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Chiefs Linebackers: By the Numbers

Posted Jan 17, 2014

The team's LBs accounted for 29.5 sacks in 2013

The Kansas City Chiefs put an emphasis on attacking quarterbacks in 2013. The Chiefs finished with 47 sacks in the regular season, tied for the sixth-best total in the NFL. 29.5 of those QB takedowns came via the Chiefs linebackers, coached by Gary Gibbs. The team's sack leaders, Pro Bowl LBs Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, each tied for 11th in the NFL with 11 QB sacks.

In September, Justin Houston was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month, highlighted by his Week 3 sack party against the Philadelphia Eagles. Houston ended the night in Philly with 4.5 sacks, marking the fourth three-plus sack game of his career. In three years, Houston has 26.5 sacks, averaging over a half sack per game (0.62). Houston finished 2013 with 44 tackles, 11 TFLs, 11 sacks, 14 QB pressures, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and four passes defensed. Justin was also named AFC Defensive Player of the Week twice (Weeks 1 & 3) in 2013.

Meanwhile, Chiefs LB Tamba Hali continued moving up the sack-total chart in 2013. Following his 11 sacks this season, Tamba has 73.5-career sacks, owning 18-career multi-sack games. In Week 1 of the regular season, Tamba recorded his first-ever pick-six and during the Week 9 matchup against the Bills, Hali scooped up a fumble and returned it for the score, all on his 30th birthday. Kansas City is 96-24-1 (.798) in games with a defensive touchdown. Tamba ended 2013 with 45 tackles, 12 TFLs, 11 sacks, 13 QB pressures, two fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, one INT and two passes defensed. Tamba earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice in 2013 (Weeks 6 & 14).

Adding to the 22-combined sacks by Houston and Hali, other Chiefs LBs recorded 7.5 takedowns this season, 4.5 were thanks to Derrick Johnson. "DJ" led the team with 107 tackles in 2013, marking the fourth-consecutive season that he ended the year with at least 100 tackles. He's topped 100 tackles in six of his nine seasons with the Chiefs. During 2013, he became just the fourth player in franchise history to record 900 or more career stops. Also included in Johnson's 2013 stats are 12 TFLs, 10 QB pressures, two fumble recoveries, two INTs and seven passes defensed.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK, TACKLES, CAREER

1. Gary Spani ..............................................................................999
2. Art Still .....................................................................................992
3. Derrick Johnson ....................................................................981
4. Deron Cherry ...........................................................................927
5. Donnie Edwards ......................................................................883

Joining Houston, Hali and DJ in the Chiefs LBs group were Akeem Jordan, Dezman Moses, Frank Zombo, Nico Johnson, James-Michael Johnson, Josh Martin, Robert James and Ridge Wilson.

* LB Dezman Moses played in 13 games, recording two solo tackles on defense and four special teams tackles (two solo).

* LB Frank Zombo joined the Chiefs, after spending three years with the Green Bay Packers. In 16 games, this season, he recorded 27 tackles, two sacks, five QB pressures, two passes defensed, one INT, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2013. He also added three tackles and one assist on special teams.

* LB Akeem Jordan joined the Chiefs after six seasons with Philadelphia. In 16 games, he finished 2013 with 63 tackles (49 solo), two forced fumbles and three TFLs.

* LB Nico Johnson saw action in six contests, during his rookie campaign, recording seven-total tackles (five solo) in 2013.

* LB Josh Martin played in five games, during his rookie season, including one start against San Diego in Week 17. Martin finished the year with 12-total tackles, one forced fumble and three special teams tackles.

*  LB James-Michael Johnson played in all 16 games, recording nine-solo tackles, one TFL, one QB pressure, one sack, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. He also had eight special teams tackles.

*  LB Robert James was signed to the team, late in the season. James has seen action in 19 contests in four NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2013) and Atlanta Falcons (2009, 2011-12).

*  LB Ridge Wilson originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs on May 1, 2013. After being released by the team on Aug. 31, he later was signed to the Chiefs practice squad in December.

The team's LBs were more than productive in year one, under the new Andy Reid regime and will continue with their tireless work ethic in the offseason to give Chiefs fans even more to talk about in 2014 and beyond.

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