The Chiefs have one of the best pass rushers in the league, Tamba Hali, but he’s the only good pass rusher they’ve had for the past few years. Hali turned in another strong season in 2011, ranking 4th on ProFootballFocus among rush linebackers and producing 12 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and 41 quarterback pressures on 459 pass rush snaps, good for a rate of 13.7%. However, the Chiefs only had 29 sacks.
In 2010, he had 19 sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 68 quarterback pressures on 583 pass rush snaps, good for a rate of 15.9%. The Chiefs did manage 46 sacks, including playoffs, but nickel rusher Wallace Gilberry with 7 was the only other player on the team with more than 3. In 2009, he had 9 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, and 36 quarterback pressures on 449 pass rush snaps, good for a rate of 12.9%, but only Gilberry with 6 had more than 2 and the Chiefs managed 26 as a team.
They have an emerging pass rusher in Justin Houston opposite him. He played every snap except one from week 11 on and had most of his production in those 7 games, with 6 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, and 11 quarterback pressures on 151 pass rush snaps, a rate of 12.6%. It’s no coincidence that the Chiefs had 20 of their 29 sacks in those 7 games.
However, the bad news for the Chiefs is that they’ll have to play their week 1 game without Tamba Hali, after he was suspended for a surprisingly somehow previously unreported marijuana arrest. This is will really hurt their pass rush and is a huge blow to their defense. It really hurts their chances of pulling off an upset victory at home against a talented Falcons team that does struggle on the road.
If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote). http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/football/commissioner/Registration/Private.aspx?league=55086&password=FanSpot2