Chiefs have hard time taking Dontari Poe out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sunday's workload was, relatively speaking, a light one for Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe. He spent exactly two of the Denver Broncos' 70 offensive plays on the sideline.

That's a huge workload for every other defensive lineman of his size, which is roughly 345 pounds. But for Poe it's nothing. He has played on every defensive snap in four of the Chiefs' games this season, including an amazing 80-for-80 in recent back-to back games against the Buffalo Bills and Broncos.

Poe has been in the lineup for 95 percent of Kansas City's defensive plays.

"I can't imagine that there's that many players of his size that don't come out of the game very often," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said.

Poe is probably the only one, in fact. It says two things about Poe, one being his superb physical conditioning. Poe said he has greatly improved his diet, something he credits for his iron man defensive status.

But it also speaks to Poe's value to the Chiefs. He's still playing well, as are a couple of his defensive teammates, linebacker Derrick Johnson and safety Eric Berry. But as the play of Kansas City's cornerbacks have declined and their pass rush has stalled, it's becoming obvious that Poe is their most valuable player, at least on the defensive side.

"He has played a lot of snaps," coach Andy Reid said. "He's a tough one to substitute (for) because he wants to be out there every snap. He doesn't want to come out of the game. He enjoys playing.

"I don't see anything where he's fatigued at this point. He's maintained his play level and he's been healthy and he enjoys the role he's been in."