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Sunday’s defensive performance showed Chiefs need Eric Berry now more than ever

Sunday's defensive performance showed Chiefs need Eric Berry now more than ever

The Chiefs saved certainly one of their worst defensive performances for this week towards the Raiders

That performance was uglier than Oakland Alameda Coliseum.

The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs protection laid a stinker this week towards the Oakland Raiders offense. They pressured three turnovers, which ended up being very impactful to the result of the sport — however allowed an terrible Raiders offense to maneuver the ball at will and put 33 factors on the board.

It was sloppy. It was lackadaisical. It was throughout poor.

This week — as I do each week — I’ll break down the numbers from Sunday’s recreation. We’ll hit the highlights, discover the place the Chiefs gained, misplaced and bucked developments, after which we’ll transfer on to some clips of their good, dangerous and under-the-radar performs.

The numbers

Every week after touting the Chiefs protection trending upward of their late-game play, they laid an egg this week. A 36 % success price within the fourth quarter once they wanted to kill the sport off? That’s not good. What’s worse than that was the Chiefs third-down success price this week — solely capable of get off the sector on 25 % of the third downs they noticed.

Brief and medium yardage continues to be an issue, and that aligns with the “eye test” of the Chiefs run protection and brief passing protection. The Chiefs have been higher than their season common on first downs for the yr, they usually got here out of the gates nicely within the first quarter once more this week.

One other week, one other poor performance out of the Chiefs two-down linemen, four-linebacker nickel protection, and a good worse one out of the Chiefs’ “base” Three-Four protection. Over two-thirds of the sport, the Chiefs protection lined up in a formation that averaged over 7.1 yards per play and located defensive success on much less than half of the snaps it noticed. Whereas these numbers might be attribute of a bend-but-don’t-break protection, the 100 % pink zone landing conversion fee tells a unique story.

For the second recreation in a row, the Chiefs carried out a bit more of their three down lineman, three linebacker nickel protection with it faring nicely above their season common. The two-Three Dime protection continues to be the very best performing formation that the Chiefs run regularly.

A little bit of a shock this week with Sutton blitzing more than he historically has towards Derek Carr. He’s discovered success up to now by dashing three and never dashing 5 or more towards Carr — not blitzing in any respect within the Chiefs second assembly with the Raiders in 2017 in a terrific performance. He discovered numerous success by sending additional rushers this week, holding the Raiders to zero.38 yards per play and a 71.Four % success price.

Conversely, the four-man rush that had been so dominant for the previous few video games struggled to deliver constant strain towards the Raiders’ fast passing recreation. Carr received the ball out in 2.1 seconds on common towards the Chiefs four-man rush, leaving little time for Dee Ford and Chris Jones to get house as typically as they’ve lately.

The Chiefs rushed three solely as soon as, on a second-and-6 within the pink zone that resulted in an incompletion. Additionally they solely dropped an outdoor linebacker 13.6 % of the snaps that the Raiders threw the ball.

The Chiefs actually combined and (sample)matched their coverages this week. Their Cowl Three shells, together with sample matching variants, squeaked out their Cowl 1 shells for probably the most run protection of the week. Coupled with the quantity of Cowl 2 that the Chiefs ran this week, the protection was in zone protection more than man.

Their Cowl 2 protection was the worst performing of their common shells — coming at a 37.5 % success price. Cowl 1 was the very best acting at 53.Three % success fee. When in man, the Chiefs secondary pressed 50.6 % of the time, enjoying off-man more than standard to react downhill and attempt to cease the Raiders brief passing recreation.

One thing good

The velocity and energy of Chris Jones’ arm over simply isn’t truthful. Fast first step to get throughout the face of the LG blocking down, robust membership together with his inside arm whereas shifting his weight to knife via the hole, and a robust lateral step to maintain up with the RB and convey him down.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) December Four, 2018

Chris Jones might not have had his greatest performance of the yr, however he nonetheless showed excessive effort and flashed all through the sport. Whereas most might keep in mind his sack — bending the sting nicely on a stunt with Ford — this run stuff showcases his highly effective arm over, a go-to transfer for him.

