Chiefs sack Raiders 10 times in win, now lead NFL

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

An underrated Kansas City pass rush has turned the Chiefs into one of the NFL's best teams.

Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles are often cited as reasons for the Chiefs' success in 2013, but it's their overlooked pass rush that is making a huge impact this season.

Kansas City amassed 10 total sacks against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, including a huge day from Tamba Hali, who finished with four tackles and 3.5 sacks while hitting Terrelle Pryor five times. It took the team's 2013 sack total to an NFL-leading 21.0.

What made Sunday's sack total more impressive was how it became a team affair. Justin Houston has been the team's primary pass rusher throughout the 2013 season, but he finished with one sack. His lack of production was supported by his teammates, six of whom finished with sacks on the day.

It was reminiscent of an earlier game this season when the Carolina Panthers sacked Eli Manning seven times in a 38-0 victory. In that game, five players made it to the quarterback, with Greg Hardy serving as the Panthers' star.

Through six games, the Chiefs have three players who could easily eclipse the 10.0-sack mark this season. Houston will likely cross this mark next week, as the outside linebacker already has 9.5 sacks on the season. He's joined by Hali (7.5) and Dontari Poe (4.5) -- both of whom are on pace to make the mark by Christmas.

Head coach Andy Reid has quickly turned the Chiefs into one of the NFL's best teams, but defensive coordinator Bob Sutton deserves a lot of praise for how he's taken a talented group of rushers and turned them into one of the league's best. He came for a tradition of excellent pass rushers with the New York Jets and his principles has made Kansas City a team to watch.

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