Carpet Calling Andy Reid & The Kansas City Chiefs’ Offense


The Red Files Banner

Week 12 begins and for the first time in their 2013 campaign, the Kansas City Chiefs are looking to rebound from a loss. The team fell to the Denver Broncos 27-17 before a national television audience on “Sunday Night Football.” I think every reasonable fan of the Chiefs knew this day would come. It’s the way Kansas City lost that will leave Chiefs Kingdom and perhaps the team temporarily disheartened.

The most troublesome part about the loss is the way the Chiefs’ offense repeatedly shot itself in the foot. Kansas City committed four offensive penalties for 30 yards on Sunday night in Denver. A few of them snuffed out promising drives. It didn’t help that Kansas City also struggled in the red zone. Late in the first quarter, fullback Anthony Sherman caught a pass from Alex Smith, gained 2 yards on his way upfield, and fumbled the football. Denver recovered and Kansas City lost a chance to either score a go-ahead touchdown or tie the game at 3.

The Chiefs wilted again in the red zone in a second quarter drive where they had 1st-and-2 from the Denver 2-yard line. They gained only one of those two yards in three tries. Ryan Succop ultimately had to settle for a 20-yard field goal. Some have criticized Reid for not going for it on 4th-and-1. I’m not sure that was the right decision. The Chiefs were already down two possessions. If they’d failed to convert there, Denver would’ve had a chance to blow the game wide open.

We finally know what this offensive unit is currently made of. They’re capable of scoring enough points to be a complement to this defense. They’re also far too inconsistent and not quite good enough to overcome their own blunders. The Chiefs got away with that the first half of the season. The final six games will require the brand of mistake-free football they’ve been preaching since the offseason began.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but Kansas City has to stop leaving points on the field. Let me be clear: I don’t expect Alex Smith to develop a skillset he doesn’t already have. I’m not expecting Reid’s offensive philosophy to morph into an Air Coryell scheme. The team simply needs to do more of what they can do, more often.

It all begins with the Chiefs’ run offense. Kansas City ran the ball 25 times for 144 yards against Denver (5.8 yards per carry). They weren’t in much of a position for more carries (as they trailed for most of the game), but that success makes a compelling case for establishing the run earlier. Jamaal Charles had a grand total of three carries in the Chiefs’ first three offensive series.

Knile Davis made a pair of positive plays. Given more of an opportunity, he could make a bigger contribution and help lighten Charles’ load. I can’t help but think that the limited number of touches are rooted in the fear that he may not have overcome his collegiate fumbling issue. To date, Davis has touched the ball 24 times without event.

Getting back to basics is likely to correct the rest of what’s wrong with Kansas City’s offense. Catching and securing the football are two vital aspects of the game where the team has had consistent trouble. The team is 9th in the NFL in drops (with 20). Donnie Avery and Anthony Sherman both have fumbles inside of the opponents’ 20-yard line.

There are other areas where the Chiefs need improvement. Kansas City’s scoring to start the second halves of games has been deplorable. They average roughly 3.5 third quarter points in 2013. The third frame has statistically been their least-productive quarter of offensive football.

To Reid’s credit, the offense seemed to take more chances in the passing game, but that may be explained away by trailing Denver by two possessions. Successful throws down the field in the SNF game may relax Smith’s risk-aversion a bit. If he can learn to trust his receivers to catch the deep ball, he might be more inclined to throw it. I’ve been critical of Smith, but it should be noted that he played well on Sunday. His performance earned a +1.6 grade from Pro Football Focus.

The 4-6 San Diego Chargers are headed to Arrowhead on Sunday. Despite having dropped three straight, San Diego can score. They’ve bested the Chiefs’ season scoring average five times this year. It’s hard to say which Chargers team will show up on Sunday, but the Chiefs need to be prepared to get out of the gates quickly.

It’s not time for anyone to panic, but the problems with Kansas City’s offense are now inescapable. Sunday was a glaring reminder that this unit will need to improve for this team to win in December and January. We’re unlikely to see sweeping change this late in the year, but a few small changes could go a mighty long way.

What say you, Addicts? Is it too late in the season to expect any real change from this offense? Are the problems strictly personnel-based? Will a renewed focus on fundamentals make a constructive difference? Use the comment section below to chime in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!

