Dec. 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) makes a catch while being defended by Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) in the first quarter at Cleveland Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs’ Passing Attack


The Kansas City Chiefs will throw the ball in 2013. If you don’t believe me, just ask the new head coach, Andy Reid. He’s a passing coach. He grooms quarterbacks and makes receivers into superstars. It’s what he does. Reid and new Chiefs GM, John Dorsey, have done everything they can on the offensive side of the ball to improve the Chiefs’ dismal passing attack during the 2012 season. They have secured the services of a starting caliber quarterback who has not only been to the playoffs, but has won in January. They’ve re-signed the Chiefs’ best receiver and paid him top dollar. Once the free agency period hit, Reid and Dorsey didn’t break the bank, but they had a plan and that included finding a fast receiver who can “take the top off the defense.” They believe they found that in newly signed wide receiver, Donnie Avery. The Chiefs will absolutely throw the ball in 2013. The question is, how well will they do it and will Reid’s offense work with the players on the Chiefs’ roster?

For the Chiefs to be successful, all the components have to fit together. Alex Smith must maintain the accuracy that everyone is talking about. Bowe has to catch the balls that are thrown his way and then do something with the pigskin to move it up field. This mysterious “best five” offensive line has to give Smith the time to get the ball to the right receiver. Finally, Jamaal Charles has to do what he does and break a 40 or 50 yard run every now and then to keep the opposing defenses honest. All that said, do the Chiefs really have the pieces it will take to pass the ball successfully this season? Let’s take a look at some of the major players in Reid’s new “passing offense.”

I would hardly call Dwayne Bowe a question mark. The man has shown in his six seasons with the Chiefs he is a versatile receiver. He has had passes thrown to him from seven different quarterbacks and still has managed to secure the Chiefs’ franchise record for touchdown receptions in a single season. That’s a pretty lofty feat for a team that used to count tight end Tony Gonzales as one of their players. The only question mark that plants itself squarely on Dwayne Bowe’s back is what will he do now that he has the big contract he’s been searching for. He’s getting paid top five receiver money. Will he show up and be a top five receiver?

Dexter McCluster was drafted to the Chiefs’ roster to be a playmaker. I don’t think Todd Haley and Scott Pioli truly knew what they were getting when they called the diminutive athlete’s number with the 36th overall pick in the 2010 draft. While McCluster’s numbers haven’t been as stellar as many would think fitting for a high second round pick (984 receiving yards in 42 games with three touchdowns) many would attribute that to McCluster not being used properly. Reid seems to have a plan for #22 and spoke very highly of him in a recent interview.

I kind of like him. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he’s got a heart of a lion. He’s got that MO, tremendous quickness and can catch. He’s pretty good at running the football, so there is a place for him. You line him up everywhere. You can move him around and kind of do some unique things with him.

Andy Reid’s words bode well for DMC’s future with the Chiefs organization. I don’t see him being a late off-season cut or casualty of the new administration in Kansas City.

Newly acquired free agent Donnie Avery is a bit of a wildcard. Many Chiefs fans (me included) were scratching their heads after this signing was announced. I found myself searching up YouTube to find any tape I could on Reid and Dorsey’s new toy. I didn’t have to search any further than the Indianapolis Colts played vs. Detroit Lions game last December. Let me recap it for you. The Colts needed a touchdown to beat the Lions and as time expired, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck found Donnie Avery on a slant route. Avery pulled the ball in and hit the accelerator. With his speed, there was no way he would allow the Lions’ secondary to catch him. Game over. The Chiefs need that “clutch” player on their team. I’m hoping they found it. Time will tell, I suppose.

Perhaps the biggest question mark in the passing offense is third year receiver, Jon Baldwin. Last year during pre-season, as Dwayne Bowe was skipping training camp due to not having a contract in place, Baldwin got most of the reps with the first team. Blogs and tweets were running rampant with news of the amazing, one-handed, circus catches that Baldwin was making in camp. Everyone forgave the former first round pick for his disappointing rookie season. Fans blamed the lockout and the lack of an offseason for his less than stellar first year. Last year was going to be Baldwin’s year…or not. He fell flat and didn’t live up to even the most conservative of expectations. Baldwin cannot afford to have another year like the last two.

Andy Reid is ready to win now. In his offense, that means catching passes and scoring touchdowns. The entire mindset of the Chiefs team is about to change. Reid and Dorsey have proven in the short time they’ve been a part of this organization they’re willing to make tough decisions and do what it takes. To think Reid will change his entire offense because Kansas City has traditionally been a “run first” team is silly. I love Jamaal Charles and I love watching him hit the edge or find a seam and burn an opposing defense for a 50 or 60 yard touchdown run. But, there is nothing better than holding your breath when the game is on the line and a pass is in the air, waiting to see the spectacular catch and ultimate touchdown on the other end. The Chiefs will throw the ball this season…and I can’t wait.

