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On Pro Football: Will Defense Doom the Chiefs in the Playoffs?

[Learn our predictions for the divisional spherical.]

The Chiefs’ protection completed final or second-to-last in passing yards (four,374), general yards (6,488) and yards consistent with rush (five.zero). The Chiefs gave up probably the most first downs ever, with 419. And although they ranked 24th in issues ceded, with 421, most effective 3 different groups since 1990, when the playoffs expanded to incorporate six groups from each and every convention, gave up that many and nonetheless complicated to the postseason.

In step with Professional Soccer Reference, most effective 13 of the opposite 173 groups to succeed in the playoffs since 1990 have fared worse than the Chiefs in no less than a kind of statistical classes, together with Inexperienced’s team from the 2003 season, which allowed five.2 yards consistent with raise. With the exception of Kansas Town, the one others to earn a No. 1 seed had been Inexperienced Bay and New England in 2011, and neither gained the Tremendous Bowl. In truth, most effective some of the 13 — except the 2018 Rams, who allowed probably the most yards consistent with rush this season — gained 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 horny robust counterargument. But it surely’s now not an impenetrable one, as losses to the Chargers (Kansas Town led by way of 14 with not up to 9 mins left) and the Seahawks (Seattle ran for 210 yards) proved.

It’s tricky figuring out a historic analogue to the 2018 Chiefs, a crew of such extremes. The nearest may well be the 2011 Packers, whose main receiver, Greg Jennings, identified the similarities directly. Just like the Chiefs, Inexperienced Bay created a load of turnovers — a league-high 38 — whilst additionally scoring probably the most issues. The Packers additionally gave up extra passing yards and general yards than Kansas Town did this season.

“The protection identified it greater than even we did as an offense,” Jennings, now an analyst for Fox, mentioned of the imbalance. “What had to be achieved used to be what we did. We identified it and we needed to make up for it.”

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