Through two weeks, the Chiefs have played two of the league’s best rushing teams from 2020.
But Kansas City’s run defense has left a lot to be desired.
After Baltimore ran for 251 yards on Sunday, the Chiefs have surrendered a league-high 404 rushing yards and 6.0 yards per carry through Week Two. Over time, those numbers will surely come down. But even considering the Chiefs’ opponents, safety Tyrann Mathieu feels like Kansas City needs to make improving the run defense a priority.
“We have to commit to stopping the run. It has to be No. 1 with us,” Mathieu said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN. “The [Ravens are] good. Those guys can run the ball. It was a team effort for them and it’s got to be a team effort for us to stop the run. They play fast, but we just have to find a way to get back to committing ourselves to stopping the run.
“Every play isn’t going to be a pass. Against these kinds of teams — the Ravens, the Titans, the Browns — you have to be ready to stop the run. You have to be committed. And that’s not just the defensive line. That’s the other guys as well. … [Defense isn’t all] sacks and interceptions.”
Kansas City might be better off if it were, as Mathieu provided two picks against Baltimore — one of which he returned for a touchdown.
The Chiefs play the Chargers at home in Week Three. Though Austin Ekeler is a dual-threat out of the backfield, Los Angeles isn’t as much of a running threat as Cleveland or Baltimore. But Kansas City better be prepared, or Ekeler, Larry Rountree, and Justin Jackson could put up big numbers.