Chiefs shouldn't back off from Pryor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs lead the NFL in sacks with 21 and have forced the opposing quarterback to hurry his throw on numerous other occasions, but there’s a price to be paid for all of that pressure.

They’ve allowed some long quarterback runs, some to a nimble player like Michael Vick, but others to plodders like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eli Manning.

They will face another mobile quarterback Sunday against the Oakland Raiders in Terrelle Pryor. Pryor has running ability like that of Vick, who had runs of 61, 24 and 14 yards against the Chiefs.

The Chiefs didn’t back off from pressure against Vick, and that strategy eventually paid off. The Chiefs intercepted Vick twice, returning one for a touchdown, and forced him to fumble once.

So don’t look for them to back off against Pryor even though he’s Oakland’s leading rusher with 229 yards and a 6.2 yards-per-carry average.

“You don’t want to get into a position where you’re afraid to rush,’’ defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “You need to pressure these guys. It’s not always sacks. We use the word ‘affect.’ We want to affect the quarterback. You can affect the quarterback in a lot of ways, and sometimes it’s pushing that thing where he knows it’s going to be relentless, that it’s just going to keep coming.

“If he gets out once in awhile, he gets out. We just have to limit those opportunities.’’

Sutton’s right. The ability to get after and, as Sutton says, affect the quarterback, is the strength of Kansas City’s defense. The Chiefs have the athletes to deal with Pryor and his running ability, and they should use them.