Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Dwayne Bowe's Lack Of Catches Highlights Importance Of No. 2 WR


Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has superstar potential, and many Kansas City fans are hoping for a big year from No. 82 now that offensive-minded head coach Andy Reid is running the team.

So far, that has not been the case this preseason though.

Bowe put up a stat line of straight zeros in Kansas City’s first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, and he was only targeted once against the San Francisco 49ers. He didn’t come away with a catch on that one target.

So two preseason games in and Kansas City’s star wideout has zero receptions. It’s only preseason, so there’s no use in overreacting that much, but it certainly is a stat worth noting if you’re a fan of the Chiefs.

There are a few reasons Bowe’s numbers are what they are at this point. One, he hasn’t played all that much, so naturally those numbers will be low.

More noticeably though, Alex Smith has been keying in on the tight ends and running backs in the passing game. He did try to get it over to Jon Baldwin three times last night, but Baldin came away with zero catches. As stated above, Smith did target Bowe once, but that target came up empty.

Now, why exactly is Smith not looking for Bowe more?

For once, it’s rather obvious that he feels most comfortable with tight end Anthony Fasano so far, and Fasanohas acted as a safety net of sorts for the Chiefs quarterback. The tight end caught three receptions for 22 yards last night at Arrowhead.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Second, Smith has been relying on checking down to the running backs. Jamaal Charles played a big role in the passing game against the Saints, and Knile Davis notched three receptions for 31 yards against the 49ers.

Why is Smith checking it down so much instead of going to Bowe?

Despite what some  fans think, he really does have the arm. In fact, it may have to do more with the coverage. Specifically, the coverage over top of Bowe. Andy Reid discussed that after the game, per the Chiefs’ official press release:

Only one target for Dwayne Bowe, any reason for that?

“No, they rolled their coverage to them, the one we probably could have scored on there, that was an opportunity that we would have liked. But no, it’s not by design that he’s not getting the ball.”

Plainly speaking, the 49ers were essentially double-teaming or bracketing Bowe over the top. Because San Francisco wasn’t concerned about the receiver across from him, it was able to take presumably a safety, and keep him on top of Bowe’s routes.

The cornerback could sit on Bowe’s short routes and take those away, knowing that the safety was over the top taking away anything going deep.

Even if the 49ers weren’t playing those exact techniques, Reid made it rather obvious that San Francisco was focusing on taking Bowe out of the offense. No wonder Smith wasn’t throwing to him. He would essentially be setting himself up for an interception, and he’s too smart for that.

While that’s smart football from the quarterback, it does illuminate a glaring need for the Chiefs’ offense: a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver.

Baldwin is obviously not getting it done, and though it was reported that Donnie Avery may take over the No. 2 role, he only caught one pass on Friday night.

If defenses don’t feel the need to respect the opposite side of the field from Bowe, he’ll consistently be bracketed and defenses will always be looking to roll coverage over top of him. That means a smart quarterback like Smith will look for other options, and ultimately, the Chiefs best offensive player not named Jamaal Charles will be neutralized.

Andy Reid and his staff can’t let that happen.

Whether it be Baldwin, Avery, or even one of the tight ends who can step up and give the offense a different look, the Chiefs need to find a consistent receiver they can put across Bowe. Good defensive coordinators will be looking to take him away at all times possible, and Kansas City would be doing itself a huge disservice by making it easer for them.

Perhaps it’s somebody we’re not talking about deeper on the depth chart, or maybe it’s somebody not even on the roster right now. Maybe, just maybe, it’s Baldwin or Avery who find a way to step up and give the offense another deep threat.

Either way, the Chiefs need to find a legitimate No. 2 wideout, and they need to start getting that receiver the ball asap.

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Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid Dwayne Bowe Kansas City Chiefs

  • Mark Bustamante

    I’ve said all along that Avery should be our #2 receiver. Put DMc in the slot and run crossing slants with Avery and DMc. That should open some room for Bowe.

