Chiefs Identity Emerges In Their Defense

After two disastrous weeks of record-setting losses in which the Chiefs had nothing positive gained, they finally have something to hang their hats on. Although a notch in the victory column eluded the Chiefs on Sunday, their 20-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers shined light on what they could be later this season.

With Kansas City's two biggest stars, running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry, sidelined for the rest of the season this Chiefs team was lacking a face or rallying cap. With a group of Kansas Citians already crusading for next year's top draft selection, this team needed a ray of hope and found it Sunday in their defense.

With just 1:35 left and the Chiefs needing a stop to keep the Chargers from running out the clock, the Kansas City defense stiffened and gave their offense a chance to win the game.

There were few around Chiefs Nation who expected the defense to make that stop considering how porous this defensive line is, but Tyson Jackson, Glenn Dorsey and Kelly Gregg stepped up late in the game.

The Chiefs offense failed to finish the job but the fact they even got an opportunity was a feat within itself and would be a mistake to overlook. Sure, the Chiefs fell to 0-3, but for the first time this season players stepped up. Mostly underachieving players like Jackson and Jovan Belcher rose to the occasion and were instrumental in KC's final defensive stand. The Kansas City defense held, and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel deserves a significant portion of the credit.

A Chiefs defense that was already without Berry was again hit with injury. Cornerback Brandon Flowers left the game early due to an ankle injury. Shortly after Flowers' exit, backup Travis Daniels left the game with an undisclosed injury. Without missing a beat, rookie Jalil Brown stepped in and held his ground until Daniels was able to return.

This Chiefs defense has been punched in the mouth more than Victor Ortiz yet they kept their heads and spirits high through it all. With the Chiefs' dedication to a ball-control offense, they will be relying on their defense to make key plays to win games. If the Chiefs have any chance of turning this season around, it will be on the shoulders of Crennel's newly inspired defense.

Regardless of what side of the fence you are on in the "Suck for Luck" campaign, this team was desperate for anything positive. The defense was challenged Sunday by one of the NFL's most talented offenses and held their own. For the first time in 2011, the Chiefs can finally put a feather in their cap.

Will the progress of the defense turn around a doomed season? Probably not, but if wins continue to elude Kansas City, head coach Todd Haley will be the man who pays the price. Now that Crennel has proven his team is still behind him after their initial struggles, it might help general manager Scott Pioli change head coaches sooner rather than later.

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