For those of you still relatively new to Arrowhead Addict, each week during the regular season, I present a somewhat in depth, statistical snapshot of how the Chiefs are doing in key areas. My resource for all this is Football Outsiders. Week 1 DVOA stats are not terribly meaningful because there’s just no substantive history to do the analysis. Still, I do feel it’s worth stating here at the outset that just last week FO projected, based on preseason play, that the 2013 Chiefs would not be very good in the key areas analyzed. If nothing else, we should use FO’s preseason projection as sort of a baseline until we get a few more into the season.
Let’s start with the good. Special Teams were projected at 5th in the league and Strength of Schedule was 27th. Those are least promising aspects for this team considering last season’s performance.
Now for the not so great. Total Team DVOA was projected as 29th, Offensive DVOA was 21st, and Defensive DVOA claimed the 32nd spot. Mean Wins were projected to be 6.8.
Next, onto to the regular season tabulated results following Week 1.
Again, bearing in mind this is Week 1, that raw VOA percentage put up by the team defense was pretty jaw-dropping regardless of who the Chiefs were playing. Considering FO rated the Chiefs defense dead last coming into the regular season, this represents a dramatic transformation and I would say even an insight into just how great, potentially this defense might be. It’s a bit premature to say the Chiefs are the best defense in the league, but by the same token, it’s not unrealistic to say that this could very well be the kind of defense that far exceeds all expectations when all is said and done.
Here’s a further break down of the Week 1 Defensive and Offensive performances:
All of these scores are encouraging signs but clearly the Chiefs Pass Defense totally dominated.
As for individual Offensive positional performances, there’s some good and some not so good as seen below.
Big picture, it is safe to say that the Chiefs backfield was the most important contributing element on offense and perhaps that’s as it should be when one is sitting on a 3 touchdown lead. On the other hand, not a single receiver, including TE’s, on the squad is ranked among the top 32 players at their position as far as DYAR or DVOA are concerned.
It is easy to say that the Chiefs experienced road success in Week 1 because Jacksonville does not appear to be a very good team at this stage. On the other hand, this is the NFL where no victories are assured and the Chiefs did exactly what most NFL teams prefer to do on the road – play tough defense and run the ball well. Check and check.
This coming week will be different. The Chiefs will enjoy home field advantage but the Cowboys, on paper, appear to be a better team than the Jags. “Better” in this case is de facto relative because the Jags are, right now, the worst team in the NFL by most statistical measures.
The Cowboys appear, even with a home win in Week 1 appear, so far, to be a below average team. The key to offensive success for the Chiefs will most likely not be through running the ball, which the Cowboys defend pretty well, but rather, for Alex Smith to get the ball into the hands of Chiefs receivers and for the Chiefs receivers to hang onto the ball. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs defense mostly needs to keep doing what they’re doing.
That’s my 2013 Week 1 Double Take! What’s your take, Addicts?