Through the first four weeks of the 2021 season, per Sports Info Solutions, the Chiefs’ defense had allowed 584 rushing yards on 194 attempts and a league-high eight touchdowns (tied with the Texans) on opponent runs between the tackles — everything from head-over nose tackle to 4i (head-up over the offensive tackle). There are several reasons for this; the decision to move Chris Jones (not available for this game) from an inside/outside presence to more of an edge-rusher left the Chiefs too light inside, and they’ve been getting gashed between the tackles as a result.
This came home to roost on Sunday night, when Bills quarterback Josh Allen blew right through Kansas City’s defense for a nine-yard touchdown run with 4:16 left in the first quarter — the first touchdown for either team in Sunday night’s rematch of the AFC Championship Game.
Josh Allen runs it in 💪#BillsMafia scores the first TD
— TWSN (@TWSN___) October 11, 2021
The Chiefs had no adequate response to the RPO action on this play; their line was blocked out, giving Allen a huge gap up the middle, and Allen responded perfectly. In fact, Allen had three rushes for 42 yards on Buffalo’s first scoring drive, and whether he was rolling up the middle, to the left, or to the right, it was all too easy.
If the 2-2 Chiefs are to overtake the 3-1 Bills in this game and keep a high position in the AFC, they’ll have to solve this defensive issue — and several others — sooner than later. There’s only so many mistakes Patrick Mahomes can make up for over a season.