Chiefs finding new plan to fix defense

BY foxsports • September 21, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With all the talk about the Chiefs' sputtering offense and the limitations of quarterback Matt Cassel, let's not forget how utterly awful the Chiefs' defense has been through two games.

Injuries aside, Romeo Crennel's defense was supposed to be the backbone of the 2012 Chiefs.

Instead, the defense has been a sieve through two games, allowing a league-high 37.5 points per game while forcing zero turnovers and registering just one sack.

While this defense is not exactly Greg Robinson bad, not yet at least, it is strikingly feeble especially when you consider how good this defense was at the end of last season.

Remember the Green Bay game last season? Remember how the Chiefs throttled the high-flying Packers and Aaron Rodgers, and handed the Packers their only loss of the regular season?

Where is that defense?

"I really don't remember that much about that game," Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers told "That seems like a long time ago. We've had games since then, a full off-season, OTAs, a preseason, more games this year. That game in ancient history. That Packers game is so far gone."

But perhaps the Chiefs should try to remember it as they prepare for Drew Brees and the Saints this weekend.

Even Flowers admitted that there are some similarities between Brees and Rodgers, as well as between the Packers and the Saints.

"Well, if you're out of position, they both can make you pay," Flowers said. "And they both come up to the line and check you out, and you get the feeling that they really know where each defender is and what he's going to do.

"So yeah, we have to be really good at disguising what we do. And we can't have any breakdowns in coverage. If we do, guys like that will hurt you. They'll really make you pay."

Flowers also will concede that stopping the Saints, just like stopping the Packers, starts with stopping the quarterback.

"It's a quarterback-driven league," Flowers said. "We all know that now. So that has to be your top focus. Slow the quarterback down. Confuse him if you can. Get pressure on him and that takes pressure off us in the back end."

That's exactly what the Chiefs did to Rodgers last year at Arrowhead. A blueprint for beating Brees, too?

"Not going to say that," Flowers said. "Last year was last year. That's history. We have a different defense this year. We have some new guys, different guys. It's not the same defense.

"The thing is, everything changes from year to year. You can be the best defense in football one year and be No. 32 the very next year, even if you have the exact same players. It happens that fast. There are small margins for error in this league."

The Saints, too, have had huge issues on defense, also surrendering 37.5 points a game.

"That's what makes this game so interesting," Flowers said. "We're 0-2 and they're 0-2 and no one wants to go 0-3. I'm sure they're thinking the same things we are. Their coaches are telling them the same things.

"But someone will be 0-3, and even though there's a lot of season left, you sure don't want to be that 0-3 team. We're going to do our part on defense to make sure we're not that 0-3 team."

Flowers, who missed all of the preseason and the first regular-season game because of injury, isn't sure what's missing from this year's Chiefs defense but vows it will improve.

"It's a lot of little things," he said. "It's a missed tackle here and a missed assignment there. But all those things can be fixed. We just have to keep working at it. We have confidence. We know we can play. We just have to go out and prove it now."

This will be Flowers' first game ever against Brees.

"It's going to be a big challenge for us," he said. "We've got to find a way."

Tempting as it might be, Flowers won't lean on memories of last year's upset of Green Bay to prepare for this week's challenge.

"Not going there," Flowers said, smiling. "You can't harp on the past."

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