To tackle better, KC needs to show resolve

January, 1, 2014
Jan 1
7:30
AM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ask cornerback Brandon Flowers about the recent tackling problems of the Kansas City Chiefs defense and he'll give you a general answer that doesn't reflect any great resolve.

Flowers
"It's hard," Flowers said. "Guys in the National Football League, there are some great runners out there. We've got to make sure to do our part to bring them down whether it's running to the ball ... whatever we have to do."

But ask Flowers about a particular play, one in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago, and he shows an acceptable amount of anger.

On that play, a 51-yard touchdown run by Colts running back Donald Brown, Flowers, free safety Kendrick Lewis and nickel back Dunta Robinson each missed attempted tackles. Lewis actually had Brown wrapped up but failed to bring him down.

"With the defensive guys we have in this building, this room, that huddle, that's not acceptable at all," Flowers said. "We watched it a hundred times to see what happened on that run. The guys that missed those tackles, everybody faulted themselves. Nobody blamed each other. We know we've got to get it right."

The Chiefs were a solid tackling team when the season began but things have been sloppy in that department over the past several weeks. The Chiefs set a torrid defensive pace for the season's first half by sacking the quarterback and forcing turnovers at a high rate.

The Chiefs cooled down considerably in those categories since then and their tackling has worsened. Those are indications of a tired defense.

Eight defensive starters, Flowers among them, received a bye of sorts last weekend when they didn't play in the final regular-season game in San Diego. Maybe they will return refreshed in Saturday's playoff rematch against the Colts in Indianapolis.

If not, tackling against Brown and the Colts could be a problem again. If it is, the Chiefs probably won't get another chance to get it right.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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