KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said the Kansas City Chiefs have "enough things in the cupboard" and opponents haven't figured out his game plans.
That may eventually prove to be true. For now, opposing passing games are finding a way to neutralize the Chiefs' pass rush. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the average time of a dropback for an opponent pass attempt over the past two games is 2.55 seconds. That's compared to 3.81 seconds over the first eight games.
The Chiefs didn't have a sack in either game, against Denver and Buffalo.
Kansas City's ability to win the AFC West championship may depend on Sutton's ability to figure out how to force opponents into turnovers. The Chiefs thrived early in the season when they were doing so, but they have only two interceptions in their last four games.
Sutton's response to the quick passing has so far been to back off the blitz. The Chiefs sent five or more pass rushers to the quarterback on about 34 percent of opponent pass plays in the season's first seven games.
They've done so on just 26 percent of passes since.
"Sometimes you have to play tighter coverage, sometimes you have to go the opposite way and put more people in coverage," Sutton said. "Sometimes you just have to say, well, we're not going to get there so . . . then instead of having normal rushes or any kind of max rushes, you say we'll have limited rushes and put more people in coverage. It's just a game like that.
"If [the opposing quarterback] wants to throw it [quickly], it really doesn't matter if five [pass-rushers] are coming or six are coming or four are coming. If he just wants to get rid of the ball, he can do that. Obviously the more people we put in coverage, the [more] we can affect who he can throw to."