2006 Colts, whose robust go protection offset their generosity in opposition to the run.

Plus, they’d that Manning man.

The Chiefs have a man, too — Patrick Mahomes — and that’s a reasonably robust counterargument. However it’s not an impenetrable one, as losses to the Chargers (Kansas Metropolis led by 14 with lower than 9 minutes left) and the Seahawks (Seattle ran for 210 yards) proved.

It’s troublesome figuring out a historic analogue to the 2018 Chiefs, a workforce of such extremes. The closest is likely to be the 2011 Packers, whose main receiver, Greg Jennings, acknowledged the similarities directly. Just like the Chiefs, Inexperienced Bay created a load of turnovers — a league-high 38 — whereas additionally scoring probably the most factors. The Packers additionally gave up extra passing yards and complete yards than Kansas Metropolis did this season.

“The protection acknowledged it greater than even we did as an offense,” Jennings, now an analyst for Fox, stated of the imbalance. “What wanted to be accomplished was what we did. We acknowledged it and we needed to make up for it.”

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