The Kansas City Chiefs, led by new head coach Andy Reid, and new general manager John Dorsey have started the season off right. What I witnessed on Sunday was borderline magical. The only reason I say this is because I only witnessed two weeks of “winning” football last season. The Kansas City Chiefs did what they had to do against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who some consider to be the worst team in football. The Chiefs annihilated the Jags 28-2. Reid kept the foot on the gas until he knew there was no chance of Jacksonville coming back. Let’s look at some very important stats from this game.
Key Stat #1: Turnover Ratio +2
The Kansas City Chiefs were 2-14 because they had a quarterback who seemed to like throwing passes to the other team. Not only that, but the 2012 Chiefs had one of the worst turnover ratios in the NFL in 2012 at -24. On sunday, the Chiefs went +2. The turnovers came on interceptions made by Brandon Flowers and Tamba Hali. Flowers caught a ball thrown right to him on a miscommunication between Jags quarterback Blaine Gabbert and his receiver Cecil Shorts III. Flowers then returned the interception 32 yards. That led to a very short field for the Chiefs and a touchdown. The second interception came on a huge mistake by Blaine Gabbert (big surprise). His running back was running a block and release type route, but he missed the block on Hali and the throw was intercepted and taken back ten yards for a touchdown, effectively sealing the win for the Chiefs.
On the other side of this ratio, the Chiefs did not turn over the ball once. Alex Smith threw ZERO interceptions. This is arguably the most important part about this game. Other players that did well not turning the ball over: Knile Davis, Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster, and Donnie Avery. These guys were targeted a bunch and Davis is known for his fumble issues. None of these guys fumbled. Excellent game for all of them.
Key Stat #2: 6 team Sacks
The Chiefs defense recorded six sacks yesterday. That is an astounding number. Three of those came from Justin Houston alone. His over/under for the year was slated at 7. LOL. If Houston continues, he’ll have seven by week three or four. Dontari Poe had one and a half sacks, Tyson Jackson had a sack and Eric Berry recorded half a sack. Blaine Gabbert, given time in the pocket, could have thrown the ball better against the Chiefs, but he never had time because the entire defensive line plus Houston and Hali were all over him. I was also very impressed with what I saw out of the 7th round pick out of Princeton, Mike Catapano.
Key Stat #3: Dontari Poe
I honestly can’t say too much about Dontari Poe, because he might eat all of these words like he did the Jacksonville offense. Six total tackles and one and a half sacks for a 3-4 nose tackle. He just looked to athletic and imposing against the other team. They just couldn’t get away from him. Thank Scott Pioli for that pick guys. Poe the All-Pro…I can hear it now.
Key Stat #4: Dwayne Bowe, 4 receptions for 30 yards
This is the only negative thing I have to report. Alex Smith needs to take more chances. We have Dallas next week. There’s no way in Sam Hill that Dallas doesn’t key on the check downs. Especially with Brandon Carr coming back to Kansas City and Morris Claiborne on the other side of him. Don’t forget one of the best pass rushers in the recent decade in DeMarcus Ware. Smith tried to air it out to tight end Anthony Fasano on the first offensive play for the Chiefs, but overthrew a catchable ball that went through Fasano’s hands. If the Chiefs are to beat better teams, they need to start taking more chances.
Key Stat #5: Maurice Jones-Drew, 15 carries 45 yards, 0 TDs, 0 receptions
The Chiefs shut down the only player that mattered on Jacksonville’s offense. One of the better running backs in the game could not manage to run for more than 50 yards and did not have a longer run than 10 yards against this Kansas City Chiefs defense. Not only that, but he was not thrown to once in this game.
Key Stat #6: Field Position
The Chiefs started two of their touchdown drives inside Jacksonville’s 25 yards line because of a Brandon Flowers 32 yard interception return and a 36 yard Dexter McCluster punt return. More importantly, the Jacksonville Jaguars did not enter Chiefs territory until less than a minute was left, and could not score whatsoever.
Key Stat #7: 100% Red Zone Efficiency
YOU READ THAT RIGHT! One Hundred Percent Efficiency. The Chiefs scored all three times they were in the red zone. They were all touchdowns.
A couple of finals thoughts. The blocked punt was allowed in my opinion because of all the new special teams guys David Toub has to work with. Once he has a chance to really work with the new guys, I think we will see some special things like we did in the preseason. Also, I was very pleased with what I saw out of Donnie Avery. He did a great job catching balls thrown to him and he broke a tackle on his touchdown reception. Junior Hemingway deserved a spot on this team like I said. He had an unbelievable touchdown grab.
So I’d love to hear what you think. These are my key stats of the game. Seven is a lucky number after all.
Topics: Alex Smith, Anthony Fasano, Brandon Carr, Brandon Flowers, Cecil Shorts III, Demarcus Ware, Dexter McCluster, Dontari Poe, Jacksonville Jaguars, Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs, Maurice Jones-Drew, Morris Claiborne, Tamba Hali