Just like it has many other times this season, the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense was the star of the show in Saturday’s Wild Card victory over the Miami Dolphins. While Andy Reid and Matt Nagy’s offense undoubtedly played a more efficient brand of football and hung 26 points on Miami, Steve Spagnuolo’s side of the ball managed to shine even more.
For anyone watching this season, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.Entering the postseason, Kansas City held tremendous rankings in a variety of statistics. Points and yards allowed (second), first downs (third), passing touchdowns (fourth), rushing touchdowns (fourth), EPA per play (sixth) and DVOA (seventh) all reflected a successful regular season. A seven-point allowance against Miami to open the playoffs was more of the same.
“I talked about it I think in training camp, I really would not want to play our defense,” Mahomes said. “We have great players, we have great players all around, every single level you have players, you have depth, guys rotate in, can do it all and then you have Spags in the scheme and all the guys are so well coached in the scheme that they use it to their advantage and you never know where they’re at
. (L’Jarius) Sneed can play inside [and] outside, (Trent) McDuffie can play inside (and) outside, all the linebackers can guard and can make tackles. It’s hard to make a beat on what they’re doing and that’s why I knew in training camp I was like, ‘Man I’m glad I don’t have to play those guys because that would be tough.’”
Holding the ball for just 25:55 of game time on Saturday, the Dolphins’ previously high-powered attack produced incredibly mortal results. Gaining just 13 first downs and 264 yards on 4.5 yards per play, Mike McDaniel’s group went 1-for-12 on third down and punted four times. It was an ugly showing for a team that ranked first in offensive yards gained and second in points scored during the regular season.