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Chiefs Bye Week: 3 Things Kansas City Should Work On


The Kansas City Chiefs had the first pick in the 2013 draft after a league worst 2-14 season in 2012. After nine games in the 2013 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs are 9-0. They are guaranteed a winning season. Sometimes I think it’s unbelievable. At 9-0, anything but at least one playoff win would be a major disappointment. The Chiefs have come off their last 4 games with wins that have caused guys the likes of CBS’s Pete Prisco to dub the Chiefs “the softest 9-0 Team” he’s ever seen. The next game is the game to prove the world wrong. NBC has made sure that the Chiefs game in Denver is broadcast nationwide on Sunday November 17th at 8:30 PM EST. This is the biggest game of the season and thank goodness the Chiefs have a bye week to work on them. Here are my three main things the Chiefs need to work on.

1. Defending the Run:

The Buffalo Bills stampeded over the Chiefs in the ground game this past week. It was really a disaster. I was driving back from a crazy weekend back at my alma mater and had to listen to the game via the NFL Mobile app and boy was it just gut wrenching. The homer Buffalo Bill announcers were really difficult to listen to, but what was more difficult to listen to was the big run after big run that the Bills ripped on the Chiefs. The Chiefs are now 24th best rushing defense in the league giving up 118.6 yards a game. You can bet your sweet patootie that the Denver Broncos will see this and use the run to confuse the Chiefs defense and open up the field for Peyton and his playmaking receivers. The Chiefs need to work on stopping the run over the bye week, plain and simple.

2. Take More Chances:

The Chiefs won’t beat the Denver Broncos in a shootout, but they will need to score touchdowns in a more dynamic fashion then they are doing currently. Alex Smith needs to work on his deep ball accuracy in the time they have to prepare for the Broncos so that he can utilize weapons like wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery. The Chiefs won’t win in a shootout vs. Denver, but they will need to score more then 21 points if they want to beat them.

3. Red Zone Efficiency:

Continuing the trend of scoring points, the Chiefs need to start putting up TDs and not field goals when they get into the red zone. Last year against Denver, all the Chiefs did was kick field goals and they lost 17-9. This year, the first game is in an extremely hostile environment and the only way I know to quiet the crowd at Invesco Field is to score touchdowns against the Broncos. The Chiefs are currently 25th in Red Zone Touchdown scoring percentage scoring touchdowns only 48% of the time they get inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. This has to improve if they want to have a chance of winning this division.

Addicts, what do you think the Chiefs need to improve on over the bye week? Sound off below.

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Tags: Alex Smith Buffalo |Bills Denver Broncos Donnie Avery Dwayne Bowe Feaured Kansas City Chiefs

  • richbrad1970

    Good read. I would offer up as number 4, execute.

    The only way to ensure a win against Denver is to keep their offense on the bench. Fortunately, The Chiefs were built to beat The Broncos; by playing ball control, error free offense.

    However, that means during the bye week Smith, Bowe, Avery, and the rest of the receiving corps must work on completions. Charles, can not win this one alone. The Denver defense will key on him. It will take all cylinders firing to win.

    Even the best defense in the league is going to give up some points to Manning, his football IQ is ridiculously high, his adjustments at the line are legendary.

    Provided the Chiefs offense improves slightly (as it has each week), the defense keeps the game close, and the offense “grinds” away the 4th quarter against The “tired” Broncos defense.

    The Chiefs leave Denver with a win.

    • Suzi Conger

      Good post richbrad, I would add that the #1 priority is a big, consistent improvement from our inadequate OLine pass/block protection; a QB cannot execute when his pocket is constantly collapsed, OL hammered and dominated by opposing D. If our OL can just perform on a ‘C’ level consistently, instead of the present ‘D’ level, I say too, that we leave Denver with a win.
      (Consider that ’12 season, Alex led the smashing Victory v.s. Bills 45-7 !! of course he had good pass protection; time to execute.

  • tomflex

    Great eval. For one..I would like to never see a third down pass thrown into the stands ever again. Instead take a shot deep downfield. Especially when we are near mid-field. Throwing it deep gives the opposition something to think about and we might even connect and run it in once in a while. The worst that could happen would be an interception which is equal to what we would do on the next play anyway….punt.

  • Will Wilkinson

    Rush vs Pass balance… The last few weeks we’ve leaned heavily on Alex Smith’s arem (or lack there of). I don’t think it’s been talked about as much as it should be because Charles usually ends up with a respectable stat line late in the game after Reid uses him to “salt” away the game. Prior to the last 7 minutes or so of the Buffalo game Charles only had 8-9 rushes for a little under 50 yards. That’s not gonna win the game against teams like Denver. Keeping the ball in the air that much, becoming one dimensional and allowing the clock to stop on incompletitions will only prolong the game and play into their favor.

    • Suzi Conger

      Totally agree about rush/pass balance. However, our #1 offensive problem is our poor OLine pass/block protection and excessive OL penalty yardage losses. Rarely do they open a seam for JC and rarely does the OL afford the time needed for big deep passes/plays; AS is very capable of big plays. Guess you didn’t see the right-on-the-money (70+- yard) pass that Dex ….dropped. Or the two 40+ yd passes to DA….our OL rarely affords the time needed, and/or receivers are not open According to DerrickJ, “Andy Reid and Alex Smith” are the two main reasons for Chiefs’ dramatic Win turn-around… I agree with DJ…

      If the OLine can achieve even a ‘C’ performance, rather than the present “D” grade, we can beat Denver
      but wow, 9-0 .. nice!

