John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Stunning Numbers From The Chiefs Home Opener


As much as I enjoyed the Chiefs’ walloping of the Jacksonville Jaguars last week on an emotional level, I came out of last week with my sails only half-filled. The Jaguars were obviously an inferior opponent. The real test would be against Dallas. And so, like any Chiefs fan that has been attentive these last few years, I waited, both allowing myself a bit of hope and steeling myself for potential disappointment. I watched the first half of the game with the most intense expression I probably have had in years.

“We’re not going to be able to keep up with Dez.”

“We have to score here. We cannot, cannot afford to miss this opportunity.”

Et cetera, interspaced with plenty of salty exclamations and mutterings.

But the Chiefs did not disappoint (which is a good thing because I’m not sure I my nerves could have taken a close Chiefs loss AND that last episode of Breaking Bad in one sitting).

Here are the numbers that stood out to me and what they mean.


72 – The number of sacks the Chiefs will rack up if they keep up their current rate. That’s 4.5 per game. That would also mean 24 for OLB Justin Houston and 28 for NT Dontari Poe. Of course, that’s not going to happen, but it is a beautiful thought, isn’t it?

9th – Alex Smith’s current league-wide ranking in QBR, with a 65.8 rating. He finished 2012 ranked 7th in the league. So far, it does not look like his success was entirely derived from Jim Harbaugh’s coaching and his compliment of receiving targets in San Francisco, as some suggested.

5/5 – The Chiefs’ ratio of red zone trips to TD’s.

22 for 62, 2.8 average – The combined Week 2 rushing stats of mobile QB’s Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, and E.J. Manuel. Meanwhile, “limited,” “system quarterback” Alex Smith ran it eight times for 57 yards and a 7.1 average. Obviously you don’t want your quarterback being your rushing leader for a lot or reasons, but after having thought about this a bit, I think it’s kind of brilliant.

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles currently holds the NFL record for career yards per carry and he is obviously the focal point of any opposing defense. Meanwhile, the Cowboys got shredded in the Giants’ passing game in Week 1. They made a game plan to hide their vulnerabilities while hitting the Chiefs biggest strengths. The Chiefs said, “Fine, we’ll beat you this way then.”

I also personally think Smith delivered the play of the game with his feet on the opening drive with his 17-yard gain in the red zone on 3rd and 15. It was critical that the Chiefs come away with a score on that drive. Seeing deep coverage, he made the gutsy call to tuck and run, knowing that taking a little slide after a short gain wouldn’t be enough. Like a running back, he angled towards the chains and gave a leap while being pushed out of bounds with his arm extended to make sure that he got the first down. I became an Alex Smith fan on that play.

18.4 – The Cowboys’ average starting field position. P Dustin Colquitt had five punts downed within Dallas’ 20-yard-line. His other two punts went thusly – one downed on the 23, the other would have started Dallas at their own 1, but was made into a touchback due to a penalty totally unrelated to his kick. Punter is an unheralded position, but Colquitt nearly just punted a perfect game.

38 – The jersey number of CB Ron Parker – a name I did not recognize when it was called. But this Parker made

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

the defensive play of the game with his strip sack of Dallas QB Tony Romo late in the 3rd quarter.

100 – The number of yards WR Dez Bryant put up on the Chiefs before they presumably made some adjustments at the end of the 1st quarter. Far too late in my opinion. I dig DC Bob Sutton’s dedication to aggression and blitzing, but leaving Bryant in single coverage all quarter as he carved up the secondary became increasingly insane. Nonetheless, glad to see the changes worked. Bryant had just 4 catches for 41 yards after that.

3 – The number of days we’ll have to wait for more Chiefs football. In my opinion, playing the Eagles in Philadelphia will be the team’s most difficult game for the next month. This game is followed by meetings against the Giants at home, the Titans away, and the Raiders in Arrowhead. I won’t be panicking if the Chiefs can’t eke out a win on Thursday. They can easily go 2-1 in the three games that follow, which would leave them at 4-2 to start the season. I’ll take that.

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Tags: Alex Smith Chiefs Cowboys Dallas Dontari Poe Kansas City Numbers Ron Parker

  • Norman Gunn

    I love the articles where numbers are broken down. Great read. It was funny seeing Parker. I had no idea who he was. Also props to Kendrick Lewis, he played a cover 1 safety deep all game and he seemed to be all over the field. After last season I thought he was our week link.

    • Pealvin

      Kendrick is a playmaker and a fearless tackler. He is ready to go.

      • berttheclock

        He stopped Witten cold. Witten only caught 3 passes with the longest being for 10 yards, but, he only had 12 yards total. Kendrick came up and hit him just after he caught two passes. The Cowboys’ offensive co-ord tried to change up by using Hanna instead. But, the safeties shut down their effectiveness.

        • loanplus1

          Agree Lewis was all over it! And after media was writing him off.

          • Rich Cooper

            Being fully healthy is a good thing. It seems that Mr Lewis has his speed and strength back along with a substantial boost in confidence!

  • Mark Bustamante

    I’d love 4-2 in the first 6 games. I like how the CHIEFS did not panic yesterday. They stuck to their game plan and executed it. Ugly win but beautiful record!

  • shayaan

    there was no coverage change on bryant – we just started blitzing more often and with more bodies. flowers remained in man-coverage, showing his mental toughness and ability to adjust his individual game, and it allowed the rest of our defense to operate at a high level.

    • berttheclock

      Sutton did have the safety come over. But, many fans in Dallas are really criticizing Callahan for going away from him. They were livid he was not used when Callahan called for a screen pass which lost 3 yards.

      • shayaan

        he might have on a play or two when they were disguising coverage, but for the most part he did not. flowers remained in man-coverage for quarters 2-4. the biggest difference was that we started sending more blitzes, like i said, forcing romo to get the ball out quicker and limiting the routes bryant could run.

  • berttheclock

    Geez, if only Alex Smith had that guru of a QB developer who worked so hard with a young QB, last night. The coach whose QB put up outstanding numbers. Hmmm, 13 of 28 for 127 yards, a 4.5 average, threw 3 INTs, and had a QBR of 14.0 and a rating of 20.1. Let me check who was that masked man. Ah, it says it was someone named Harbaugh and the QB was named Kaepernick. Yeah, if only Alex had Harbaugh.

    • Lewis Rigor

      Oh hell yeah!!!!! As a former 9er faithful who gave all my SF jerseys to goodwill and replaced with Chiefs I am so glad to see others have seen exactly what I saw in Alex and the shitty hand he was dealt there in SF. The Chiefs look very much like the proud classy football team that SF had through the 80′s and 90′s. It is this reason and the Ghetto mind set they have now is why I will now finnish my life a Chief.

    • tnafam

      As a 49ers fan, I don’t think Smith would have done that well against Seattle yesterday….but then I don’t think he could have done worst. But most 49ers fans can’t appreciate him “game managing” or winning by a field goal. I wonder how they feel now about us losing big because if a young QB that doesn’t know how to manage the game at all.

  • Troy Utt

    The funny thing is the number of SF fans that have commented today about not being sure about Kaep & missing Alex Smith! All the while I get to laugh to myself & smuggly reply AS11 is on the Chiefs roster now! We glady welcome & are proud to have him… I guess so much for it having been Harbaugh’s system that made the better QB… IMO Smith simply was a gamer yesterday. Doing whatever necessary to extend the drive, complete the play, or finish the series… He’s got my vote… then again, he had mine before he ever actually signed w/ KC!