 

 

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Chris Tarrants

    I think that Reid needs to be more of a hardass when it comes to bonehead mistakes. Drops and fumbles should be punished with a warm seat on the bench for a series or two. Nobody on this team is a “star” with the exception of Charles but even he should be held responsible too. Hopefully Dorsey has his eyes set on a stud WR in the first round of this years draft because the WR corps as a whole need a makeover. I do want to say that the oline did an outstanding job Sunday so hopefully they continue to build off of that and continue to give Smith more and more time in the pocket

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Reid’s not a rough disciplinarian type like Haley. I’m sure he doesn’t take any shit, but I can’t see him dumping a bunch of guys on the bench after drops/fumbles.

    • micah stephenson

      What good is a stud WR when you have Alex at QB. We can get a 3rd or 4th rd wr, sinse all he will be doing is catching 3 yrd passes. QB 1st rd, wr 3rd rd.

      • DTVTechGuy

        Never mind that deep ball Avery dropped…

        Your shtick is without supporting evidence… It’s risk vs reward… Not a lack of ability

        All this from the guy who screamed for Geno…

        • micah stephenson

          Low risk low reward. High risk high reward. Ima b screaming for a QB next yr too, and if we don’t get one, ima b screaming for one the yr after that and on and on until we get one.

          • toperspective

            My biggest fear is that they give him an extension.

          • micah stephenson

            Man 4 or 5 yrs of Alex Smith! Nooooooo! That wud make it tuff to have faith in them winning a super bowl any time soon. If they do it better b low wage contract they can cancel at any time. Smith will be 30 next yr. I really don’t want to b watching an old scared weak armed QB for the next 4-5 yrs.

          • Stan

            Hopefully you’ll switch teams by then

          • micah stephenson

            Never

  • toperspective

    “Are the problems strictly personnel-based?” yes, that would be a big part of it. They don’t have an athletic TE and the wide receiving corps are weak. Charles is the only game breaker. Bowe is no longer an elite receiver. Combine the inability of the receivers to get separation with the propensity to drop the ball and it makes it tough to succeed in the passing game. And AS is what he is…a game manager. Not a guy that will carry the team but he also won’t make dumb mistakes. Rome wasn’t built in a day. To win this team needs the defense to hold the opponent to less than 20 and the offense has to grind out enough points to win. If they can get home field in the playoffs that just might be good enough.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I don’t think we need him to carry this team. I also don’t think “game manager” is a curse word. He’s not simply a guy you want to stay out of the way, he can make plays. He’s just not a gunslinger who is going to make a bunch of throws that travel 50 yards through the air. He’s proven at times that he can raise his level of play and carry a team momentarily (see the game with NO). He’s just not an elite quarterback like Rodgers, Brady, or Manning. That’s okay. Few QB’s are.

      • kcpauly

        Bowe has been playing real lathargic and he is our only good WR and he is not great, this team has not had a WR worth a damn in years and that makes any QB look bad/worse, but it all gets dumped on the QB, look at last year with Cassell all the balls that were on guys hands and numbers only to be popped up in the air for INT.’s, that is not the QB’s fault,(not saying Cassell is good or anything,but it is just an example) and I think it is time to start re-evaluating the WR position, shit the only guy that caught the ball consistently got let go(Breaston) I am sick of the QB sucks talk when the WR’s suck just as bad, why would AS11 throw the ball around when the WR’s have proven over and over again that they will make him pay for it?
        Go Chiefs!!!!!

        • Stacy D. Smith

          He’s a professional. He can’t just opt out of trying to make the offense he’s leading more reliable. Our fate rests upon this offense’s ability to score points.

        • micah stephenson

          I bet you if we had an Elite or even just better than Alex, QB, our wrs would b considered good. I bet Manning, Brady, Rogers or Breese cud work with the wrs. With Alex we need 2 Calvin Johnsons at wr, a gronkowski at TE, and 5 probowl olinemen for him to look decent.

      • Stan

        How many passes are 50 yards in the air? Get real!!

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Did you bother to read my post or are you just trolling to troll?

