Chiefs vs. Panthers: 10 Stats to Know

Here are some things to know heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers

The Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) will try and win their fifth straight game of the season on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers (3-5), who have won two consecutive games after beginning the season with a disappointing 1-5 record. 

It's important to note that three of the losses this year for the Panthers—the defending NFC champions—have been by three points or less, so the Chiefs are in for a tough battle as they travel to Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.

Here are 10 stats to know about the game: 1.       They just keep winning games

The Chiefs have won 16 of their last 18 regular-season games, which is the best winning percentage of any team in the NFL over that time. 2.       The run defense has stood tall in the red zone

Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the Chiefs defense has only allowed 23 touchdowns rushing to opposing offenses, which is the fewest of any team in the league.

It's a number that illustrates how the team tends to respond when its backs are against the wall, and here's another stat to back up that thought:

So far this season, the defense also has six red zone takeaways, which is the most of any team in the league, including four that were goal-to-go situations.

It's a mindset. 3.       The Panthers offense ranks as one of the best in the league

Through the first eight games of the season, the Panthers are averaging 25.5 points per game, which ranks ninth in the NFL.

Inside the red zone, the Panthers are also one of the best in the league—scoring touchdowns on 67.9 percent of their drives, which ranks fifth in the league.

It'll be strength on strength on Sunday. 4.       The Panthers have been particularly strong against the run this season

The Chiefs are awaiting the news on whether or not running back Spencer Ware (concussion) will be able to play or not on Sunday, and regardless of who's in the backfield for the Chiefs—the test the Panthers present is going to be a tough one.

The Panthers lead the NFL by allowing an average of just 3.3 yards per rush to opposing teams, and they rank third in the league by allowing just 77.5 yards rushing per game. 5.       The pass defense for the Panthers has been susceptible

The Panthers rank 29th in the NFL by allowing an average of 286 yards passing per game to opponents this season.

Over the past three games, two of which the Panthers did win, the defense gave up 465, 363 and 296 yards passing, respectively.

Those games were against the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees (465 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT), the Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer (363 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT) and the Los Angeles Rams' Case Keenum (296 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT).

To take those numbers one step further, when the Panthers have blitzed this season, the opposing quarterback has a rating of 118.41, which is the highest in the league. 6.       Maybe this is Tyreek Hill's week

Through eight games, rookie fifth-round pick Tyreek Hill leads the AFC by averaging 16.7 yards per punt return. He has four returns of at least 20 yards.

It's even more impressive that Hill has that high of an average without a single return for a touchdown, although he's seemingly been one missed tackle away from a few of those this season.

The Panthers punt coverage unit is allowing 14.4 yards per punt return, which is second-to-last in the league. They've allowed two returns of 50-plus yards, including a 54-yarder against the Vikings, which was brought back for a touchdown. 7.       The Chiefs have been strong on special teams under Dave Toub

It's no secret that Chiefs special team's coordinator Dave Toub is one of the best in the NFL, and it's a reputation he's earned throughout his time with the Chiefs and going back even before that to when he was with the Chicago Bears.

Under Toub, the Chiefs special teams coverage units are one of only six in the NFL to not allow a return touchdown of any kind over the past three-plus seasons.

To take it one step further, the punt coverage unit under Toub has allowed an average of just 6.3 yards per return, which ranks second best in the league (Los Angeles Rams, 5.7 ypr) since 2013. 8.       The last two weeks have been kind to Panthers pass rushers

Over the last two games—both wins—the Panthers have brought down opposing quarterbacks a total of 12 times, which leads the league.

They have six players with multiple sacks this season, led by defensive lineman Star Lotulelei, who has four this year.

Overall, the Panthers, led by a diverse and deep defensive line, rank fourth in the NFL with 24 sacks this season. 9.       The Chiefs offense hasn't been hurting themselves

Over the past four games, the Chiefs haven't committed a single turnover, which is one of the top reasons they've been able to put together this current winning streak.

When you add in the fact that the defense leads the league with 20 takeaways this season, the Chiefs have a plus-13 turnover differential, which leads the league.

To go a step further—through eight games this season—the Chiefs rank fourth for fewest total penalties called against and yards penalized. They've only been called for 47 penalties (24 offense, 13 defense and 10 special teams) for a total of just 377 yards. 10.   Dee Ford, Marcus Peters still ranking among the best

Through the first half of the season, cornerback Marcus Peters is still tied for the NFL lead with five interceptions, while linebacker Dee Ford is currently tied for third in the league with nine sacks.

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