The left guard is obstructing down, however Jones’ first step is ready to get throughout the face of the lineman and membership together with his inside arm in a single movement. Shifting his weight to the within foot and bringing the surface arm excessive of the guard, he’s capable of knife by means of the hole laterally as his membership knocks the lineman’s stability ahead. After he’s by means of the road, he’s capable of make a robust lateral step to stick with the operating again’s reduce, and Jones is ready to drag the again down by the ft.

Whereas this arm over can expose a defensive lineman to more losses resulting from poor leverage, Jones’ velocity makes it troublesome for offensive linemen to react shortly sufficient to take advantage of it. Coupled with a robust bull rush, Jones does a great job mixing within the arm over to maintain linemen off-balance of their units.

One thing dangerous

Why does the run protection suck? #6 — Whenever you commit eight towards 21 personnel and your field security can’t determine whether or not he ought to assault the FB or the RB whereas your greatest run stuffing OLB will get pushed again into your hesitant SILB and the FS stays 18 yards from the LOS always

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) December Four, 2018

This can be a play that caught out in most individuals’s minds this week, as Eric Murray was unceremoniously relegated to the dime security after this play. Nevertheless, there’s a lot more flawed with this play than simply Murray’s horrible play.

Bob Sutton has dedicated eight to the field with the Raiders in 21 personnel. The Raiders run outdoors zone, and Murray crashes arduous into the backfield, unblocked. Nevertheless, he doesn’t play include — forcing the operating again to chop again into the tooth of the protection — and he doesn’t assault the again on the mesh level. He doesn’t attempt to assault the fullback, permitting one other blocker in area, and he provides up the sting for the operating again to work into area. It’s a horrible analysis of the play by Murray.

Wanting on the Chiefs linebackers, Justin Houston will get utterly blown out of the play by a single blocker. He doesn’t actually struggle to get via and exhibits poor effort to get off the block — an issue with Houston all through the day. Houston getting pushed backward pushes him all the best way to the second degree, the place a hesitant Reggie Ragland is pressured to work across the bottom of Houston’s block. That leaves a simple chip from the fullback to stop any angle that Ragland may need needed to the ball.

In the meantime, Ron Parker will get eight yards of depth after beginning 15 yards deep. He identifies the run and takes a horribly shallow angle whereas making an attempt to squeeze the sidelines 18 yards behind the road of scrimmage. Because the run approaches, he continues to retreat, permitting one other 10 yards on the play whereas making an attempt to deliver the back-down.

This play might have been blown up by Murray within the backfield, and he will get deserved criticism for the poor play right here. However this run is a failure at each degree of the protection.

Operating Tampa 2 requires a rangy MLB. Often, that’s a smaller, quicker participant that may get depth simply. Hitchens shouldn’t be that man. OAK goes empty and runs 5 verts to assault C2. Prepare dinner sells the dig route, Hitchens freezes, and the area is open excessive of the LB.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) December Four, 2018

Sutton’s schemes have been removed from innocent this week as nicely. I highlighted Jared Prepare dinner in scoring place final week when in my Superior Scouting article, and the Raiders dialed up an awesome play to emphasize the safeties and attempt to get an excellent matchup for him right here.

The Chiefs are in a Tampa 2 protection shell, whereas the Raiders broke from the huddle and lined up in a Three×2 empty formation. They run 5 verticals out of this formation, specializing in attacking the Chiefs’ split-safety look. Oakland was definitely making an attempt to prey off of some blown coverages which have come within the purple zone from the Chiefs protection of their Cowl 2 seems to be all year long.

Because the verticals break, Anthony Hitchens should “run the pole” to get depth on his zone drop. Prepare dinner sells a dig route beneath, Hitchens bites on the route, and Prepare dinner is ready to discover the area excessive of the linebacker and between the 2 safeties for a rating.

It’s a well-designed play, for positive. Nevertheless, my higher query is why Sutton is implementing Hitchens as a Tampa 2 linebacker within the first place. That’s sometimes the spot for a smaller linebacker with vary to get that depth simply and react shortly — made considerably well-known by Derrick Brooks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Anybody who has watched the Chiefs this season is aware of that Hitchens has struggled with vary, change of path and studying route distributions. Placing him on this state of affairs forces a participant to implement a number of the worst elements of his talent set.

It’s not simply this week that the Chiefs have run Tampa 2 coverages. It occurs typically sufficient to have a pattern measurement on the vary and skill of the Chiefs linebackers. Fairly merely, Sutton ought to know higher than to sq. peg a linebacker with Hitchens talent set into the spherical gap of a Tampa 2 protection.

