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BALTIMORE -- A black T-shirt was passing though the Kansas City Chiefs locker room faster than the cigar smoke following their fourth AFC championship in six years. The shirt had defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's face on it, with many of his players posing to get a picture with the defensive mastermind that sent the Chiefs to the Super Bowl -- again. 

Chiefs defensive back Justin Reid made sure the cameras saw the shirt with the four words attached to it: "In Spags We Trust."

"Damn, that's the boss bro. That's the mastermind behind everything you see," Chiefs defensive back Trent McDuffie said as his eyes lit up when Spags was mentioned. "I feel like everybody on this defense, shoot everyone in the building, really respects that man. He's a generally good dude. 

"I got a lot of love for him and he got a lot of love for us. He allows us to go out there and play."

The Chiefs defense certainly looks like a carbon copy of Spagnuolo's championship defenses with the New York Giants, or Jim Johnson's dominant defenses with the Philadelphia Eagles (Spagnuolo was Johnson's protégé in Philadelphia). The Chiefs held the Baltimore Ravens to a season-low 10 points and a season-high three turnovers in Sunday's win. 

Spagnulo displayed a vintage "Spags" performance, blitzing the Ravens 44% of the time. In the first two playoff games between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs blitzed a total of 20 times. On Sunday, Kansas City blitzed on 21 plays. 

Lamar Jackson was 8 of 18 for 125 yards and a touchdown when blitzed, being sacked one time and compiling an 86.6 rating. The touchdown pass was Jackson avoiding a sack and finding an open Zay Flowers in the end zone for the Ravens' only touchdown of the game. 

When the Chiefs rushed six or more? Jackson was 1 of 5 for 5 yards, averaging 2.2 yards per attempt. 

"It was one of many things Coach Spags was dialing up," said Chiefs pass rusher Mike Danna. "Lamar is a hell of an athlete, a hell of a quarterback. He's gonna be the MVP. I don't wanna talk down on anything he did. He had a hell of a year, but Coach Spags was dialing up the goods. He had a good game plan and we were able to execute."

The biggest play of the game was another one a vintage Spagnuolo defense makes. With the Chiefs up 17-7 entering the fourth quarter and the Ravens inside the 10-yard line, Jackson found Flowers for an 8-yard gain across the middle of the field. As Flowers dived toward the end zone to score a touchdown, L'Jarius Sneed popped the ball out of his hands and McDuffie recovered in the end zone for the touchback. 

"He made up for a bad [play earlier]," Spagnulo said in the locker room. "Even in practice, you'll see him always punching at the ball. He's a special player and I love having him. We can't do some of things without him."

The Chiefs preserved the 10-point lead and the Ravens started to press the rest of the way. M&T Bank Stadium was in complete shock. 

"It was huge. We didn't even know it was a fumble," McDuffie said. "We just jumped on the ball out of instinct. We got up and we're like okay [it's a turnover]. That was a pivotal moment. [After] that Deon Bush got a pick. In a big game, that's everything."

Bush had the second red zone takeaway in the fourth quarter when he picked off Jackson -- who threw into triple coverage -- in the end zone. His interception kept the Chiefs' lead at 10 with 6:45 left.

The Chiefs only were up 17-7, but the game felt as if they were up more based on how they were able to hold a lead against the potent Ravens offense. 

"That was the emphasis on this week. We knew that," Danna said. "We all had one common goal. That took being disciplined, all 11 of us doing our jobs. Whatever happens, happens."

"In Spags We Trust" is more than just a phrase on a T-shirt. It's a creed the Chiefs defense carry with them. This is a defense that finished second in points per game allowed (17.3) and second in yards per game allowed (289.8). 

In the AFC Championship, Kansas City was the best defense in the NFL. To quote Patrick Mahomes,"when the games get bigger, when the challenges get higher, [Spags] performs even better."

"We believe in coach. We believe in everybody in the system and being a unit on defense," Danna said. "It took all 11 of us, and he made that clear earlier this week. It was gonna take all 11 of us to get to where we wanna get to. We do what we gotta do."