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How the Chiefs got worse at rushing the passer but better as a defense in 2019

The 2018 Kansas City Chiefs seemingly had it all. Patrick Mahomes was the league MVP. Andy Reid was doing his best work in mentoring the young signal-caller, putting him in a position to flourish. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were among the league’s best at their positions. Dee Ford, Justin Houston and Chris Jones combined for 216 total pressures, including 37.5 sacks.

What the Chiefs didn’t have was the ability to get stops. They were 24th in points allowed, 24th in yards per play allowed, 27th in expected points added allowed and last in success rate allowed. They were 21st in EPA allowed against the pass and 26th in success rate allowed against the pass. Despite an offense that put them in advantageous spots, and a defensive front that could put substantial heat on the quarterback, the Chiefs were a poor defense. When Tom Brady went into Arrowhead in the AFC Championship Game in late January, he was pressured on just seven dropbacks and completed 26 passes for almost 300 yards from a clean pocket. The Patriot great took an average of just 2.23 seconds to throw and was never sacked. The Chiefs couldn’t cover, and they paid dearly.

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