Will the Kansas City Chiefs Defend the Air Raid?
Quarterback Joe Burrow has come into his own in year two of his NFL career. The former LSU Tiger tore his ACL in 2020 and was only able to play in ten total games. In 2021 he has ignited the offense and the fan base in Cincinnati. Burrow has completed 264-out-of-404 attempts for a 69.9% completion percentage. He has thrown for 4,165 yards on average of 8.7 yards per attempt. His 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions puts him towards the top of the NFL quarterback rankings. The Bengals like to throw the football to their young wide receivers, and that is seen in Joe Burrow’s statistics.
Rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase is posting incredible first-year numbers. Chase has played in 15 games catching 68-out-of-112 targets. With two games remaining in the regular season, Chase has 1,163 yards averaging 17.1 yards per reception and 10 touchdowns. He is averaging 77.5 yards per game with an impressive 469 yards after contact.
The second-year wide receiver Tee Higgins is also posting incredible numbers. In 13 games played, Higgins has caught 71-out-of-105 targets. Just like Chase, Higgins has broken the 1000 yard mark and currently has 1,029 yards on the season with two games remaining in the NFL regular season. He is averaging 14.5 yards per reception with six touchdowns on the season. Higgins averages 79.2 yards per game with 262 yards after catch.
The Chiefs’ secondary will have their hands full, covering these two impressive wideouts. Kansas City looks to send out a healthy defense that has been utterly impressive for the last eight weeks of the season. The defensive front will need to apply pressure on Joe Burrow allowing the secondary to limit the big-play ability of the Bengals’ lethal receivers.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will need to dial up one of his best games. I would look for Chris Jones to wreak havoc on the interior of the offensive line. The Bengals’ offensive line has given up a whopping 47 sacks on the season, which bodes well for an aggressive Chiefs’ pass rush.