    • micah stephenson

      Stop with the Bowe ain’t an Elite Wr, he cud b top 15 easily. Think about this real hard. If you took any of the top ten wrs n the NFL and you paired them with an Alex Smith, will they still look like a top ten wr? Will they stats go up or down? Its the QBs that have to have the “Elite factor”. Good QBs make bad wrs look good. Noway good wrs make bad QBs look good.

  • T.Hagen

    Good article. I think good football teams make those adjustments to win. From what I seen in Sundays game is Alex can be a good quarterback and make some good throws but it’s like the coach is holding him back from his true potential , being to conservative. Also what happened to Hemingway? I also think we got good receivers but when you rarely throw to them every drop seems to much.

    • toperspective

      I don’t think they were too conservative this week. There were more down field throws in this game then any other. Some drops, some misses and in many cases inability of receivers to get separation. Good question re Hemingway.

      • micah stephenson

        The wrs get seperation but Alex is slow at reading defenses that by the time he see something its too late. Alex know his passes lack zip so he is scared to throw to a wr that ain’t wide open.

        • toperspective

          My take is that he doesn’t wait for the plays to develop. He dumps it before the receivers have a chance to get separation. There was one play against Denver where Charles was streaking down the sideline and clearly would have beaten the defender but instead of waiting a moment (there were no protection issues) AS dumped it off for a nothing completion. He doesn’t see the field well or go through his progressions.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            I think his general philosophy is to find the quickest, safest way to get rid of the ball. When he DOES hold on to the ball too long, it’s usually not his lack of speed at reading defenses. It’s generally because he hasn’t identified a safe place to throw and prefers a sack to an interception. Thing is, in the NFL receivers aren’t always going to have a step on a guy. Sometimes you have to throw into a tight window.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          He typically gets rid of the ball quickly and rarely turns it over. I’m not sure you can do those two things AND be slow at reading defenses.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I don’t think it’s Reid. I think Smith holds himself back. He’s REALLY insecure about his arm.

      • Calchiefsfan

        I agree. Reid has been pushing Smith to take more chances down field since training camp. Smith is just so conservative. Which brings up the second part of that problem, when Smith does go long the receivers haven’t seen that enough in real game situations so the timing and recognition are still sloppy. If Smith starts opening up now that could be improved upon a lot by the time the playoffs roll around.

        • micah stephenson

          I agree. Wrs are dropping deep passes cus they ain’t use to Alex do n that.

          • Calchiefsfan

            I wonder if Smith thinks they’re just decoys to open up space for the check downs.

          • micah stephenson

            Lol

      • micah stephenson

        And he shud b insecure about that weak arm.

        • Stan

          More BS!!

      • Stan

        What a bunch of BS!!!!

    • micah stephenson

      Holding him back? Definitely not. Andy now knows Alex Aint shit, that’s why he don’t even call a lot of deep pass plays. He know Alex ain’t that dude. Its Alex who is conservative. Our think our wrs drop the deep passes cus they are shocked the ball is even that far downfield or just not use to catching deep passes.

      • berttheclock

        You are absolutely stupid. Pro Football Focus gave him a plus 1.6 for the game. They gave Peyton Manning a minus 1.3. You are more than just a one trick pony or a Johnny One Note. You are vapid.

        • micah stephenson

          Stupid? You the one posting stats about P.Manning and A.Smith like the guys are even close to being comparable.One is a hall of famer the other a Avg to below avg QB. Lol. Wow. Lol. This guy is funny, I wudnt even waste my time digging up 1 stat to try to justify Alex not suckin.

          • Stan

            Try 29-6-1 for a stat!!

          • Stacy D. Smith

            That statistic doesn’t say anything at all about his deep ball accuracy or willingness to throw the ball down the field. You’re moving the goalposts.

        • micah stephenson

          Alex sucks dude. Just admit it. Hes garbage. Mayby he is good by yo standards but I know we can do a lot better.

          • ChiefsSwede

            Comon Micah, get off your “hate Smith” bandwagon and watch what’s going on, maybe you haven’t noticed but we’re 9-1! You’re turning into a troll

          • Stan

            The only thing garbage are your statements about Alex!!

      • Stan

        What a hater!!!

      • Philip W

        Do you help Teicher write his articles about the Chiefs?

