Ratings differ for Chiefs' offense, defense

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- For those with ESPN Insider access, Pro Football Focus has a couple of interesting stories ranking the NFL’s 32 offenses and defenses. The Chiefs rank second defensively but 23rd on offense.

Neither rank is a particular surprise. While the Chiefs certainly didn’t play like the NFL’s second-best defense over the last half of last season, there’s no denying the talent. I’ve written many times of the disconnect between the talent level on the Chiefs’ defense and the results over the season’s final several games, and this is yet another indication.

PFF says the Chiefs have three of the NFL defensive players it considers elite: nose tackle Dontari Poe, linebacker Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry. No other NFL team has more than two.

PFF ranks the Chiefs’ edge pass rushers as the best in the league, their defensive line third and their linebackers ninth. PFF says their defensive backs are 11th best, a ranking that has to be raised considerably by the presence of Berry.

Offense is a completely different situation. PFF ranks the Chiefs’ running backs as best in the league because of Jamaal Charles and blocking fullback Anthony Sherman. But PFF is down on their quarterbacks (ranked 23rd), offensive line (ranked 31st) and receivers (also 31st).

Alex Smith and Chase Daniel are better than the 23rd-best quarterback combination in the NFL. While it’s true the Chiefs lost to free agency the two linemen PFF rated the highest on the team last season (Branden Albert and Geoff Schwartz), they will still have four starting linemen drafted in the third round or higher. So they have some talent there.

But their receivers are capable of dragging the Chiefs down. So the ranking of 23 is probably fair.