KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs’ 2019 season has started with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo trying to implement big changes, with mixed results.
Add a bunch of injuries, including one to Patrick Mahomes, and the result was a modest six wins after 10 games.
The Chiefs were on their way to a Super Bowl victory, however.
This year’s edition also had a yield of 6-4 after 10 weeks.
Injuries to Chris Jones, Frank Clark and Clyde Edwards-Helaire hurt the Chiefs, both in defense and offense.
“I wouldn’t say specifically that I brought it up,” said head coach Andy Reid, of the identical records from 2019 and 2021.
“I understand, but you’re so focused on preparing for the next game that those things don’t necessarily have an impact.
“In the large portrait, yes. But when you have to be ready to take on a good club, you spend every minute trying to master your games and understand their games, learning about their players. You spend endless hours on it. «
Reid should have time to think about it, the Chiefs (7-4) being in a week of respite.
In 2019, the Chiefs flourished when the defense adjusted and when the offense was once again able to rely on Mahomes.
They won their last match before their week off (which was also in Week 12).
They then beat the Raiders on their return from the break, en route to a grand Super Bowl triumph.
This year’s version of the Chiefs is also heavily reliant on defense, which has helped the team win their last four games.
KC (7-4) limited four consecutive rivals to 301 yards or less.
The Chiefs delivered their best game of the season last week against a top offense, beating the Cowboys 19-9.
Dallas made three turnovers and had just 276 yards.
Melvin Ingram and Frank Clark torment the opponents’ aerial attack. This allowed Chris Jones to return to his more natural tackling position; Jones also had three and a half sacks, caused a fumble and picked up a ball against the Cowboys.
In the linebacker squad, second-round pick Nick Bolton gave the Chiefs the kind of athleticism rarely seen since Derrick Johnson retired.
Jarius Sneed shines at the cornerback, which also helps safety back Tyrann Mathieu wreak havoc in defense.
“I’m not trying to blame the injuries, but it’s always better when you can have straight weeks with the same guys,” said Spagnuolo.
“When you can get a volume of training with the same guys, talking to the same guys makes a difference.”
Note also that the Chiefs’ attack is not yet fully established.
“We lost close matches where the result could have been different with a better finish on our side,” said Mahomes.
“We went back to the drawing board and decided to take it a week at a time and trust the coaches.
“We have the assets we need. We just have to keep the same mindset. «