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Justin Houston's Monster Performance vs. Eagles Bodes Well for Chiefs Defense

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19:   Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles is pressured by  Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs on September 19, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 26-16. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2013

Justin Houston helped ensure that head coach Andy Reid's return to Philadelphia would be a successful one. He is also going to help Reid enjoy a successful first season in Kansas City. 

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs  reacts to getting a Gatorade shower with linebacker Justin Houston #50 after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 26-16 during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19,
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Chiefs (3-0) levied a nice win on the road on Thursday night by downing the 1-2 Eagles, 26-16.

Houston wracked up a massive 3.5 sacks, as he torched the Eagles' offensive line and harassed quarterback Michael Vick all game. 

I think Faux John Madden does a nice job of summing up his performance: 

Coming off of a 10-sack season, this pushes the third-year pro's sack total for the season to 6.5. Considering we are just three games into the season, Houston is on pace to shatter Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22.5. 

Obviously, his hot start doesn't mean he is going to total more than 30 sacks this year. However, it does forecast nice things for the Kansas City Chiefs defense. 

In a league increasingly dominated by passing, the Chiefs have one of the most valued commodities in the NFL today: a strong pass rush. That rush is not dependent upon Houston, either. 

Houston plays opposite of Tamba Hali. Hali is a proven and accomplished pass-rusher in the NFL, and at 29 years old, he can still get the job done. 

Hali picked up his first sack of the season on Thursday night. He is also coming off of a nine-sack season and has wracked up 35.5 sacks over the past three seasons. 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after sacking Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by El
Elsa/Getty Images

This gives the Chiefs an edge-rusher on either side of their 3-4 defense that can get to the passer in a hurry. Opposing offense are not going to be able to key their pass protection on any one player or any one side. 

As a result, the Chiefs have tremendous flexibility in their blitz and base pass-rush situations. With pass-rushers this gifted, it also means the Chiefs won't have to spend a lot of time blitzing to begin with.

Kansas City entered Thursday night's game seventh in the NFL in passing yards allowed and second in rushing yards allowed.

This team is playing smart and sound football. With the luxury of two elite pass-rushers, this is something they can sustain all year. 

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