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The blueprint to beat the Chiefs defense is out there

The blueprint to beat the Chiefs defense is out there

The Browns executed the blueprint to transfer the ball towards the Chiefs, however the defense held on simply sufficient.

One other week, one other efficiency the place the opposition strikes the ball on the floor, via the center of the area and in the flats to operating backs.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs defense went up towards a little bit of a wildcard offense this week with the Cleveland Browns overhauling most of their offensive employees. I stated in my superior scout of the Browns offense that that they had beforehand caught with 11 personnel and lengthy drops by quarterback Baker Mayfield. Towards the Chiefs, they didn’t — and it allowed a nasty offense to transfer the ball towards the Chiefs base defense.

This week — as I do each week — I’ll break down the numbers from final 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

The Chiefs righted the ship in the early going this week, getting again to their staunch first quarter defenses after an enormous week final week. They have been additionally particularly improved on first downs this week — a few 10.5 perecent enchancment over their season-long common.

The third down defense was somewhat beneath their stellar yearly common, and all of us noticed that the Browns exploited the Chiefs fourth down defense, changing two of three and permitting one other due to penalty. The Chiefs lead the league in fourth downs confronted with nineteen makes an attempt — a whopping six greater than the subsequent highest staff. Clearly, the opposition feels the want to go for it to sustain with the Chiefs offense. With an already-bad Chiefs defense, that leads to extra continued drives than we’d have seen in prior years.

One other week, one other higher efficiency by the Chiefs two-down-linemen packages. We’re now far sufficient in the yr — with greater than sufficient pattern measurement — to say that the Chiefs are undoubtedly at their greatest when in these sub packages, that are used virtually solely towards 11 personnel — the main personnel package deal for the league’s greatest offenses.

Conversely, this workforce’s blueprint to getting beat is to drive three-down linemen packages with 12, 13, 21 and 22 personnel and both run at it or throw to the operating again in the flat towards the Chiefs’ slower inside and outside linebackers. The Browns did it this week, and whereas the Chiefs have been higher out of the Three-Four than they’ve been towards the run, it was extra due to the degree of competitors than it was “getting things right.”

Whats up blitz!

When Sutton introduced the home this week, the Chiefs undoubtedly discovered success — 83 % of the time for a daft damaging zero.33 yards per play. On the flip aspect, the Chiefs discovered the similar 83 % success fee with the three-man rush on the very same variety of snaps as the blitz. Sutton additionally introduced the stability this week.

Sutton did drop an outdoor linebacker into protection extra typically this week than he has on the season — 34.7 % of the passing snaps. That is excessive — particularly contemplating that Breeland Speaks dropped into protection for 28.5 % of the passing snaps this week. Even nonetheless, it received the job carried out by posting a 76.5 % success fee and permitting Four.41 yards per play.

Bob Sutton as soon as once more examined a younger quarterback with extra match zones in lengthy to medium distances. These zone coverages discovered success. Static Cowl Three and Cowl 2 zones had some struggles, and the Chiefs undoubtedly had hassle in man — notably towards operating backs and tight ends.

The Chiefs gave a ton of cushion this week, which was a part of the cause the Browns have been in a position to transfer the ball via the air on brief passes. This is typical when the Chiefs are up a number of scores and the press-man proportion — a season-low 56.5 % — mirrored how passively the Chiefs performed protection this week.

One thing good

We’ve seen the feint and drop into protection for an virtually INT by Fuller — nevertheless it was arrange by earlier rushes out of the similar alignment. KC lined up with Three LB’s displaying strain and blitzed the apexes twice. Mayfield anticipated the similar the third time and tried to hit the slant.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) November 7, 2018

As Arrowhead Delight alumnus and Chiefs reporter BJ Kissel demonstrated in his participant profile this week, cornerback Kendall Fuller has had an incredible couple weeks. Final week, I discussed that he was coming into his personal, and getting extra snug in the Chiefs’ system. He actually had an incredible recreation this week. Fuller led all of the Chiefs corners with an 87.5 % success fee in protection, however it wasn’t simply in his protection snaps that he made an impression.

Sutton typically used Fuller as a blitzer this week, and that arrange a golden alternative for the Chiefs defense late in the recreation. The first occasion got here on the Browns’ second drive. The Chiefs lined up outdoors linebackers Speaks and Dee Ford on the inside with Dorian O’Daniel in the A niche. The two down linemen are lined up large, and each apex defenders — Jordan Lucas and Kendall Fuller — blitz. The three linebackers displaying strain drop into protection, and Lucas is in a position to have a free move for a sack.

