1. DE Tyson Jackson - Once again the Chiefs former first round draft pick was active against the St. Louis Rams. The bad part is that he had a bar fight mentality going up against Rams right tackle Jason Smith. On three separate plays, he pushed his counterpart backwards to the point of obnoxious. It's the kind of thing that he shouldn't be doing at this stage of his career.
My biggest knock on Jackson during training camp has been his effort at practice. And even though he didn't make too many plays and he was willing to go to war in the trenches, he had a solid effort against the Rams. Still at times he reminds me of one of those whistle chaser fireworks that fly around lightning quick in no discernible direction. But if that's all the Chiefs get out of Jackson this season, I can swallow that much easier than a lack of effort.
2. DT Amon Gordon - You may not recognize his name but if you have been watching the Chiefs preseason contests you must have noticed his number 64.
When the 5th year journeyman defensive tackle signed with the Chiefs it didn't turn any heads. But he's been active in his short stint with Kansas City. In fact on Friday night against the Rams, Gordon nearly had a safety. In fact, he's had three strong games for the Chiefs and right now he's a name worthy of a roster spot.
In order for that to happen, Gordon will have to out duel veteran Dion Gales. Gordon has his work cut out for him and next weeks performance in Green Bay should seal his fate on the Chiefs 53-man roster.
3. CB Travis Daniels - Even though the starters had some spotty performances on Friday night, the back-ups more than held their own. But one was better than all of them.
Cornerbacks Travis Daniels appears to have his game face on. He was all over the field for the Chiefs and he was instrumental in shutting down the Rams passing offense in the second half. He made a great adjustment on a sideline throw by Rams Quarterback, A.J. Feeley pass that he turned into a key interception for the defense.
A year ago Daniels saw significant action and he has some defensive ball skills. It's going to be interesting to see how many cornerbacks the Chiefs will keep on the roster. But so far Daniels has shown he belongs on this football team.
4. LB Justin Houston - Although he was picked up in the third round, linebacker Justin Houston is quickly showing why many had him pegged as a sure fire first round draft pick. The Chiefs appear to have capitalized on Houston's lack of forethought when he failed his drug test at the NFL combine. Thus far he's the steal of the 2011 draft class.
For the second straight game, he outplayed veteran Andy Studebaker. So much so, he has to be under consideration for a starting role. It's obvious he has talent but it's also apparent that the Chiefs would prefer to bring him along slowly. Either way there is no denying the Chiefs defense has found some pass rushing help opposite Hali.
5. Derrick Johnson - He appears to be in regular season form. On Friday night all of his talents were on display. The former first round pick from Texas, continues to show why he could become an All Pro this season.
In just a half's worth of playing time, Johnson made his presence felt. His stat sheet was impressive. In two quarters, he had eight tackles(one for a loss), a sack, a pass deflection and an interception. Not a bad nights work.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Which of these five defensive starters made an impression on you?
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