he Kansas City Chiefs took a trade at the close on November 2nd and it has worked wonders for them ever since.
Melvin Ingram, three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, was traded by the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Chiefs in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick. Since the swap, Kansas City is 8-1 and only allows 16 points per game in defense. That’s partly because of what Ingram brought to the Chiefs in terms of skill.
Since joining the Chiefs, Ingram has had an overall 79.0 from PFF, which ranks sixth among Chiefs defensemen and is second only to Chris Jones on the defensive line. However, his 88.2 run defense grade is by far the best on the team, as the second-best defender against the run is Kansas City cornerback Rashad Fenton, who ranks nearly 10 points lower at 79.8.
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Comparing Ingram’s running defense grade as chief to other defensive linemen’s grades for the entire season, Ingram ranks second overall in the league, behind only Demarcus Lawrence (93.2), the Dallas Cowboys defensive end.
The 32-year-old Ingram was well worth the design capital that went into his acquisition and in return has garnered rave reviews from some of Kansas City’s biggest stars.
Speaking about Ingram during his press conference on Wednesday, January 13, Travis Kelce gushed about what the veteran defender has offered the reigning AFC champions.
“I think it was my first seven to eight years that I had to play [Melvin Ingram] at least twice a year,” Kelce said. “But man I’m glad he’s on our team, I can tell you that much. He just has the whole package.
“I said it when he came here, every time you add a ‘Juice Man’ or just an ultimate competitor like him, it doesn’t matter where you put that guy, he has a great feeling, being a competitor and playing fair with teammates. That’s why he fit so perfectly into the picture when he came here. Both his energy on the field and who he is as a playmaker on the field. It was just the perfect match. I’m definitely happy to have him here and not have to play him twice a year.”
Kelce went on to explain how Ingram’s style of play and presence in the locker room affected the players around him in Kansas City.
“The ‘Swag Champ’ man, when you bring in a guy with that much ‘juice’ and that much swagger, a perennial all-star, I mean, that makes everyone play better,” Kelce continued. “You could see right away how much more fun the boys were having. Not that we weren’t on the way to getting better. We had a lot of guys who figured it out both offensively and defensively. But actually, when he walked in, everyone started clicking even more.”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also spoke about Ingram’s high level of play.