L'Jarius Sneed
L’Jarius Sneed has been the unsung hero of the Chiefs defense. No name corners are getting the job done for Kansas City. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

L’Jarius Sneed: The Unsung Hero Of The Chiefs Defense

Who? If you don’t know who L’Jarius Sneed is, it’s time to learn the name. The Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl and once again, their defense doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The Chiefs defense has improved late in the year and a lot of it has to do with their rookie fourth round pick.

When the Chiefs traded Marcus Peters away, they had a huge hole in their secondary. Peters covered up a lot of sins for a long time creating key turnovers. Kendall Fuller was a big time player who was acquired in the Alex Smith trade. He also wasn’t retained because of a high price tag in free agency.

The Chiefs had major issues at corner. Somehow Kansas City has gotten away with Rashad Fenton, Bashaud Breeland, Charvarius Ward, and L’Jarius Sneed holding down the fort. That group is 13th in the NFL in passing yards against. Not too shabby for a bunch of no names.

Sneed has been a home run in every sense of the word. The rookie out of Louisiana Tech has allowed just 214 passing yards into his coverage on 45 targets during the regular season. Sneed has yielded a passer rating of just 53.4. That’s the third-lowest mark in the NFL out of corners targetted at least 30 times trailing just Xavien Howard and Bryce Callahan.

Sneed has been a jack of all trades. He’s shown the ability to play inside and outside registering 164 snaps outside and 171 in the slot. An injury costed Sneed to miss time but when he’s suited up, Sneed has been one of the best in the business.

If Kansas City wants to repeat, someone like Sneed will have to hold his own against Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. It might sound like a mismatch on paper, but Sneed has held his own all season. He’s tall and long enough to put up more than a fight. It’s a matchup to keep your eye on.