Kansas City Chiefs: Is Offense Or Defense More Important In 2014


Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was a strange one for the Kansas City Chiefs. In the first nine games, the defense was dominant, holding each opponent to 17 points or less. During the bye in week 10, analysts were saying that the Chiefs were the best defense in the league.

On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs were not looking great. Alex Smith had decent stats, but it just never seemed like the offense could score points. During those first nine games, the defense was usually responsible for at least one score each game (if not multiple scores).

After Kansas City’s first match-up against the Broncos, things changed. In week 12, the Chiefs faced San Diego and the game basically went back and forth with who was leading. Kansas City’s defense looked horrendous, not being able to stop a thing and barely getting any pressure on Philip Rivers. Part of this might have been due to both Tamba Hali and Justin Houston being injured earlier on in the game.

In the same game against the Chargers, the offense stepped up immensely. While the Chargers’ secondary didn’t play well, it wasn’t the sole reason Kansas City’s offense started clicking, as Smith and his crew continued to put up a lot of points throughout the rest of the season.

Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In the playoff game against the Colts, the Chiefs had a 38-10 lead at halftime. Kansas City scored their 38 points without their offensive weapon Jamaal Charles, who was injured on the first series of the game.

Things seemed promising, as both sides of the ball were doing their jobs. The Chiefs’ defense picked off Andrew Luck three times and kept the Colts off the field for much of the first half.

When the second half rolled around, the Chiefs defense never came back on the field. Well, at least it seemed that way as Luck brought Indianapolis back to win the game. Not only that, but Kansas City’s offense was decimated with injuries and poor Alex Smith had no one to throw to.

It was a tough loss to swallow and brought up the question: which side of the ball is more important for the Chiefs in 2014?

Many would say that without points, a team can’t win. Usually that’s the way I would look at it too, but in the first nine weeks of the season, the Chiefs were winning. They might not have been crushing opponents, but they were winning. The defense would bring out their big plays at the end of the game and Kansas City would squeeze out another win each week.

As soon as the offense started to improve, the defense looked sluggish and the Chiefs finished the regular season 2-5 after a 9-0 start. If the Chiefs’ defense had been able to tackle better and stop the Colts’ offense, how far would Kansas City have gone in the playoffs?

When looking at other teams such as the Broncos or the Patriots, their big name quarterbacks come to mind. Those two teams rely on their offense to win games. Denver’s offense got them to the Super Bowl after a record-breaking season for Peyton Manning, while the Seahawks got to the big game with their stellar defense. It was a Super Bowl that matched the best offense in the league against the best defense in the league, and we all saw how that one turned out.

Which side of the ball is more important for the Kansas City Chiefs next season? Is it better for Kansas City to go back to its early 2013 season roots and stop opposing quarterbacks from making plays? Or is it better for the Chiefs to put up big numbers and then hope the other team can’t keep up?

Fire away Chiefs Kingdom! I’m curious to know if you think offense or defense will help our boys get to the playoffs again next season.