The Chiefs pass rush can impress next season
By: Jake Rajala
The Kansas City Chiefs were not close to being an impressive pass-rushing force last season. The Chiefs ranked 29th in sacks (31 sacks) — which trended in the opposite direction of their passing offense (fourth in passing yards and sixth in passing touchdowns). It was clear that KC needed to shop for more superb pass-rushing talent this off-season and I honestly believe the Steve Spagnuolo-led defense should feel more optimistic about their pass-rushing abilities in 2022.
The splash addition on the Chiefs DL is unequivocally the first-round pick George Karlaftis. The native of Athens, Greece certainly has the mentality to be a strong DROY candidate — as he dropped 10-15 pounds in the pre-draft process. The rook DE is also currently training with Patrick Mahomes. Bleacher Report compared Karlaftis to the legendary DE Ryan Kerrigan, who has seven seasons of 8.5+ sacks. It’s safe to say that Frank Clark will be delighted to see the 21-year-old edge rusher line up on the same DL as him.
Clark is aiming on making his fourth straight Pro Bowl appearance, but he will aim on having a bigger sack number in 2022. Clark had a mere 4.5 sacks in 2021 — which was his lowest sack tally since his rookie season. He also missed a career-high three games last season. So, a healthy & motivated Clark will aspire to return to the Pro Bowl w/ a double-digit sack number.
It should also be noted that the Chiefs best pass rusher and best defender Chris Jones wasn’t always available last season. Unfortunately, Jones also missed three games in 2021. Jones and Clark both made the Pro Bowl last season, while missing a chunk of games. The healthy DT-DE combo with a large, new friend from Greece should routinely lick their chops against opposing AFC quarterbacks that believe they can overshadow Patty Mahomes.