While the Kansas City Chiefs offense struggled to put touchdowns on the board in a 43-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the defense continued its standard.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s unit capitalized off turnovers and third-down stops and allowed the Broncos to visit the red zone just twice, even though they dominated in time of possession.
According to safety Tyrann Mathieu, the Week 7 win was another step towards redeveloping a mantra the unit carried a year ago.
"This is a new season and I think you have to build your way to championship tone, championship swagger,” Mathieu said. “I think the last two games that we’ve been able to put together, I do feel us beginning to tap into that mantra, to that attitude, to that standard.”
The Chiefs’ defense garnered four turnovers on the day. Mathieu recorded one of the takeaways, intercepting a pass from Broncos quarterback Drew Lock targeted for wide receiver Kenny Bell in the fourth quarter.
Two arrived by fumble recoveries from defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton and a third came from a pick-six by safety Daniel Sorensen.
The offense proceeded to score following Clark’s fumble recovery and Mathieu’s interception, helping the Chiefs to victory.
“I think [the defense] obviously having a chip on our shoulder, not necessarily wanting to be the little brother but wanting to be the reason, or be a part of the reason, why the Kansas City Chiefs are a great team,” Mathieu said. “We’re still working towards that, we’re still building towards that, but I think any time you have a performance like this to where you step up as a defense, I think that sends confidence through the whole locker room that each unit can trust each other, each unit can feed off each other and grow off each other. “