MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- In one sense, the Kansas City Chiefs are in no position to ask for more from their defense. Missing four starters because of injuries and put in difficult situations after turnovers and sloppy special teams play, the Chiefs got a significant effort from their defense in Sunday’s 34-15 victory against the Miami Dolphins. The Chiefs made a number of crucial defensive stops before the game turned into a rout in the final minutes.
But with the Chiefs facing a difficult stretch of schedule starting with next Monday night’s game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium, their defense will have to provide stops and more.
Specifically, the Chiefs will need to force turnovers. That’s something they have yet to do in the season’s first three games.
“Those things happen,’’ defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “I’m not sure why and when they happen but you’ve got to keep flying to the ball and when your opportunity comes you want to be there whether the ball is tipped, the ball is on the ground.
“Like we always say, numbers will favor us. We have a lot of people around the football whether it’s up in the air or on the ground and our chances are enhanced by that.’’
The Chiefs are odd candidates to go three games without forcing a turnover. Sutton’s defensive philosophy is based on pressure, which leads to turnovers. Last year the Chefs were league leaders in takeaways as they built a 9-0 record.
It hasn’t worked that way this year. But the other side is that the Chiefs also aren’t allowing as many big plays. They were among the NFL leaders in that category last season, too.
This year they’ve allowed only five pass plays of 20 or more yards.
But with games against the Patriots, 49ers and Chargers next on their schedule, the Chiefs have to find a balance with regard to creating turnovers.
“We’ve got to keep working on that and we’re working on that part in practice every day trying to get the ball out,’’ Sutton said. “I think it's like anything, that if you stay the course with it, hopefully those things will start working in your favor.”