  • T.Hagen

    Then again there was some drops that should have been catches.

  • Bigchief

    They are what they are have to play mistake free on offense

  • e_racer

    Eric Fisher rode home on the plane with his arm in a sling. So, it is likely he will be replaced by Stephenson Sunday against San Diego. Fisher did a nice job until Chris Collinsworth bragged on his performance. The very next play Fisher was over aggressive, and his man took an inside route to the QB. That cannot happen. It would be better if Fisher got beat to the outside than the inside. Which ever player plays Sunday needs to do a better job.

    The bigger issue on the line was Hudson. He got beat, and when the Center gets beat there is little chance for the QB to survive. The offensive line needs to continue to improve.

    Smith didn’t make many mistakes, but he left a lot of plays on the field. He has to take a chance now and then. However, the problem may be more extensive. Common with running quarterbacks, Smith does not see the field as well as he should.

    Finally, the receivers have to learn to get open. It is more than a lack of quickness or top end speed. Those help, but knowing how to run crisp routes and find how to find open spaces is really the pressing issue here. If the officials are not going to call pick plays the Chiefs need to learn how to utilize them. Bowe needs to use his size to create space. I could go on with a more in depth evaluation on the woes of our receivers, but this is already too long.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I had no idea Fisher had his arm in a sling.

    • berttheclock

      Yes, he was badly beaten on the play you mentioned. However, did you notice the Broncos switched DEs on that play? They flip flopped their DEs and Fisher was up against Derek Wolfe for the first time.

    • berttheclock

      Near the middle of the 4th quarter, Stephenson was playing RT in place of Fisher.

  • Doc

    Priority one for Dorsey this off season – a consistent WR that can be a agame changer. We do not have capable, reliable, consistent WRs. Second priority, we need a big RB for goal line situations. Otherwise, let’s use McGrath or Poe (ala William ‘Refigerator’ Perry) for this goal line drives. Nothing against Charles, but he doesn’t have the size and needs more room to use his speed, or get him jumping lessons like Marcus Allen. Time to let Albert walk and see what he can get on the free market. Kind of interesting that nobody was interested this off season. Is suspect his back is not 100% because he looks stiff and slow. Seems to be having trouble maintaining his position this year which suggests to me his back is an issue.

    • Calchiefsfan

      Ah, remember the days when we needed a yard and Marcus always found a way. He was a master at it.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Not sure it’s priority #1, but it’s definitely up there.

      • micah stephenson

        What you think they first priority should be?

    • micah stephenson

      Albert wud b signed quickly to a big time deal if a free agent. He was a franchise tagged player this yr so your perception of non interest is more the fact teams don’t want to give up 2 1st rd pick to trade for him. As far as the big time wr go, why? Why we need a big time wr in an offense that passes for 3 yrds at a time? Wudnt a big time wr b kinda useless without a strong armed big time QB?

      • Stan

        Go back and review the game tapes, then talk about 3 yard passes.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Being effective in short-yardage situation doesn’t require size. There are plenty of big guys who suck at it. It’s instinct, vision, explosion, quick decisionmaking, and a good push at the point of attack from the offensive line (which I don’t think we’re getting often enough).

  • Calchiefsfan

    We need another high quality interior lineman. That first and goal at the two was the killer. We should have got 7 on that drive. We might be able to get good one in the third round.

    Cooper got schooled a little but he’ll be alright. I’ll bet he plays better at Arrowhead.

    Good point about Davis Stacy. It’s time to let the rook play and give Charles some rest. Reid needs to run it more anyway. Charles broke that big one. If he gets more running plays called he’ll start breaking some every game like he’s done his entire career.

  • Aaron Martin

    Panic? Maybe? I have been telling everyone that we were fine on the offense, that we are about to really click and get going. BUT, now I do feel nervous for them. I do believe in JC and AS but there are to many other people not stepping up. Too many drops and no big time plays being made. I feel they really need to get it going or the second half will be, well……

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I think we could “click” if we stop making so many mistakes. This isn’t a great offense, by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe it can be somewhere between 12th-16th in the league if we execute and avoid mistakes.

