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Previewing the Kansas City Chiefs Defense

The Kansas City Chiefs defense has talented players, but still has holes that the Las Vegas Raiders can exploit

The Kansas City Chiefs defense has taken its lumps at times over the past couple years, but they've finished as a top-10 scoring defense each of the past three seasons. 

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has found ways to get his players to be at their best by the end of the year, but early inconsistencies haven't gone away. 

The Chiefs numbers defensively aren't bad but not great either, ranking 20th in the NFL in points allowed and 13th in total yards allowed.

The one thing they've done well is stop the run, giving up the least amount of rushing yards and allowing only 3.3 yards per carry. 

It's fitting then that the Chiefs exist at the opposite extreme when it comes to pass defense, placing 27th in pass yards allowed and 30th in passing touchdowns. 

They have been able to generate an effective pass rush with 11 sacks on the year, and that starts with defensive tackle Chris Jones. 

The three-time Pro Bowler has nine or more sacks in three of the last four seasons, and has often been the one consistent pass rusher on the Chiefs defensive line. 

He has some help this year, with veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap and first-round rookie George Karlaftis III giving the Chiefs more juice off the edge. 

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It allows second-year linebacker Nick Bolton to clean up plays even easier, as the Chiefs leading tackler is quickly rising the ranks of the best linebackers in the NFL. 

While the Chiefs have struggled in coverage, they have a secondary that isn't without talent. 

L'Jarius Sneed is Pro Football Focus's fifth-highest rated cornerback so far this season, second on the Chiefs in tackles and actually leading the Chiefs with three sacks. 

They've got surprisingly good play out of sixth-round rookie corner Jaylen Watson, and safety Justin Reid has largely been an above-average. 

The Las Vegas Raiders didn't experience much offensive success against the Chiefs last season, scoring a combined 23 points in their two games. 

Even without wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, the Raiders have the requisite talent on offense to make the Chiefs defense keep on their heels. 

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