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How Dominant Was the Chiefs Defense on Sunday?

It was dominant in every sense of the word

The laughing and cheering was audible from the other side of the wall.

Just minutes before, the players had walked off the field at Qualcomm Stadium victorious for the fourth game in a row.

The Kansas City Chiefs (5-5) had just dominated all three phases of the game against the San Diego Chargers (2-8) and won by a score of 33-3.

Before the media is allowed to enter the locker room after games in San Diego, the players have 10 minutes to meet and celebrate. In the case of Qualcomm Stadium, it's *either *locker room.

The Chargers have a unique setup in that the road teams have separate locker rooms for their offense and defense. Neither of the rooms are very big and they sit next to one another down a long hallway.

And despite the few minutes of waiting outside, the cheers and celebratory yelling already began telling the story of what transpired on Sunday afternoon.


It was more than interceptions, yards allowed or 346-pound big-man touchdowns. The Kansas City Chiefs showed everyone what they are about in their 33-3 win.

It wasn't a display of what they could do; they've already done that over the past four games. This was an exclamation point on what they're already been doing, and people will begin to take notice.

That's the biggest takeaway.

Over the past two weeks against divisional opponents on the road—the Denver Broncos last week and then the Chargers on Sunday—the Chiefs have outscored them 62-16 combined.

"I thought our defense played a good football game all the way around," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game on Sunday. "Eric Berry continues to play well, Justin Houston…I could keep going—they're all playing well and playing confident.

"It's important that we continue to build on it."


The Chiefs had just shut down the NFL's fourth-ranked offense in the Chargers, who came into Sunday's game averaging 414 yards per game offensively.

How'd they fair on Sunday?

They managed just 201 yards of total offense against a Chiefs defense that never allowed them even near the red zone, with the Chargers best drive culminating at the 34-yard line and ending with a 52-yard field goal early in the second quarter.

That's as close as they'd ever get to scoring on this defense.

The 3 points were the fewest the Chargers have scored all season, and the total of 201 yards was their lowest as well.

Rivers came into the game flirting with a pace to break the NFL's single-season passing yards record, as well as the completion percentage record, but he completed just 19 of 30 for 178 yards and an interception on Sunday.

Through his first nine games, Rivers had yet to throw for less than 240 yards in any one, let alone 178. It was his worst showing of the season.

Over the past six games and through this four-game winning streak, the Chiefs have allowed an average of just 12 points per game, which is the best in the NFL over that span.

They forced two more turnovers on Sunday and didn't commit one themselves, which brings their turnover ratio to plus-12 over the past four games—a statistic more than any other that illustrates why they've been successful through this stretch.

Photos from the Chiefs Week 11 matchup against the Chargers

"The communication has been the difference," Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston said of their recent dominance. "From the coaches to the players, if you get everyone on the same page and handling their assignment, that'll go a long way."

Individually, Houston once again proved why he's commonly referred to as the best outside linebacker in football with a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the third quarter.

It gave the Chiefs a 19-3 lead.

On the play, Philip Rivers was trying to setup a screen pass off to the right that would float right over the head of Houston, who recognized what they were trying to do just in the nick of time.

He stopped his pursuit of Rivers when he recognized what was happening and quickly dropped into coverage—all in the matter of a split-second. Houston got his hands up and deflected the pass, which he caught, and then returned it 17 yards for the touchdown.

It was everything. "I'm going to tell you I'm proud of the guys for the character that they have," Reid said. "They've played their hearts out and they'll continue to do that because that's way they're wired."

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