That’s how I see it Addicts. What say you?

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Tags: Andy Reid Dexter McCluster Dwayne Bowe Kansas City Chiefs

  • Da Menace

    I love it can’t wait to contend again!!

  • redchiefs

    When Donnie Avery takes the top off the defense, can Alex Smith get him the ball? I’m guessing that Andy Reid thinks so. I hope Bowe can get Avery to work on his catches. I remember watching Hard Knocks showing Tony G trying to get Bowe to work after practice on catching. Now that Bowe has come around and catching everything I hope he can get Avery to do the same.

  • Ron White

    Don’t forget about Wylie…..I can see some 4 wide out sets with Bowe and Avery on the outside and DMC and Wylie on the inside….Crossing routes with extreme quickness with Avery on a fly leaving lots of room in-between…can’t wait….

    • Danny W

      I want to see Wylie in the return game more that’s for sure.

      • Jim Harper

        I have concerns about Wylie staying healthy. He has a boatload of talent but none of that matters if you can’t stay healthy.

  • Roger Mihalko

    On the surface if they can come close to double the performance from last year we will be competitive

    G Pts/G T/P TD’s R P D
    Chiefs 16 13.2 211 18 9 8 1 -24 turnovers

    2013 hopes
    Chiefs 16 23 400 40 15 23 2 +10

    the hopeful numbers would put us in upper half of the AFC offense’s.

    Bowe, Avery, Fasano, Moeaki will account for more for sure.

    Charles will continue to contribute on the ground and add a few more with receptions.

    Baldwin…Have to wait and see.

    I think Newsome, Bellamy, or Hemingway are going to shake out as a forth reciver and should contribute unexpectedly.

    That’s 9 potential targets for alex so far.

    As for McCluster vs Wylie… I know Reid like McCluster and Wyle has been injury prone. Wylie is way faster 4.3 speed vs McCluster at 4.5 to 4.6. Wylie is an inch Taller and 20lbs heavier.

    For the Slot, I would choose Wylie’s speed and cutting ability, and slightly larger size over McCluster. I would NOT use either for punt or kick returns to avoid injuries. I would go with someone else who is a little bigger and more durable, Possibly Cyrus Grey or Shaun Draughn.

    Withstanding the McCluster vs Wylie debate and after the O-line shell game is over. Whomever ends up the top 5 lineman, they can gell and give Alex the time to throw, we have the makings of a high scoring Offense.

  • Adrian Morales

    Man, the alex smith i remember came here with tge same great team that was in the superbowl this year and got ran 45 to 3 fuck alex smith and the niners

  • Calchiefsfan

    Better have our O-line in place. Without that nothing is going to work the way it should.
    That being said, I’ve been watching a lot of film on Alex Smith. He is clearly the best QB we’ve had since Trent Green. If the o-line can protect him we’ll have a very productive offense. I’d like to see McCluster used more as a slot receiver. That seems like it would be the best fit for him. Give him some space and watch out. Bowe could have the best year of his career. I don’t think he’s going to disappear now that he got his payday. He strikes me as just the opposite.

    • dominicscarlatti

      Bowe drops passes, etc. but he is a WR who enjoys blocking in the run game. That says it all for me…

      • KCMikeG

        That has actually been on the decline each year since he was a leader in 2009. Having an accurate QB and actual other receiving options to occupy the defenses he will roll up big numbers!

    • Danny W

      Agree on all points good post.

      • Calchiefsfan

        Thanks Danny.

        What’s your take on the D this year. I’m not sold on Sutton yet. After the Daboll fiasco last year I’m really wary of an unknown as our new DC. Offense is going to be okay because we know what Reid can do. If these last few years have taught us anything it’s what a difference good coaching can make. Charlie Weiss did more with less while Daboll was flat out awful. I’m holding my breath on Sutton, hoping he won’t be a letdown from Crennel’s defense. Say what you will about Crennel as a head coach, (disaster), he was a very good DC.

    • KCMikeG

      I like what you say but think w will see Dexter out of the backfield more and Wylie in the slot. Wylie and Avery are going to take the tops off some defenses making everything else easier. Bowe will be Pro Bowl Beast mode and with an accurate QB his will be one of the best contracts we ever do.

      • Calchiefsfan

        Wylie has better top end speed from what I hear. I would like to see him in the return game as well. Bowe, I agree, will be in beast mode with not only an accurate QB but one that can find the open receiver.