One of many more baffling developments this season is a scarcity of banjo/change from the Chiefs protection defenders. On a third and 13, the Chiefs are in C2 man. The Raiders run a slant/flat combo from the slot/TE. Fuller and O’Daniel don’t change, and the slot WR will get a simple 18 yards.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) December Four, 2018

I’ve talked about it at size this season, however the lack of switching from the Chiefs protection defenders is an actual head-scratcher. With as typically because the Chiefs run man protection schemes, opposing offenses are going to run decide performs and rubs to get gamers open in the midst of the sector.

On this play, the Raiders are of their 11 personnel and a Three×1 alignment. Kendall Fuller is lined up reverse the slot extensive receiver, and Dorian O’Daniel reverse the tight finish with the Chiefs in a Cowl 2 man shell. The Raiders run a slant/flat route mixture with the 2 receivers, and as a result of each Fuller and O’Daniel lining up even of their depth, they collide, making a decide that frees the slot receiver for 18 yards on a third-and-13.

Neither Fuller nor O’Daniel communicated a banjo/change, one thing that probably would have mitigated the yardage on this play with each defenders in nearer proximity to a possible receiver than Fuller was to the slot receiver. This can be a taught conduct — and it’s one thing that the Chiefs carried out repeatedly final yr. Whereas implementing a banjo name may put a “worse” protection defender on a greater receiver, conditions like this third-and-13 are an ideal time to lean on it — perhaps solely permitting six or seven yards, as an alternative of 18.

Mitigating yardage on this play forces a fourth down and a punt or an extended subject objective. As an alternative, the drive continued and a landing was scored proper earlier than the half. Higher situational implementation of ideas that was a staple of Sutton’s cornerbacks might end in a couple of more stops a recreation.

One thing you might have missed

Dee Ford is so explosive laterally that he makes the deal with whiff on a minimize block, however the velocity at which he’s shifting causes him to journey over the guard’s leg and throws himself within the spin cycle.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) December Four, 2018

With a lot within the “bad” part, I figured we’d finish on a lighthearted notice.

Dee Ford has an explosive first step. This has all the time been the case. Nevertheless, this play showcases his lateral agility and explosiveness a lot that he ended up flipping himself the wrong way up.

The Raiders proper deal with tries to chop block Ford on this fast display, and Ford is ready to bounce inside the block, leaving the deal with with nothing however air in entrance of him. Nevertheless, Ford’s lateral explosion sends him into the correct guard, which takes his legs out from underneath him and goes flying on this play.

He’s acquired a lot lateral momentum that he can flip himself ass over teakettle simply by operating into the guard. That’s pretty spectacular.

The underside line

The Chiefs have been general fairly sloppy this week. I feel most can agree with that. There have been far too many blown coverages, missed tackles and lack of effort out of nearly all of the protection.

This protection seemed prefer it had reverted to Week 1 once more.

Coming off the bye towards a nasty offense ought to have resulted in a a lot better staff performance by the protection — particularly contemplating the strides that they had made as much as and thru the Los Angeles Rams recreation.

Oakland turned the ball over 3 times on three operating again fumbles. That ended up being the distinction within the recreation for the Chiefs final week. They undoubtedly must be praised for that opportunistic nature, as that’s how they’ve seen their resurgence as of late.

Nevertheless, I feel many would have appreciated to see the protection put the clamps on a nasty opponent, very similar to they did to the Arizona Cardinals a number of weeks again. Locking down a nasty offense is what a superb protection ought to do, and it looks like there may be some regression right here.

What I’m hoping comes of this loss is a few accountability. I do know that Sutton is terrible with that — horrible inside linebacker and security play has haunted this group whereas gamers slowly get combined in or don’t get combined in in any respect. Murray was benched for poor play this week, however for Dan Sorensen, who’s struggling as nicely. We obtained glimpses of Jordan Lucas for a few weeks, and now he can’t discover the sector outdoors of particular groups.

If Sutton and the teaching employees aren’t capable of maintain the kind of accountability that the protection wants, hopefully, somebody within the locker room can.

And hopefully, that someone is operating out of that tunnel this Sunday. This staff wants him now more than ever.

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