Pass Rush Is Needed To Compete For Super Bowl

Pass Rush Is Needed To Compete For Super Bowl

Mac Blank
1 year ago
3 min read
Kansas City Chiefs' Chris Jones celebrates after a sack against the Cincinnati Bengals

The stage for Super Bowl LVII is set, as the Kansas City Chiefs will face the Philadelphia Eagles for quite an exciting matchup. 

The playoffs up to this point have not disappointed, with upsets and magical come-from-behind wins. Of course, most fans were enamored by the high powered offenses, but if this Super Bowl matchup taught us anything, a good defensive front is what wins playoff games.

The Kansas City Chiefs

Starting first with the Kansas City Chiefs. Going into the season the talk about this team was how they were to overcome trading away their most dynamic offensive weapon in Tyreek Hill. They would of course go on to win not only their division but secure the number one seed in the AFC. 

Another hurdle had hit the team in the divisional game as Patrick Mahomes would be hobbled by a very serious ankle injury. They went on to barely beat the Jaguars, winning by only a touchdown. 

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The team knew what was waiting for them the following week, a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Fans and media alike were ready to crown the Bengals before even stepping on the field. 

How was a one- legged Patrick Mahomes supposed to outscore the most explosive offense in the league? Joe Burrow had yet to turn over the ball in two playoff games, yet on Sunday Burrow had two turnovers and had his worst passer rating since Week 1 of this year. 

This was due to the constant pressure he had faced all game. Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and the rest of the Chiefs front seven had sacked Joe Burrow five times and had hit him 12 times. Cincy couldn’t slow down this pass rush either with the run game as between Burrow, Mixon, and Perine, the Bengals could only muster up 71 total yards on the ground. 

The Philadelphia Eagles

As for the NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles bulldozed through both their playoff games with their defense giving up only 14 points in two playoff games. Neither New York or San Francisco could get the ground game going despite being fourth and eighth in the league in rushing during the regular season. 

The pass rush was just as impactful over the two playoff games, as the Eagles front seven accumulated eight sacks and four total turnovers, two of which were sack fumbles. It also goes without saying when the Eagles pass rushed knocked two San Francisco’s QBs out of the game, it almost guaranteed their chances of winning the NFC championship game. 

If the Cleveland Browns weren’t already convinced they needed to heavily upgrade the defensive line, the games last Sunday provided some damning evidence in favor of the idea. On the stat sheet and on tape, it was clear that Myles Garrett was the only player that could consistently get to the QB. 

He accumulated more sacks and pressures since Week 11 than any other defensive player on the team achieved all year. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz always boasted strong defensive lines throughout the years in Tennessee, Detroit, and Philadelphia, so there is a belief he will make a strong push to upgrade the talent alongside Myles Garrett. 

What we do know though, is without a top defensive front, the Browns will not be able to contend with the top teams in the NFL.

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