Chiefs still in search of the missing pass rush
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five things on the current state of the Chiefs.
PASS RUSH AWOL
There’s no secret that a key element to the Chiefs’ defense is the pass rush.
And without that pass rush, the Chiefs’ defense can look pretty toothless, as has been the case the past three weeks.
But defensive coordinator Bob Sutton still believes there is more to his defense than the glitz of sacking the quarterback.
“If you want to just throw the ball quick, the reality is there is not a lot you can do to sack the quarterback,” Sutton said. “To me, it has always been are you getting off the field on third down? Whether we get off the field on third down by coverage or we get off the field because you complete a pass that isn’t enough for a first down. That’s the objective.”
Not to say Sutton doesn’t want a little more glitz these days.
“Hey, we love the sack,” he said. “If there is one thing we know about a sack is that you’re leaving the field if it’s third down — that’s huge.
“You have to keep drilling down, keep working at it. Sacks are — like we tell the players all the time — usually one click away. Whether it’s a little better rush, a little better coverage or whatever it is, that’s what you have to do.”
STICKING WITH COOPER
Even though rookie defensive back Marcus Cooper has been sizzled and toasted for three straight weeks, the Chiefs aren’t giving up on him.
And apparently they aren’t to the point of benching him for Dunta Robinson, either.
“We talk about our personnel every week,” Sutton said. “I would say that it’s not that we didn’t give thought to anything at any position. We elected to stay where we’re at and see if we can move forward from there.”
Jamaal Charles isn’t taking lightly the fact he’s in the Chiefs’ record book now with four 1,000-yard rushing seasons, surpassing Priest Holmes who had three.
Larry Johnson and Christian Okoye each had two 1,000-yard seasons.
“I’m just happy to have my teammates and my lineman to push me and my coaches push me,” Charles said. “Many people don’t have coaches and teammates to go out there and push them to go 1,000 yards.
“I mean, I know it’s a big deal. I grew up watching Priest Holmes, and I played with Larry Johnson. I know about the great running backs who came through here and played. So, to be up there with some of the top running backs in the Chiefs franchise, I think that’s big. I’m going to continue to go out there and make history and break records.
“I mean, records don’t stand for long. Somebody will come in and break my records one day as well.”
The Chiefs may be getting some valuable playing time finally from wideout A.J. Jenkins.
Jenkins caught three passes for 35 yards Sunday, including a clutch, leaping 26-yarder on third-and-14 from the Chiefs’ four-yard line late in the game.
We might be seeing even more of Jenkins, who says he has stayed prepared for his chance.
“I mean, we have a lot of talented players on this offense,” he said, “and we try to use everybody in the best way we can.
“You do your work each week and when your chance comes you try to use it.”
WIN AND THEY’RE IN
As we’ve mentioned before this week, the Chiefs are basically one win away from clinching a playoff spot, most likely as the No. 5 seed.
A win over the Redskins on Sunday coupled with a loss by either Baltimore or Miami would do it.
Don’t hold your breath on Baltimore losing at home to the Vikings, who are seven-point underdogs.
But the game to keep an eye on is Miami at Pittsburgh — the Dolphins are three-point dogs and will be playing in frosty Pennsylvania.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.