        • KCMikeG

          As you said it will all come down to the cohesiveness of the OL.

  • Arrowhead Magic

    I still think Charles will be the focal point of our offense. Charles is better than Lesean McCoy and I think Reid knows that. While we will pass more, I believe that Reid will use Charles in a way that forces defenses to account for him in both the passing and running game.

    • KCMikeG

      Exactly. Charles will have less carries but more touches, yards, YAC & TD’s. Ditto for McCluster who will explode Reid’s system coming from the backfield as much as or more than the WR position. We are going to score some serious points if Coach Reid can assemble a good OL with the parts and interchangeable pieces he will have.

  • Jason Taylor

    They make the mistake of under utilizing JC and the team won’t win games. Period.

    • Danny W

      I agree. The passing game can be the best in the league but if your not balanced then whats the point. If Charles doesn’t get a thousand burger plus he better be injured.

      • Brody Hall

        Umm… Tell that to atl and gb haha… However think how unstopable they would have been with even a half way decent running game. I look at it like this… With a solid passing attack (which i think with bowe, avaery and mccluster with wiley and baldwin if used correctly could be top shelf) JC has a very good chance of prolly being the number 1 RB in the nfl next season. He was a badass with teams stacking the box every play…. Think about what he will do when they can no longer do that!

        Long story short..if this team clicks right… Has all the areas covered (running game, passing game, defense, special teams) Im all too excited for the 2013 Season!

  • Danny W

    Our passing game should be potent if we get our line settled with some future stars.

  • Matt

    Well we have Brandon Albert, Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson, Jeff Allen, Geoff Schwartz, and Donald Stevenson. And more than likely another or two in this years draft. Way better than what Reid had in Philly. Charles, Bowe, McCluster, Alex Smith, and our outstanding Top 5 D, Manning is not winning the division this year. Plus he will choke in the playoffs like he has 10 times out of 12. Winning one super bowl against Da Bears! and grossman, and losing the other to Who dat Saints. I think its superbowl or bust for our team this year with the talent we have.

  • Roger Mihalko

    Another question, how many pass attempts per game are we talking for alex smith? 20-25? looking at his numbers, his most attempts were in 2011 445, that averages to about 27 a game. If I am not off, I believe there are on average 45 to 60 offensive play’s each game (720 to 960 a season). If Smith is only throwing 20-25, that leaves a large amount open. Thats a lot to leave for the run game. Is reid looking at a higher amount 25+ a game? will Smiths arm hold up?

  • Roger Mihalko

    Some QB Stats:

    P. Manning had 520 attempts last year (with the nerve damage and weaker arm) he had 4700 yards and 37 TS to 11 Int.

    D. Brees had 668 attempts last year, 5100 yards 43 td to 19 int’s

    T. Brady had 637 attempts last year 4800 yards, 34 TD’s to 8 Int’s

    J. Flacco had 531 attempts last year for 3400 yards, 22 TD’s and 10 int’s

    M. Vicks totals arent even in the above neighborhood (due to injury and so forth)

    D. Mcnabb in 11 season with reid only had two seasons over 500 attempts, and only one season over 30 TD. Never had a 4000 yard season.

    Where does “air” smith fit in ?

    • Jason Seibel

      I believe “air” Smith put it best when he said that many QB’s with big passing numbers have those stats because they are playing from behind. Drew Brees from last year would be a perfect example.

    • Jason Seibel

      I would take 70% passing efficiency and 2800 yards passing with 25 TDs and 5 INTs with 10 wins over Drew Brees numbers and 6 wins any day

  • ArrowFan

    As long as are D doesn’t take a major step backward, our win total is going to surprise lots of people this year. However after the “Great Let Down of 2012″ I’m trying to keep my expectations down. After all there is still a few pieces that need to be put in place and lots of camp and preseason before we will truly know what we have in our O.

  • chri herring

    AIt’s easy to see why Chiefs fans would rightfully keep expectations of the 2013 season low after such a 2012 letdown. But if u think of everything that’s happened in the last few seasons for both coach and qb, both men had life changing years. Reid is one of the better coaches to ever prowl the NFL sidelines. The same sidelines he witnes the true coming of Alex Smith. Andy Reid knows football, Alex knows how to play it. Kansas City will be the stage for the world to watch as both coach and quarterback who have been thought of as washed up or considered a bust make one of the most HISTORIC runs to a SUPERBOWL WIN in nfl history and I’ll be watching, tho I’m a 49ers fan. Alex has spent his time in a much tougher divisions than the AFC and will be successful in leading the most talented team hes ever play on to a Title Seaon with career numbers. Call me crazy or uneducated on the matter but as i said, Kansas City will be center stage.