The second occasion comes out of an analogous alignment, with O’Daniel as an apex defender and Anthony Hitchens in the A niche. As soon as once more, each apex defenders rush with the inside linebackers dropping into protection. The third time quarterback Baker Mayfield sees this alignment, he acknowledges the slant/flat mixture to Fuller’s aspect of the subject and appears to benefit from it. Nevertheless, this time the Chiefs drop the apex defenders and rush the outdoors linebackers. Mayfield tries to hit the slant route shortly, considering the blitz is coming, and he misses Fuller dropping and robbing the slant route.

Fuller drops an interception right here, however it’s an amazing showcase of how the Chiefs rush technique all through the recreation can arrange different alternatives.

When the defense makes a cease in the run recreation out of a Three DL formation, it’s sometimes due to the defensive position arising huge. Right here, KC is in a Three-Three defense on second and medium towards 11 personnel. Bailey is in a position to hurdle the OT’s chop block and data a deal with for no achieve.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) November 6, 2018

When the Chiefs win up entrance in three-down-lineman formations, it sometimes comes from the defensive linemen. We noticed this to be the case this weekend, with Chris Jones making a play behind the line of scrimmage out of the base Three-Four, and in addition in the above play.

Out of the Chiefs three-defensive-linemen/three-linebacker nickel defense, Allen Bailey makes a incredible play on the again aspect of the defense. The Browns attempt to run to the robust aspect of the defense, and Speaks is in a position to set a superb edge whereas Jones drives his blocker upfield to seal the C hole. The Browns proper deal with tries to minimize block Bailey, who showcases his athleticism to leap over the block and make a pursuit deal with.

One thing dangerous

It’s 4th and a couple of, and the Chiefs are in a Three-Three nickel towards the Browns 11 personnel. Sutton drops each OLB’s into protection, and the Browns (appropriately) run a wheel route to Speaks’ aspect. Landry impedes Speaks’ path to the RB, and Nelson/Hitchens have eyes in the backfield.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) November 6, 2018

There’s been a lot of hang-wringing about this play this week — and rightfully so.

This is fairly merely a Sutton tendency that may be exploited. Sutton insists on having a center of the subject hook defender towards the cross — one thing that the majority coordinators insist upon. Because of this in a three-down-linemen formation, the Chiefs outdoors linebackers may have protection obligations towards both a decent finish or a operating again.

As a result of the Chiefs are of their three-down nickel — and in man protection — the Browns acknowledge this tendency and shift to the right play name: a wheel route with Speaks in protection. Each Speaks and Ford are tasked with dropping into protection to chip the slot routes, however as a result of the wheel is coming to his aspect, Jarvis Landry doesn’t run a route. Landry impedes Speaks’ means to get out into the flat, and Speaks is chasing an enormous play.

This is a main instance of groups doing their homework and recognizing a Sutton tendency, then exploiting a participant who is requested to do one thing that is somewhat bit outdoors of his consolation zone. It’s an amazing play name and an enormous conversion.

Why does the run defense suck? #5 — When your bottom Three-tech beats a block, however can’t deliver down the ballcarrier behind the LoS and your SILB decides to grasp out behind the NT as an alternative of attacking a niche, then will get carried 5 yards by a smaller again whereas the field S seeks a block.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) November 6, 2018

Earlier I discussed that when the Chiefs get a cease towards the run out of three-down-linemen formations, it’s sometimes as a result of the defensive position does the job. Once they don’t, we have a tendency to see what occurs on this play.

Jones blows off the line, tossing the proper deal with and chasing the again. He’s unable to get the angle he wants — and misses a deal with in the backfield — however he forces the operating again into the bulk of the defenders. Hitchens will get tossed utterly out of the hole, and Reggie Ragland decides to grasp out and make a sandwich behind the nostril deal with — not attacking the play. In the meantime, Ron Parker sits flat-footed off the snap, then waits and seeks out the tight finish’s block. Ragland is in a position to lastly get to the again, and he will get dragged 5 additional yards.

This play is a microcosm of the Chiefs run defense over the previous few weeks. If Jones is in a position to make the deal with after an amazing effort, it’s a cease for loss. If Hitchens stacks the guard in the hole, it’s a deal with for no achieve. If Ragland shoots the back-side hole or flows to the ball higher, it’s a deal with for no or minimal achieve. If Parker assaults his run match, it’s a deal with for minimal achieve. 4 totally different Chiefs might have made the play on this run, and none did. Usually it might be one thing you’d brush off as an unlucky prevalence, however this is a daily one for the Chiefs run defense.

