The Kansas City Chiefs have made it back to the Super Bowl, where they look to repeat the efforts of last season.
Kansas City gave up 20 points in the 2020 Super Bowl against San Francisco, but how does the 2021 team rank defensively?
Defensive statistics can often be skewered to fit a narrative, but we take an honest look at how effective the Chiefs defense could be on Super Bowl Sunday.
Bring Top 10 Defense To The Super Bowl
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense ranks 10th in the NFL as a whole, but that encompasses many different statistics.
There are many strengths and weaknesses of this defense, so we look at where the Chiefs could get an edge over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Chiefs are ranked fifth in interceptions, which could be bad news for Tom Brady. Kansas City is an opportunistic defense, which likes to read the quarterback’s eyes and make cuts downfield.
It’s also good at stopping the run, ranking 10th in the NFL with only 14 rushing touchdowns allowed. However, that’s not going to concern a pass-heavy Tampa Bay offense.
Kansas City knows how to keep teams out of the red zone. It ranks sixth in the NFL with 47 red zone attempts, which forces many teams to kick field goals from outside the 20-yard line.
Another strength of the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense is pass completion, which couples with the impressive sacks statistic. The Chiefs rank 12th in pass completion percentage, so there will be plenty of pressure put on Tom Brady.
We touched on the statistic of Kansas City allowing 47 red-zone attempts, but once teams get into the red zone, it doesn’t make for pretty reading.
The Chiefs are last in the league at red zone touchdown defense, allowing a touchdown on 76.6% of red-zone drives. Given that the Buccaneers are a good red zone team, that spells danger for the Chiefs.
Fourth down percentages are also poor for the Chiefs, who rank 25th in the NFL. They allow a fourth-down conversion 65% of the time, which compares horribly to the other top-10 defenses.
Areas to Improve
Kansas City is a middle-of-the-pack defensive team in many statistical categories. It ranks 16th in the NFL for yards allowed, pass attempts, and touchdowns allowed.
There is plenty of room for improvement in these areas, but many of the areas involve stopping the run. That isn’t so much of a problem playing against the Buccaneers, as Tom Brady usually takes over the game with his arm.
If the Buccaneers do run the ball with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, they could have some success. Kansas City is 21st in rushing yards allowed and 19th in rushing attempts.
The statistics improve when it comes to rushing touchdowns, but if they want to pressure the quarterback, stopping the run is vital in the Super Bowl.
Standout Defensive Stars
There are some standout defensive stars for the Kansas City Chiefs, including Frank Clark and L’Jarius Sneed.
Both players have recorded two sacks in the postseason, and Clark had a terrific regular season with six sacks. He was second behind only Chris Jones, who had 7.5 sacks during the regular season.
Jones hasn’t recorded a sack in the postseason but he’s ready.
Interceptions are a big part of this defense, so look for Daniel Sorensen and Sneed to get involved. Both players had three interceptions during the regular season, and it was Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Fenton who came up big in the playoffs.