On their way to winning Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs had several players step up on defense who they didn’t expect to do so.
The Kansas City Chiefs had a putrid defense in 2018 and it prevented them from making a trip to Super Bowl LIII. Brett Veach made it his mission to not only build a better defense, but to do so by putting a wrecking ball through the old one and essentially starting from scratch.
It was a bold move, but we saw less than a year later that it paid off in the biggest way, as the KC Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV and their defense helped pave the way.
We all know that guys like Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark were pivotal to the defensive improvements in 2019, but what about the ones who came out of nowhere and made their presence known? Let’s take a look at the most surprising defensive standouts from 2019.
Prior to 2018, Bashaud Breeland was up for grabs and had actually met with the Chiefs during training camp. It would have made a lot of sense for the Chiefs to have brought him in to help that horrid secondary, but a deal was never made and ultimately he wound up in Green Bay in 2018.
A year later, the Chiefs got a deal done with Breeland and it was once a one-year “prove it” deal for the Clemson corner. Fans expected an improvement in the secondary, but they didn’t expect it to become one of the better passing defenses in the league.
Breeland helped with that. He finished his 2019 campaign tallying two interceptions, eight passes defensed, two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), and 48 combined sacks. His most impressive play of the season was in week four against the Lions when he took a fumble recovery 100 yards the other way for six points in what ended up being a nail biting win for the Chiefs. He also had an interception in the Super Bowl that led to three KC points.
While Breeland had his miscues, no player is perfect and if you surveyed ten Chiefs fans, there’s a strong chance that all ten would say Breeland was great and they’d want him back in a Chiefs uniform in 2020.