Daniel Sorensen and the Chiefs' Defense Are Trying to Change the Narrative
Tucker D. Franklin
Kansas City Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen might be the most talked-about player on the team, outside of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and not in a good way.
Sorensen went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft and signed with the Chiefs and hasn't left since. The BYU alum takes more than his fair share of criticism from Chiefs Kingdom but after a pair of solid performances from the safety, the narrative about him and the defense is beginning to change.
Despite solid showings, Sorensen isn't taking credit for how he's been playing. In his press conference on Wednesday, the Chiefs safety gave props to his teammates
“A lot goes to the leadership on the team," Sorensen said. "You’ve got Tyrann [Mathieu] and our coaches that encourage us to push ourselves during the week, during practice, to study hard, to practice hard. Those plays and plays that other guys make are just a reflection of the hard work that everyone puts in during the week.”
In back-to-back weeks, Sorenson has logged an interception with his first one sealing a win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 6.
This past week, Sorensen was the Chiefs' highest-rated defensive player against the Denver Broncos, according to Pro Football Focus.
The 30-year-old turned in the best PFF grade of his career on Sunday as he recorded an interception returned for a touchdown, eight tackles, one assisted tackle and no missed tackles.
“We’re probably as close of a unit as I’ve ever experienced in my seven years," Sorensen said of the defense's cohesiveness this season. "A lot of that has to do with guys coming back. We’ve got the same secondary that we had last year for the most part. We know each other really well, we’ve been playing together for a long time, a lot of games now. I think there’s a lot of continuity there.”
In the latest DVOA rankings from Football Outsiders, the Chiefs defense fell three spots from tenth to 13th after beating the Broncos. Part of the reason for the drop in ranking is Kansas City's run defense.
According to DVOA, the Chiefs are the fifth-best passing defense in the league while they rank 31st in rushing defense.
While Kansas City's defense has impressed since their lackluster performance against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sorensen said there is more work to do in the run-stopping department.
“We really like the idea of being a stout defensive team as far as stopping the run," Sorensen said. "That’s something that we’re going to be chasing and always going to be trying to improve week in and week out. It always comes down to points for the defense. That's all that matters, is the points on the scoreboard. Keeping those points low and closing games out. You can play good defense for three quarters and have the game in hand, but you still don’t want those points to creep up on the scoreboard. Things like that, we’re always chasing.”