The Kansas City Chiefs have needed an answer opposite Tamba Hali for some time. The Chiefs' dominant pass rusher is often held and double-teamed and the reality is that he could be even better than his current elite status if the Chiefs had a threat to rush the passer on the opposite side. The second half of the 2011 regular season provided exactly what they were hoping for with the emergence of Justin Houston.
Mel Kiper recently ranked the top 20 rookies of the 2011 season and Houston came up at No. 19 with a late season surge that showed everyone signs of life to come. Kiper writes, "He gets some credit because he's another guy who had to convert systems, and played really well down the stretch for an underrated Kansas City defense. With 5.5 sacks in his last five games, he could bust out in 2012."
Houston was voted the team's rookie of the year and should benefit from a full off-season.