September 2012 sounds like an eternity away in mid-November but the outlook is at least a positive one.
For starters, this Chiefs defense might be one of the best in the league based off of what we saw Monday night.
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has not received much applause for his free agent signings but you have to give him credit for the players he has resigned. Pioli locked up both Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson this past year and both players had a cornerstone type night.
The two linebackers combined for 15 tackles (two for losses), one sack, one pass deflection (touchdown saving), and an all-around attitude that flowed throughout the defense as a whole.
The Chiefs' defense held the Patriots in check for the majority of the first half and had future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady shaken and looking for answers.
The difference between Monday night and the previous two losses has been the consistent pressure put on the opposing quarterback. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel called a relentless assault of blitz packages that brought steady pressure all while taking away the Patriots' best receiving threat, Wes Welker.
Another player who stepped up Monday night was second-year safety Kendrick Lewis. After initially struggling with his new leadership role in the secondary, Lewis has filled the role voided by star Eric Berry in week one.
Lewis is the quarterback of the secondary and is praised by coaches for his dedication to the film room and understanding of the defensive scheme. If Berry returns fully healthy from his knee injury, the Chiefs two young safeties will be hands down the best tandem in the NFL.
The real sign that this defense has started to turn the table came late in the first quarter when Haley elected not to attempt a fourth and short. Haley instead punted the ball away and let his defense go to work. Against Tom Brady.
Having faith that your defense is your best option against possibly the best quarterback to ever play the game is both an impressive showing of faith to your defense and an indictment upon your offense.
Just think about it. When is the last time you could say the defense was the strength of a Chiefs team?
After years of horrendous football, this Chiefs defense finally has the pieces in place to compete with any offense the NFL can throw at them. But that's with Eric Berry.
The hard truth is this season is a loss. Without Berry this defense is merely a shadow of what it could be. It was good to see what this defense is, but I'm more interested in what they will become.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
What did you think of the Chiefs' defense in New England?
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