Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/17/13
Look there are a dozen reasons this whole thing will be as outdated as a flip-phone soon enough but while the numbers line up we might as well say it out loud: This Chiefs’ defense has a chance to go down as one of the best in recent NFL memory. Honest. Now we’re all adults here. We all know the Chiefs’ first six opponents included the Jaguars and maybe two playoff teams (the Titans and someone from the awful NFC East) while their next 10 opponents include five currently in the top five in offense (starting this week against the Texans and peaking with two games against the Broncos). So what the Chiefs are doing at the moment is a bit like leading a marathon at mile six but well after years of throwing up in the sponsors’ tent by this point it’s worth taking a moment to recognize that this defense isn’t just fueling a 6-0 start it’s playing at a historic pace. On Wednesday Tamba Hali was announced as the AFC’s defensive player of the week. That means that between Hali and fellow linebacker Justin Houston the Chiefs have won the award three of a possible six times. And Houston was chosen defensive player of the month for September. The turnaround is nothing short of astonishing the combination of a strengthened secondary and a major shift in philosophy toward organized chaos. Hali often talks of a specific change: from poring over film a year ago for better understanding of opponents to a new aggressiveness that forces offenses to do the reacting. The best way to illustrate the change might be to point out that the defense has given up seven touchdowns and five field goals while scoring four touchdowns of their own and forcing turnovers that gave the offense the ball in plus-territory 11 other times. Think of it like this: Opponents have been 50 percent more likely to turn the ball over than to manage even a field goal against the Chiefs regardless of field position.
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