3 Ways the L'Jarius Sneed Trade Could Backfire on Chiefs

L'Jarius Sneed allowed just a 54.2 passer rating when targeted in 2023
L'Jarius Sneed allowed just a 54.2 passer rating when targeted in 2023 / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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3. The Pass Rush Takes a Step Back

A great pass rush is kind of like a "chicken and egg" situation with the secondary and defensive line. If the secondary locks up pass-catchers, the defensive line has more time to generate pressure. If the defensive line generates pressure, the secondary needs to lock up receivers for less time. Which one deserves the bulk of the credit for high pressure and sack totals? Depends who you ask.

The Chiefs ranked third in sacks per game (3.0) after ranking second in 2022 (3.2), though those numbers came with Sneed and McDuffie routinely shutting down receivers. Chris Jones is still around of course, George Karlaftis is a budding star and Charles Omenihu notched seven sacks in 11 games, but how much credit does Sneed deserve for their great performances?

I tend to think that the pass rush makes the secondary's job easier more than the inverse is true, though we'll have a great test case here in the 2024 season. If the Chiefs struggle up front, it'll put more pressure on the back end to stick in coverage.

Jones isn't getting any younger and Omenihu is still recovering from an ACL tear. The Chiefs can use the cap space from the trade to sign reliable veterans like Mike Danna, though the defense is a unique puzzle in which every piece relies on each other.

Should Kansas City have issues getting to the passer, the house of cards may fall apart and leave the Chiefs frustrated that they let Sneed go.

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