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The Kansas City Chiefs Gain Yardage, Not Wins

Last week I observed that although Kansas City didn’t lead New Orleans until overtime, they enjoyed a substantial advantage in yardage gained. In fact, the one thing the Chiefs have demonstrated week in and week out is that they can gain yards. Look at the stats through the first four weeks:

Against Atlanta, the Chiefs lost 24-42 but outgained the Falcons 393-376. At Buffalo, the Chiefs lost 17-35 but outgained the Bills 422-379. As previously noted, the 27-24 win in the Superdome ended with Kansas City holding a 510-288 advantage in yards. Finally, on Sunday the Chiefs lost a miserable game to the Chargers by 37-20, yet edged San Diego out 353-293.

What does it all mean? Essentially, that Kansas City needs to offer Bill Snyder $10 million plus an additional $10 million to whatever youth mentoring foundation he desires in exchange for teaching professional athletes the same things his college kids already know: how to play special teams and protect the football. Short of this, somebody else needs to come teach the Chiefs how to play special teams and protect the damn football. Oh, and how to create turnovers too.

On the special teams front, the return game was once again anemic on Sunday. Cyrus Gray had a nice 33 yard return and the Chiefs actually averaged 27.3 yards on kickoffs this weekend, but the team has yet to turn a truly exciting play that puts the offense in position to score with a short field. Punt returns remain pathetic, and Javier Arenas has got to get some better blocking.

The turnover issue is past painful, and three lost fumbles and three interceptions against the Chargers piled on to an already large number of giveaways. On the other side of the football, the Chiefs got an interception. This brings their takeaways to two on the season. Two. That’s .5 per game. How do you lose when you outgain your opponent? By going -5 in net turnovers forced on the day. There aren’t enough fingers to point out everyone at fault here.

Finally, this team has to execute in the red zone. Jamaal Charles and Ryan Succop were co-heroes last week, but they shouldn’t have been. I don’t want to see Ryan Succop put up major points because he has to kick six field goals; he needs to score points because he’s kicking PATs. (Note: this wasn’t an issue Sunday, as Kansas City either found the end zone or got stopped before even crossing midfield on every possession save the final.)

The rough thing is, the Chiefs can’t merely improve one of these and hope to win more. The scores they’re posting aren’t just losses, they’re blowouts. This team will not be successful if it can’t at least make the +/- on turnovers a net zero. Yes, Matt Cassel needs to stop gift wrapping balls to the opposition, but Brandon Flowers needs to step up and catch a couple of his own. I’m not happy the running backs drop the football like its hot, but DJ needs to knock out a couple fumbles himself for someone to pounce on. How did the Chargers score on a five yard drive? Because Charles was stripped of the ball and San Diego recovered it at the five yard line. There also has to be at least one decent return every game so that the offense isn’t expected to drive 80 yards if it wants a touchdown. I still believe this team is good enough to recover and have a successful season, but it needs to rectify these issues to stop being so bad.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • ArrowFan

    The one thing they can improve and turn things around is the turnovers that is obvious even with MC at QB. Stop the turn overs and we will start winning. It is not all MC’s fault either, Hillis gave one away against Buffalo and half of last week was our RB’s.

  • Altarium

    It’s been frustrating watching the Chiefs move the ball successfully (relatively) without any red zone success. Last year it was evident that our scoring ability needed serious work, seems to be the same so far this year!
    Also, Shameless K-State plug here (the part about Snyder got me thinking)… but if Collin Klein continues to show this season that his throwing is seriously improved, I wouldn’t complain if he came to KC. Last season he carried K-State to wins multiple times, and so far this season he’s showing the exact same toughness and never-give-up-ness. We need a QB who can rally a team like Klein can!

  • drtold

    Well, “we” (meaning the Chiefs) are doing something right. It is hard to believe that we have a nice enough offense to get some points and to outgain the other team consistently, but It is unbelievable that the defense can not get off the field on 3rd down. I am thinking ‘if only the three interior lineman actually rushed the passer too,’ in obvious passing situations. Maybe they are and are just not getting in, but whatever the problem, i’m sure it will be solved when Berry gets right and Lewis returns from injury. If we could just win the next 2 games before the bye, Baltimore and Tampa Bay, I’m thinking we probably go 11-5 this year.

    • Bob

      say whaaaaa? What is Berry and Lewis going to give kc that they havent already given? – agree that they absolutely need to get to the qb – but all the talk about “yards” is simply qwassel in garbage time that wouldnt exist if it wasnt 30-7 when he gained all of his “yards”

  • Big3Kansas

    I thinks it’s a combination of things. One, Cassel can’t get decent enough protection to give the “time that he needs” to make smarter plays. If Cassel has to keep throwing the ball two feet over WR heads in double coverage because he only has 2 seconds to get rid of the ball for the O-line collapses and he gets sacked. I think he’s averaging around 3.7 sacks a game. Cassel’s not the type of Quarterback who can take three steps and rocket the ball into someones chest between defenders. He has limitations as it is, he’s limited even more with the O-line being too porous. I think they need to build the offense around Cassel’s skill set and limitations.
    I think the perfect Offensive scheme to have Cassel run is the Pistol Flex Triple Option Offense. .

    • Bob

      build nothing around qwassel

  • Bob

    would like to see one pass of more than 25 yards that the receiver did not have to come back to reach

  • Bob

    charles has been great – what ever happened to hali? or houston?

  • Bob

    also, why dont they keep using these big tight ends – they have been awesome – love seeing a big tight end grab the ball and run over 2-3 little backs for 10-20 yards