  • kcchiefinlv

    Red zone efficiency- Yes. Alex even said he realizes they need to finish drives.
    Take more chances- Whatever for? To fall into the trap that the teams we are playing are? That big play exciting bombs thrown down field = W’s. Well it doesn’t. Let Alex manage the game. The defense scored 14 points against Buffalo. In essence, our offense never even needed to take the field because our D only allowed 13. Relax and appreciate this amazing D.
    Defend the run- We have done an excellent job defending the run this year. If anything critical can be said about the D it is that they have allowed some big plays down field.
    The Bills game was supposed to be a trap game. It had just been announced that the week 11 game was moved to SNF and the whole country was talking about the Chiefs/Broncos game. Did the Chiefs play flat against the Bills? Absolutely. The Bills were at home, were desperate for a win, and the Chiefs being undefeated now have a big target on their backs. Everyone wants a crack at the Chiefs and be the ones that bring us back to Earth. The main thing is that they won on the road against a team with a lot of talent.

    • Suzi Conger

      Well said kcchiefiniv… it’s very difficult, even for excellent QB’s like Alex Smith to achieve TD’s when the OLine is constantly hammered, run-over and overwhelmed by opposing D. Thus Alex is frequently pressured, rushed, sacked, his pocket collapsed; affording very little time to execute plays. Our OL is a paltry 6TH…from the Bottom in NFL for pass protection allowing the 6th Highest for Sacks/Pressure/Rushes; shortest time to execute…Alex led the smashing Victory v.s. Bills in ’12 45-7!!! of course, he did have adequate OL protection to accomplish so many TD’s
      But I’m with you, just enjoy the Wins…it takes Offense Defense Special Teams to win….enjoy :-)

      • kcchiefinlv

        Wow Suzi! I just checked out your Facebook page. Very nice!
        An attractive woman that is a Chiefs fanatic and is into Jeff Beck.
        The exact opposite of 3 strikes.

        • Suzi Conger

          Thanx much for your nice comments :-) Have you seen ‘CrossRoads I ” ? (E Clapton concert) JBeck is totally awesome…well, the whole concert is too! OK, r we gonna do this ? 10-0 Chiefs!

  • DoubleD

    I agree with you on points 2 & 3 but part company on point 1. The Broncos offense is built for the passing game and that’s what the Chiefs need to defend against. The Chiefs defense is built primarily to stop the pass. If I had my druthers, I would rather this game be a shootout between Jamaal Charles and Knowshown Moreno than a shootout between Alex Smith and Peyton Manning.

    That said, the Broncos defense has been pretty effective at stopping the run so I don’t think the Chiefs should look especially to Jamaal Charles to win this game for them. The fact that the Broncos defense seems better built to stop the run probably has a little to do with the fact that they don’t want to lose the Time of Possession battle because they want Peyton Manning to take as many snaps as possible. For these reasons, I think the best approach for the Chiefs is to be who they are on defense (i.e., attacking, risk taking) while having Alex Smith doing his best imitation of Peyton Manning on offense. Mentally, the Chiefs need to be loose, and play like they have nothing to lose.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Red Zone Efficiency should be #1! We HAVE to start scoring touchdowns instead of field goals!!!

  • PunjabiPete

    1. Hire Incognito as a motivational speaker
    2. Put laxatives in Peyton Manning’s coffee on gameday
    3. Tell Thomas the game as been moved to Monday
    4. Tell Alex Smith every time he throws the balls fewer than 10 yards Incognito will eat a kitten.
    5. Disregard 1-4 and go out and let our defense go toe to toe with their offense. Don’t make mistakes, and we will come out on top.
    6. Put Stick-em on McCluster’s gloves.
    7. Unstick McCluster from the locker room door in time for him to make it to Denver.

  • Suzi Conger

    A QB cannot execute without adequate OLine pass/block protection; our OLine is 6th from the BOTTOM in NFL; 6th Highest allowances for Sacks/Pressure/Rushes against ASmith; an average of only 2.75 seconds to execute. The OL is consistently getting hammered, out-maneuvered and overwhelmed by opposing D, thus AS is constantly swarmed, pressured and eatin dirt, and literally facing D up close and personal, blocking his view downfield. Our OLine is #1 in the NFL for most flags/penalties for false start (most attributed to Albert) and excessive yardage losses!! It is actually very easy to see the correlation to TD success; When the OLine does their job adequately, instead of getting creamed, Alex scores TD’s. Consider the Browns game; in the first half, the OL protected adequately, and behold, two TD’s + FG. After the half, Browns totally run-over and dominated our OL, Alex was and is, constantly on the run from a collapsed pocket,, = ,no TD’s. Smith has been accomplishing wins in spite of D-grade OL pass/block protection. ASmith = 5/th in nfl QB rush yards; achieving 1st downs, #1 QB in nfl since inception ’10 for least interceptions/TO’s, Winningest QB since ’11 28-5-1 and Road 14-3.
    Number 1 priority for a win v.s. Denver….Step-it-Up OLine!! Pass Protect and stop the Excessive yardage loss penalties!! With adequate pass protection, this is what our QB looks like

    I’m going to agree with DerrickJ, when asked recently how/why the amazing Chiefs have turned around this season, he replied, “Andy Reid and Alex Smith”

    Well executed pass drops are a big problem; Near perfect deep (what, 70+- yd) on-the-money- TD pass to Dex…dropped. Two critical would-have-been 1st down passes to DB….dropped. Horrific excessive OL penalty yardage losses, killing drives. Chiefs; great team-work! 9-0

  • toperspective

    Good analysis. Agree on all points. Reid has a good track record after byes so let’s hope he can get this offense on track.