When's the last time we've seen that in Kansas City? It's been a while. I'm not about to declare that this defense is going to be a Top 20 or Top 15, but it can be solid enough, especially at home, to be more than competitive.
A good defense can change the momentum of any game. In the first half, the defense held the Packers to three points. It could have been more, but the Chiefs defense stiffened on a goal line stance that that kept the Packers' highflying offense out of the end zone.
True, in the second half the defense wasn't nearly as sharp. And many of the 22 players that gave up some of those second half points aren't going to be on the roster come Saturday afternoon.
But that's irrelevant because overall this defense made big strides in each of the team's four preseason games.
So who were the best on Thursday night?
1. LB Demorrio Williams - He once again found a path to the quarterback. This time he was lined up outside, ala Derrick Thomas, and he had another sack. It was the first time that he lined up outside in passing situations. Tamba Hali, who has been mostly ineffective in three preseason contests, sat this game out. That opened the door for Williams and he's making the most of his opportunity.
I admit I wasn't a huge fan but I think when head coach Todd Haley demoted him to second team behind Derrick Johnson, the light finally came on. This is good news for the Chiefs because thus far in his tenure in Kansas City, he's done very little to make an impact.
But that's about to change.
2. S Eric Berry - A week ago I criticized him for not standing up runners or receivers when they came his way. He must have been listening because he delivered a key hit on a short yardage pass play that prevented the Packers from getting a first down. It was a thing of beauty.
In just four preseason games, he's grown so much as a player. He doesn't look like a rookie. He doesn't act like a rookie and doesn't play like one either. I can't wait to see what he does against Antonio Gates and the San Diego Chargers a week from Monday.
Did Defensive End Alex Magee do enough to earn a roster spot?
3. DE Glenn Dorsey - He can't sack the quarterback but he's solid against the run. He had a pair of tackles and did his part clogging up offensive lineman so his teammates could collapse on the runners out of the backfield. I'm wondering what the Chiefs will do with Alex Magee. He had a few near misses on Thursday night and if Dorsey can be sharp on downs one and two, Magee is the type of player who could excel on third downs.
I still say it's 50/50 that he's on the roster come Saturday but you can't take away his ability to make plays on run defense. It's just too bad he can't rush the passer. The Chiefs are spending a fortune on Dorsey to be run stopper but he's simply out of position in KC's 3-4 scheme. He needs to play in a 4-3 scheme and if the Chiefs continue to use Hali or Williams as an outside rusher, they should move Dorsey inside next to defensive tackle Ron Edwards.
4. CB Brandon Carr - If you'd have asked me the one player on defense that looked lost, I'd have said Carr. He was slow to develop in training camp and even worse in the team's first preseason game. But he's overcome all of that to make me think he will be solid all season long for the Chiefs.
Carr and Brandon Flowers make quite a duo. The fact they came into the NFL at the same time and have started the last two years together has certainly helped him mature into a nice player. If he continues to improve, this defense with a pair of young safeties in the mix is going to be very solid in the secondary.
5. LB Corey Greenwood - He was stellar on special teams but nearly had two sacks in the second half. There's just something about this young man. I think the Chiefs have to find a spot for him. He's a project but I could see him playing in the NFL for many years.
And I'll argue he's certainly deserving of a roster spot. If when it's all said and done, he's the 54th man, let's hope the Chiefs can put him on the practice squad. Or better yet, maybe he'll have an in-grown toenail and the Chiefs can place him on injured reserve so that he won't be exposed to any other team.