      • toperspective

        They would have to be perfect to rank that high. Other than Charles, they just don’t have the athletes or the play makers on offense. I’m sure that will be a priority in next years draft. Just wish they had that 2nd round pick.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Perfect? Not at all. They were 16th in the league in scoring right now.

  • amoverit

    I keep hearing that Alex needs to “trust his receivers more”…or “throw his receivers open” etc. But frankly, which receivers would you trust when your throw into tight coverage? Is it me or does anyone else notice Dwayne Bowe trying to catch balls coming across the middle against his body. If he does catch it he immediately falls down. When he doesn’t catch it, it seems the DB easily reaches around and knocks the ball loose. If he would extend his arms and secure the ball in his hands and then bring it into his body, wouldn’t he have more success? You can complain about Alex Smith all you want, but this group of receivers are only going to take us so far.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Good quarterbacks make their receivers. Have his receivers often failed him? Absolutely. There’s blame to go around though. I’ve watched Smith miss open receivers all season long.

      • Stan

        Like every other QB never misses. I saw a lot of incompletes from Manning last Sunday who had several WR’s open.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          You’re helping my argument. Manning has declining arm strength and doesn’t throw long nearly as often as he used to.

    • micah stephenson

      A wr? We need a QB FIRST!!! If we got Calvin Johnson right now it wudnt matter cus of our QB. Johnsons stats wud go down and down and he wudnt look like the same wr. Fans wud b saying what’s wrong with Calvin?

      • Bill Mandeville

        Relax on the QB thing….. Championships are won on the Offensive Line and Defensive Line… fortunately we have on of the best Defensive Lines in the NFL unfortunately we have a very below Offensive Line ….. and that will really hurt us. I do think that we will be up 2 games on Denver after we beat them in KC…….I see the Patriots beating Denver in New England !!!

        • Stan

          Finally a man with a brain!!!

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Huh? Six of the last seven Super Bowl MVP’s have been quarterbacks.

          • micah stephenson

            Tell em Stacy!

          • Bill Mandeville

            You’re looking at the Result not the Reason for the Result…Look what happened to Brady when he lost the Super Bowl to Giants in their bid for an undefeated season…his offensive line didn’t hold up against the Giants Defensive Line….

          • Stacy D. Smith

            How about Manning being 30-for-40 for 296 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT’s? Does that maybe factor into how the Giants won that game?

          • Bill Mandeville

            I think you’re making my point… Going into that game wouldn’t you rather have Brady as your QB instead of Manning? I’m not saying that it’s not important to have Good QB play but it starts with the Offensive line. I don’t care how good you are, if you don’t get protection it really doesn’t matter……

        • micah stephenson

          After watching the Patriots/Panthers game, I don’t think the pats got enough defense to beat the broncos.
          Mayby Brady will go off and out score them. Both teams shud b 10-1 when we play at ararrowhead.

        • micah stephenson

          You don’t have a 9-1 record with a below avg oline.

      • Stan

        Hey Hater what is the Lions record with Johnson and Stafford? Not 9 and 1, that’s for sure.

        • micah stephenson

          I don’t keep up with the Lions, wat is the record?

  • Davé

    The whole offense save Charles played a pretty mediocre game, and mediocre isn’t beating the Donkeys. Alex had some great throws but unfortunately his receiving group didn’t make routine catches. When not throwing catch-able balls that were dropped, Alex was slinging balls at the feet of receivers and missing wide open ones too. He also took four times as long to find a receiver as Manning which explains why Denver got sacks and we did not. Sherman really fucked us with that drop, that turnover had a real chance of changing the game dynamic. The defense missed on three interceptions. I told my wife on that third and six that Manning would take a shot and alas Sean Smith falls down giving the only Manning TD of the night. Defense did awesome with all those three and outs; too bad our offense decided to suck ass against a honestly nothing special defense. If our offense can get it’s head out of it’s ass we could beat anyone. No changes are even needed outside of Receivers not DROPPING passes and Alex needing to be a little more accurate:no overthrows and no under throws. This defense is as legit as it gets, it will be unfortunate if Alex, Jamaal and company can’t reward them for what they are doing.

    • Stan

      Well Denver have receivers, we don’t. Simple

      • micah stephenson

        How good wud the Chiefs and broncos b if they switched QBs?