    • berttheclock

      Mark, I wouldn’t mind seeing Dexter put out wide and used the way DeSean Jackson is used with Philly. Last week, he was almost at the sideline and did a straight go to the end zone. Vick laid the ball in his hands at the goal line. He was too quick and fast for the DB and had separation on him all the way down the field.

  • Jason Collins

    Avery’s days are done. Baldwin will come around, he just needs to get used to the offense.

    • Chiefswatch

      On another team apparently.

  • Jason Collins

    Ppl are going crazy over baldwin’s drop. Crazy talk!!! No one has dropped more balls than Bowe!!! No one!! Baldwin needs to get the routes down and not to play on a horrible team. You don’t draft a big guy like Baldwin and Bowe because they blow by CBs, you draft them to go up and get the ball. So the, “he’s never gets open” is ridiculous.

    • Jim Harper

      Exactly what has brought you to AA? It can’t be to tell the coaches how they are all wrong in how they handle the team. It could be to illustrate how ignorant Dorsey & Reid are to give Bowe a fat new contract. That must be it, because you are obviously much smarter than they are. We are indeed fortunate to have you here so that we can understand what is really going on.

    • berttheclock

      I do not know what level of football you played, but, I will defer to Mark Malone, the former QB for the Steelers, who was livid about the lack of energy Baldwin put into trying to get open and his lack of urgency coming off cuts. Malone kept repeating how badly Bowe needed a Number 2 to take pressure off him. However, there were two types of scouting reports on Baldwin when he came out of Pittsburgh. One type raved about his ability to leap in the end zone and make circus catches against Big East dbs. The other type said he had difficulty getting any separation against aggressive dbs and did not know to use his hands to fend them off. Against Denver, he was covered consistently by a five foot nine inch db, who was in his chest. Sadly, it is the second scouting opinion which has really come to life after he hit KC. He has made two great circus catches. One was a leaping catch for a TD. The other was on the sidelines, when, he reached behind the back of a db and caught the ball, although, Pope was guilty of holding and negated the catch.
      Mark Malone looked at Baldwin through his eyes of being a former QB. On one pass, Baldwin was hit in the back of his helmet because he had failed to turn. Malone went a bit nutzo over that.

      • Jason Collins

        Mark is as good at analyzing talent as he was a QB… Awful. Baldwin has played for the worst two teams in chiefs history. It’s the D Johnson syndrome, he sucks cut him, “BUST”. DJ played on the worst Ds the chiefs have ever had. Now he’s one of the best in the league.

        • berttheclock

          The only thing “fast” about Baldwin has been his mouth. At Pittsburgh, it was his mouth smearing Tino Sunseri, his QB, then, Dave Wannstedt and his coaching staff. He claimed they had intentionally sent him long too often because they were trying to ruin his draft stock. After he arrived with the Chiefs, he ran his mouth to Thomas Jones, then, did not show he had learned anything growing up in one of the toughest places in Pennsylvania. Trying to swing with an open hand was pathetic. All he has ever shown is his ability to blame others for his lack of progress. When his numbers dropped off from 2009 to 2010 with the Panthers, it was the fault of his QB and the coaching staff. He has earned the very bad rep of being a “diva” without ever showing anything positive. As for the ability of Malone to judge talent, where is it written that only those who reach the HOF have that ability? As a QB with the Steelers, I still maintain he knows far more than you.

          • Jason Collins

            You have to laugh at a guy who turns to mark Malone to analyze the Chiefs players. That’s all I’m sayin

          • chiefridgy

            No, we laugh at you.

          • Calchiefsfan

            Burn!

    • clay simester

      Jason, you’re an idiot. The only time you show up in this thread is to say something ridiculous and negative. If you’re that desperate for attention, you should look for it elsewhere. You contribute nothing.

