KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With just 29 snaps, one tackle and only two quarterback pressures against the Green Bay Packers, Melvin Ingram didn’t fill up the stat sheet in his Arrowhead debut. But with defensive linemen, their impact can’t solely be judged by stats.
And because of Ingram’s play in that short amount of time, Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo says he can finally open up the playbook on third down.
“We didn’t add any different calls if I’m being honest, but we just kind of got him oiled up to execute the ones that we have had. We haven’t always been able to run our whole 3rd down package, and a lot of that is dictated by how long that third down is,” Spagnuolo said.
“There was a string here where we were in a lot of 3rd down and I’m going to say one to five. I think last week we got into some longer ones, I mean, some 3rd and 8s, and 3rd and 12s. Those are a little bit more manageable for us than for them. So, if we can keep getting more of those to do some more things, I think what Melvin [Ingram] does will feed into those particular calls.”
Letting loose Ingram as he keeps learning the playbook can let loose Chris Jones who had five QB pressures and two stops.
“We’re still going to have some flexibility with Chris [Jones]. I don’t think we’re going to lose that, but it does allow us, even in the game he was inside more than he was outside, but we’re not going to restrict him to one spot. To be honest with you, he’s going to move around,” Spagnuolo said.
The next test for the defense will be Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Raiders offense is in the middle of the pack ranking 17th in the NFL in total offense. They are also coming off of a 23-16 loss to the 3-6 New York Giants who the Chiefs beat just two weeks ago.
With the Chiefs holding their last two opponents to 24 combined points, safety Tyrann Mathieu says the defense is gaining confidence game by game.
“It’s good, obviously, it’s getting stronger. Anytime you can put together two solid games back-to-back, that consistency starts to add up, but yeah man, we just continue to push forward, just trying to get better at playing together, communicating,” Mathieu said.
The defense will be looking to extend their streak of solid games against the Raiders on Sunday night.