KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Normally, when you think of Kansas City Chiefs football, you think of Patrick Mahomes, offense, points.
But that has not been the main reason for their success so far this season.
The Chiefs’ defense is carrying the weight, and it was more than evident on Thursday night in their 19-8 win on over the Denver Broncos.
The Chiefs held Broncos QB Russell Wilson to a dismal stat line, as he went 13/22 with 95 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
They didn’t allow a score until just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“Our defense was incredible tonight, as they have been,” head coach Andy Reid said.
They currently rank second in points per game, allowing a modest 14.7, and fifth in yards per game at only 284.
And the most encouraging sign is that this defense seems to have the ability to reach another level. The group is very young and has depth at almost every position.
Chris Jones is the anchor and not only the best player on the defense, but one of the best in the league.
But the emergence of players like Trent McDuffie, Nick Bolton, L’Jarius Sneed, Justin Reid and more are what have set this unit apart.
“Man, I’m excited for where we’re going. We keep trending in the right direction, guys are getting more comfortable playing with each other and just executing the game plan,” Bolton said.
“Most important thing, we’re having fun while we’re doing it. We keep that up every single week and we’ll be special.”
Bolton finished the game with four tackles, one interception and one pass deflection in his return after missing the last three weeks due to a sprained ankle.
A lot of credit for the defense’s success also goes to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who continues to dial up the correct calls to put them in a position to succeed.
And while the offense—which has left a lot to be desired—continues to find its footing, they continue to credit the defense for holding things down and giving them more opportunities.
“Luckily for us, our defense is playing great so we can go through these growing pains and try to get better and better,” Mahomes said.
“The talent’s there. You can see it in spurts, but we have to learn how to sustain drives, get down in the red zone, score touchdowns and make it easier on our defense to play a little bit more free.”
The Chiefs had five red zone trips that resulted in one touchdown, two field goals and two turnovers.
With Mahomes and Reid as the captain of the ship, you’d have to expect the offense to match the defense and reach the level of play many are accustomed to.