At one point, the Kansas City Chiefs' pass rush was ranked dead last in the league -- by a wide margin. Midway through the season, the Chiefs only had 9 sacks in 7 games and stood three behind the next team on the list in the Buffalo Bills. It's amazing how much not only one game will change, but how much the emergence of another player can make a difference.
Tamba Hali is predictably among the AFC sack leaders this year with 12, but it's the emergence of Justin Houston that is making the Chiefs climb in the sack standings as well as become a more well-rounded pass rushing force on the field. Houston has 4 sacks in his last 3 games and has exhibited an ability to pressure the quarterback far beyond just what the sacks show. That frees up Hali to match up better one-on-one.
Doug Kretz of Scouts, Inc. says that Hali against Oakland Raiders Jared Veldheer is one of the key match-ups to watch in today's game, "Kansas City outside linebacker Tamba Hali has become one of the league's better edge rushers with his initial quickness and acceleration from the outside. He has 12 sacks on the year -- three of which came in Week 15 against the Packers -- and will be facing an up-and-coming left tackle in Jared Veldheer, who brings an excellent combination of size, arm length and foot agility."