5 Most Important Kansas City Chiefs in 2013

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Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe (92)Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5- DONTARI POE: As a rookie in 2012, Dontari Poe showed some brief flashes as to why the Chiefs drafted him in the first round. He showed athleticism that belied his massive size. He just wasn’t consistent, as is the case with many first year players. He accumulated just 38 tackles and no sacks. The most positive thing about his play was that he did bat down 4 passes.

2013 was a much different season. Poe became a force in the middle of an aggressive, attacking defense. Despite the fact he sat out the last game against the San Diego Chargers, he recorded 51 tackles in 2013, including 43 solo stops, 15 more than last year, in one less game. He tallied 4.5 sacks, and he plugged the middle, and has pushed the pocket from the middle, allowing the blitzers and outside pass rushers to achieve success.

Like the rest of the defense, Poe’s first half of the season was more successful than the second half statistically. He hasn’t recorded a sack since week 5, but he has still has been a force in the middle. Like Tamba Hali and Justin Houston on the outside, offenses must account for Poe on every play.

Another impressive, and important aspect, of Poe’s game is his stamina. He seldom take plays off. For a guy who is 6’3″, 346 pounds, that is remarkable. He provides steady play and energy for the Chiefs.

Derrick Johnson could have been put in this spot but Johnson is a known commodity, and Poe offered something the Chiefs haven’t had for a very long time – a force in the middle of the defensive line.

Poe may not get the headlines and accolades that his flashy, pass rushing teammates may receive, but it is hard to imagine how bad this defense might be without Dontari Poe anchoring the middle.