      With that being said, Baldwin didn’t just drop a ball, he drops them all the time and always has since being drafted. The Chiefs will be exactly the same team with or without him on the roster. I can see why you’re such a big supporter of Baldwin though, because neither one of you ever make a positive contribution

      • Jason Collins

        The irony in a guy calling someone and idiot for being negative then following it up with negativity. Let me guess, GED? Baldwin has played one full year under the worst team in chiefs history. Leave your analysis to those not inbred. I’ll write you week 6. K?

  • gonzangkc1

    Sign – WR-Brandon Lloyd – ASAP (before the Chargers get him) – tried of Jonathan “drop the BAL-aldwin”

    Chiefs Fan For Life – living in Denver, CO

  • Andy

    Sorry, I’m not buying into the we NEED a #2. Yes it would be nice. Who was Trent Greens #2? Number 1 for that matter. Who was Cassel’s number 2? Bowe did reasonably well without a good QB and a 2WR all these years. Lets not panic here. We played a great defense during a preseason game and the sky is falling? Bowe not getting targets, let a lone receptions is the Coordinators and QBs fault. I think when we get into the regular season where we motion more often, will provide opportunities for Bowe. Sure a #2 would be great, but…..

    • berttheclock

      2003 – Trent Green
      Eddie Kennison caught 56 and had 5 TDs. Johnnie Morton caught 50, of which, 4 went for TDs. Tony G led them with 71 catches and 10 TDs. Dante Hall plucked 40 and scored one TD.
      All legit offensive teams need a Number 2. Denver, at the moment, is trying to adapt to having 3 legit receivers until they can get their offensive line problems fixed, then, PM will throw to even more.

      • Andy

        First, we are not a legit team yet. Ried has done well his first year. He will fix this in time. Can’t get a whole team fixed in one year. Yes, a Chiefs fan knows those players. Few outside Chiefs nation knows of them. I will say it again, Bowe has done pretty well without a 2WR AND some of the worst QB play we fans have ever seen. The Offensive coordinator and QB must figure it out.

    • clay simester

      Trent Green also played behind a stellar offensive line, along with one of the best running games in recent memory on any team. It didn’t really matter who he was throwing to because they were always open! Those were the days

      • Andy

        Yes, those were the days. Too bad we could not fix our Defense. I think we are getting there with our O-line. We also are in a different offense. Ried has done well his first year. He will fix this in time. Can’t get a whole team fixed in one year. I will say it again, Bowe has done pretty well without a 2WR AND some of the worst QB play we fans have ever seen. The Offensive coordinator and QB must figure it out.

  • berttheclock

    There is a desperate need for a tall receiver in the Pee Wee Pop Warner League just outside Pittsburgh, PA. Their QB, Palko, really needs a tall guy to attempt to catch jump passes. Mr Baldwin, Palko really really really needs you. Please, Mr Baldwin, find a new home far away from KC.

  • Montez K.

    How long does Baldwin have to be consistently inconsistent before we realize that he is what he is. We need to pick up Brandon Lloyd. I think the problem lies in salary….cut Baldwin please. It hurts to look at his 6’4 frame going to waste!

  • Shelia Chatman

    The Chiefs have the ammo they need, they just haven’t used him yet–WR #83 Rico Richardson. If they put him on the field with a good QB, he’ll show them why he’s made it through this far…He has the hands, speed and skills to make plays and gain yards. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him play in the next preseason game to show the coaches and the fans what he’s made of. #GORICO #GOCHIEFS

    • berttheclock

      Just love that “Stand by your Man” belief. Hang in there as others are rooting for him as well.

  • Jason Collins

    Tavon Austin just dropped the ball. The Rams should cut him!!!

  • Jason Collins

    What?? Eric Fisher’s hurt??? The chiefs should cut him. Albert won’t make another block without a good number 2. Hahaha

    • JordanPollock

      ^ This guy is hilarious.

  • Lyle Graversen

    I’m in the minority here and think they can survive without a true #2 WR. The reason is that I think they can divide the passes between Charles, the 3 TEs, McCluster, Baldwin, and Avery.

