Despite their Monday Night Football victory over the New York Giants, the Kansas City Chiefs remain at the bottom of the AFC West standings.
It’s weird to see the Super Bowl LIV champions fighting their way to the top, and some were quick to declare that they are not contenders anymore.
While the victory over New York wasn’t convincing, they’ll still use it to make a push for the playoffs.
Harrison Butker’s 34-yard field goal gives Kansas City the lead with 1:07 remaining❗️#ChiefsKingdom
— TWSN (@TWSN___) November 2, 2021
But keeping the same roster won’t get them far because of their glaring loopholes, especially in the pass rush.
Therefore, the Chiefs addressed that concern by trading for outside linebacker Melvin Ingram.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward move, especially if the former first-round selection returns to his Pro Bowl form.
In return, Pittsburgh gets Kansas City’s sixth-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
Why The Trade Made Sense?
The Chiefs score 26 points per game, the ninth-best in the NFL this season.
However, they surrender 27.5 points every game to rank 27th.
Because they can’t generate enough pressure on the quarterback, the Chiefs surrender 391.5 yards per game (fourth-worst in the league).
The #Chiefs have absolutely no pass rush. Their linebackers are slow and their secondary is the Achilles heel of the unit. They need to rebuild this defense
— G.T Bobby Thompson (@BThomps81) November 2, 2021
Jones and Mike Danna lead the way for the Chiefs’ pass rush with three sacks apiece.
Still, their efforts are not enough to generate pressure that will rattle opposing quarterbacks.
Ingram adds another dimension to their blitzes, making them tougher to read for offensive linemen.
He was a proven pass rusher before injuries derailed his career.
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) September 13, 2021
The former South Carolina standout had two seasons with 10.5 sacks each, one of which merited a Pro Bowl selection in 2017.
Last season, Ingram was on injured reserve after a knee injury, causing him to miss nine games.
Talented But Outspoken
Trading Ingram away was an easy decision for the Steelers because they had no use for him.
However, Ingram feels that he must be starting for Pittsburgh because he’s more talented than Highsmith.
He thinks that he’s the rightful starter even if Highsmith had the better training camp and preseason.
As @RapSheet reported this weekend, OLB Melvin Ingram does indeed want out of Pittsburgh after seeing a reduction in his playing time. I’m told KC made an offer, but the #Steelers ideally don’t want to send him to an AFC team. Could the #Cardinals make a good trade partner?
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 28, 2021
His statements made it easy for the Steelers to ship him elsewhere, and the desperate Chiefs ended up as his buyer.
That tirade was not the first time that he got involved in controversy because of his mouth.
In 2018, he declared before the season that the Chargers would go to the Super Bowl.
They lost to the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round.
He repeated the same prediction the following year, but the Chargers finished at 5-11.
Pass Rush Win Rate at Edge (Rank)
T.J. Watt, 28% (2nd)
Alex Highsmith, 23% (9th)
Melvin Ingram, 8% (Would have been 55th if qualified)
Steelers don't lose much by trading Ingram and already have another excellent pass rusher besides Watt.
(ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats)
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 2, 2021
Ingram will have many opportunities to boost the Chiefs defense, especially in creating pressure up-front.
Meanwhile, head coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will keep him in line.
Instead of making dubious statements, it would be better for Ingram to channel his energy into getting his hands at the quarterback.
This stint is his chance to showcase that he’s not all talk and an afterthought.
Frank Clark has had back-to-back quality performances, Chris Jones disrupted on the interior this week and now Melvin Ingram is in the mix.
That could be big for this team.
— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 2, 2021
More importantly, the Chiefs will return to relevance if he does well against the Green Bay Packers in Week 9.
As for Ingram, he can negotiate for a more lucrative contract with the Chiefs or another team if he ends up performing well.