For years it seemed like the Kansas City Chiefs could not field a balanced team.
In the Schottenheimer years the Chiefs were known for their stifling defense but could never seem to get their offense going.The team’s offensive futility kept them out of many playoff games until Shottenheimer departed and took the defense with him.
Then Dick Vermiel took over and the days of strong defense in Kansas City were over and offense ruled the day. The 2003 Chiefs under Vermiel looked like Super Bowl contenders but in their home playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, neither team punted and the Chiefs defense couldn’t get the single stop it needed to advance.
Then Herm Edwards took over and well…the Chiefs couldn’t do anything well.
In 2010, however, the Chiefs not only improved on both sides of the ball but also showed balance for the first time in a very long time.
The 2010 Chiefs offense showed a marked improvement over the pitiful unit that took the field in 2009. The 2009 Chiefs scored a mere 294 points in a season that saw them struggle, especially in the passing game. In 2010, however, the Chiefs finally began to establish an offensive identity, scoring 366. That is a +72 turnaround. KC’s 366 points made them the 14th highest scoring offense in the NFL.
On defense the Chiefs showed even more improvement. The 2009 Chiefs surrender 424 points while the 2010 Chiefs, with the additions of Romeo Crennel and Eric Berry held their opponents to just 326. That placed KC’s defense as the 11th ranked team in the NFL in points allowed.
Take a look at these side by side:
Chiefs Defense: Points Allowed
2009 NFL Rank: 29th
2010 NFL Rank: 11th (+18)
Chiefs Offense: Scoring Offense
2009 NFL Rank: 23rd
2010 NFL Rank: 14th (+9)
Obviously the Chiefs still have a lot of work to do if they want to become an elite team but the numbers seem to indicate that not only are the Chiefs improving but that they are showing balance in their improvement on both sides of the ball.
Let’s hope that balance is what finally helps the Chiefs get over the playoff hump.