We’ve mentioned O’Daniel’s zone struggles, and it was an issue on this third and 12. Sitting as a center hook, DoD was late to acknowledge the crossing route, which had him chasing the WR. Murray takes a poor angle spinning down, and third and lengthy turns into a primary down.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) November 6, 2018

It’s been talked about a number of occasions over the previous few weeks that O’Daniel has had some struggles in his zone — however it hadn’t bit the Chiefs on the area till this week.

O’Daniel will get caught with eyes in the backfield in his hook zone, and simply utterly misses the receiver getting into his zone on the crosser. As Mayfield masses up to throw, O’Daniel acknowledges his mistake. However it’s too late.

O’Daniel finally ends up chasing the receiver and will get no assist from Eric Murray — taking a poor angle to the ballcarrier — and Ron Parker, who is once more in search of out a blocker. This third-and-12 play goes for a primary down on a 5-yard crossing route that ought to have been damaged up or tackled instantly by O’Daniel. These points will hopefully get cleaned up with extra snaps and a higher consolation degree in his duties.

One thing you could have missed

I do know we trumpet his velocity and vary on outdoors runs, however this is an awesome job by Dorian O’Daniel to work to the sideline after dropping into protection in the Chiefs dime defense. Lucas’ hesitance permits the OL to get to him, however DoD is in a position to get to the sideline to cease the run.

— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) November 6, 2018

This is why O’Daniel is the prototypical dime linebacker for the Chiefs.

After Sutton has him displaying strain in the A niche, O’Daniel drops into protection. The Browns run to the boundary, and O’Daniel is chasing from the again aspect — with numerous floor to cowl and blockers to the second degree. Jordan Lucas — who didn’t have a very good day — is late to diagnose and react, which permits the offensive lineman to get to him.

O’Daniel is in a position to use his velocity and vary to take a implausible angle to the sideline, which stops the operating again in need of the first down marker. This yr, the Chiefs have solely seen that vary out of Lucas and O’Daniel, which is certainly one of the causes we’ve all been clamoring for them. Fairly merely, each want to be on the subject extra.

The backside line

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports activities

The Chiefs gave up 21 factors to the Browns.

They pressured two turnovers — sure, I’m counting Ford’s strip sack/phantom offside — and gifted two first downs by way of an offsides penalty on a fourth-and-1, and a baffling private foul penalty on fourth-and-goal from the 12-yard line. These three penalties have been essential to the Browns placing up 12 of the 21 factors that the Chiefs gave up.

Would you are feeling higher about the Chiefs defense if that they had held the Browns to 9 factors?

It clearly helps masks a few of the deficiencies that we noticed on Sunday, however the blueprint is there to beat this Chiefs defense. The Browns switched from a seven-step-drop-with-long-developing-routes passing offense to a fast cross/display recreation offense

It clearly helps masks a few of the deficiencies that we noticed on Sunday, however the blueprint is there to beat this Chiefs defense. The Browns switched from a seven-step-drop-with-long-developing-routes passing offense to a fast cross/display recreation offense. Mayfield obtained the ball out on common in 2.13 seconds, a full six-tenths of a second quicker than his season common. When he acquired the ball out underneath 2.5 seconds, he discovered success on 61 % of his passes. Over 2.5 seconds? Simply 24 %.

Conversely, the Browns run recreation was closely influenced by their shotgun-spread 11 personnel — one thing the Chiefs defend pretty nicely. The Browns modified it up and ran heavier personnel this week, and their run recreation discovered success towards the Chiefs three-down-linemen formations.

It might merely be that the Browns’ new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens needed to implement a stronger floor assault and a fast passing recreation. We’ll see if that continues to be the development for the Browns in the coming weeks. However to me, this appeared to be an try to execute the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and San Fransisco 49ers’ recreation plans that moved the ball properly on the Chiefs defense.

Despite the fact that the Browns weren’t in a position to grasp massive factors on the board, the recreation plan they carried out is emblematic of a defense that’s been “figured out” in Week 9 — attacking the Chiefs of their weakest spots.

Going into the again half of the schedule, the Chiefs offense will definitely give you the chance to maintain most of the NFL at arm’s size, however the blueprint that groups are in a position to implement towards the Chiefs defense is turning into a bit regarding.

Let’s hope that returning gamers and the new additions proceed to present progress — Kendall Fuller’s final two weeks ought to give us hope — and the Chiefs are in a position to patch a few of the schematic holes in the defense.

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