[Kansas City.com] In an effort to prove his point, Gunther Cunningham last week showed defenders video of the 1997 Chiefs, one of his favorite defensive teams.
Those Chiefs, led by Pro Bowlers Derrick Thomas, James Hasty and Dale Carter, smothered opponents the second half of the season.
Cunningham then showed video of the recent game against Buffalo, stopping at various stages to point out what he believed were similarities between the defenses.
“I shut it off and asked them all, ‘Is the comparison real?’ “ said Cunningham, the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator. “They all believe it’s real.”
The fact that Cunningham compared these Chiefs to the 1997 version indicates he believes they’ve at long last arrived. They’ve been markedly better in the last three weeks, though the Bills and Houston Texans provided inferior competition in their two most recent games.
“I hope it means we’ve turned the corner,” Cunningham said. “You really can’t tell. You’ve got to go against good offensive football teams. The last two weeks, the teams we’ve played are struggling. We knew that. We wanted to play very well against teams that are struggling. I think that’s the sign of a good defense.”
“I’ve always felt you hit your stride between games 10 and 12. People just have to understand these things aren’t done overnight, no matter who you bring in.”
Cunningham will have a better idea of where the Chiefs’ defense is during the next several weeks. The next two opponents – and five of the final six – have top-10 offenses, beginning with Sunday’s game against New England at Arrowhead Stadium.