    Think of it this way. Alex Smith’s career high in completions is 273. Let’s say in Reid’s offense he bumps that up to 325. That’s 325 combined receptions for all WRs, TEs, and RBs.

    If KCs receptions looked like this:

    Bowe – 85
    Charles – 60
    Fasasno – 40
    McCluster – 35
    Avery – 25
    Moeaki – 20
    Kelce – 20
    Baldwin – 15
    Davis – 10
    Starting FB – 10
    Everyone Else – 5

    Would that be the end of the world?

    If you think the Chiefs need a true #2 WR that has at least 50 receptions, then who are you taking receptions away from? About the only thing that makes sense to me is take out Baldwin completely and add his 15 receptions to Avery, giving him 40. Then you could just take a few receptions away from various people to hit 50.

    The Chiefs don’t seem to have a WR on their roster other than Bowe that deserves a bunch of targets. So why not take advantage of all the options that the Chiefs have and spread the ball around?

    • Lyle Graversen

      FYI, over the past three seasons Andy Reid’s Philly teams averaged about 348 completed passes per season.

    • Calchiefsfan

      I guess I join you in that minority Lyle. The Chiefs might have the strongest group of tight ends in the NFL when all is said and done. Couple that with Charles and McCluster and the Chiefs can do a lot of damage in the passing game. I can see those dink and dunk passes while they march down the field drawing the defenses in, then boom, D Bowe. Except for his first 2 years when Kennison was the #1 Bowe has produced his entire career with out a legit #2. I’m looking for Bowe to have an All Pro second half once this offense gets rolling.

      • berttheclock

        At present, I believe Ireland in Miami is frantically trying to convince Fasano to please come “home”.

    • berttheclock

      Lyle, while I continue to believe another wide out would take pressure off Bowe, stats from the 2011 Niners season may well support your view. CK played very little that season as he only threw 5 passes and completed 3. AS completed 273. However, the majority went to Crabtree as he caught 73 and Vernon Davis for 67. After those, the numbers fell. Gore and Hunter, the RBs caught 33 between them. Eleven went to the FB, Miller. Their other TE caught 19 with the remainder split amongst their wide outs. Ginn for 19, Josh Morgan 15, Braylon Edwards 15 . Kyle Williams had 20. So, it looks as though, AS generally first looked for Crabtree or Davis, then, went to his RBs with the other TE and the wide outs the progression throws.

  • Joe Myers

    Really they need to put baldwin under fire throw to him in pratice he needs to use his hands he uses his arms he MUST STEP UP he big has the tools . He droped a huge pass that would of set the tone put another wr in asap . Something !!!! That would put us over the top !! Come on balldwin GET BETTER !!!!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    It’s time to stack the deck. Give Avery all of the first team reps going forward and get Brandon Lloyd on the horn.

    • Pessimisticchiefsfan

      What do we need Lloyd for? We have a top tier receivers!

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I’d leave nothing to chance. As a group I think Bowe, Avery, and McCluster could be solid, but any injury could be devastating. I’d prefer another veteran guy in the fold.

  • Chiefswatch

    Dwayne Bowes lack of catches highlights the fact we are in the preseason.

  • Keith Strait

    Your favorite meal should be eating peyton manning alive. I miss defensive players like ronnie lott who didnt play for money he played to hit someone and light a fire under them. I am a hardcore chiefs fan, all the hardcore fans will agree with me i hope. alex smith is not the answer. He is very similar to mark sanchez. He cant throw a pass with confidence more than 10 yards, Harbaugh had him scared of throwing picks and our defense is no wheres close to san frans to bail alex out. Were going to go .500 this year. I hope alex gets benched and bray gets a chance to run with the first team offense. Dude has a rocket launcher arm. I am tired of trading for qbs and getting sloppy seconds. We drafted Bray for a reason. He would have went alot higher in the draft if he wasnt a punk. .500 will be a improvement but i want the playoffs and a superbowl ladies and gentleman, and alex will not lead us there ever