December 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) scores a 71-yard touchdown against Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Miles Burris (56) during the third quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Kansas City Chiefs Offense: Picking Up Where They Left Off

Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The mantra for the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs during their historic, record breaking 9-0 run was: “thank goodness for the defense, because this offense can’t do anything.”

Coming out of the bye week, that all seemed to change.

It’s not really clear what sparked the offense in the second half of the season. Some surmise that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid opened up the second half of the playbook where all of the “deep” plays were located. Others think that Alex Smith realized that he couldn’t keep winning games by throwing three-yard passes. Others still think that while the Chiefs played sub-standard offenses in the first half of the season (causing their defense to shine) the opposite was true in the second half of the season, causing their offense to stand out.

Whatever the reason for the change, the Chiefs prolific offense in the second half of the 2013 season was ranked near the top of the NFL in several statistical categories.

But what does that mean moving forward?

I will tell you that I’m firmly in the camp that believes the cause for the turnaround was generated solely from Alex Smith’s comfort level with his receivers. Bringing in a new head coach and a new quarterback where everyone has to learn a new system isn’t easy. This is just one of a thousand reasons that Smith was the right guy for the job. The Chiefs quarterback has played in a new offensive system just about every single year he’s been in the league. Learning a new offense has become a given for him and he picked it up at record pace.

But, there’s a reason that great QB and wide receivers from history stand out and do as well as they do. Joe Montana and Jerry Rice weren’t the “San Francisco connection” their first year together. It took time to build the chemistry between Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall or Matthew Stafforrd and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.

For Smith to come in, fresh off the plane from the city by the bay, and have an immediate connection with Chiefs receivers Dwayne

Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) gets away from Indianapolis Colts strong safety LaRon Landry (30) during the first quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bowe, Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster would have been a lot to hope for. It took some time for that connection to develop. Actually, it took the entire preseason and nine games into the regular season.

This is the reason that I am so excited about what’s in store for the Chiefs offense going into the 2014 season.

It’s been a long time since the Chiefs have fielded an offense that was anything to write home about. The 2003 Chiefs were the closest thing to the “Greatest Show on Turf” since the St. Louis Rams held that title at the turn of the millennium. That offense that contained quarterback Trent Green, running back Priest Holmes and tight end Tony Gonzalez was a true treat to watch on the field and they broke records during that huge season. Sadly, the complete lack of defense was their demise.

History truly repeats itself, doesn’t it?

Unlike that 2003 team, though, this 2014 squad could potentially be even better. While Priest Holmes was an excellent running back, I’m a firm believer he’s the second best RB in Chiefs history. The guy that owns that #1 ranking is currently playing for the Chiefs and wearing #25. Jamaal Charles isn’t just the best back in Chiefs

history. He’s arguably the best football player in the NFL this season. And he shows no indication of slowing down.

We all know that Bowe was a huge underachiever this season, but I don’t think that was all his fault. Going back to what I was saying before about chemistry, I think it took awhile for Smith to not only be able to trust him, but also to adjust to his style of play. When Smith was the quarterback for the 49ers his favorite two targets were tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree. These two players have a completely different on field style than Bowe and that takes some getting used to.

I can almost guarantee that Bowe will be back in the “1000-yard club” next season. There’s no reason for him not to be. As the season wound down, Smith targeted”The D-Bowe Show” more and more and his #1 receiver did his best to not let him down. Combine that with the fact that Bowe has said he intends to drop his playing weight by about five to ten pounds to increase his speed and I think we can expect big things from the duo of Bowe and Smith next year.

Many have said that one of the Chiefs biggest off season needs is another receiver who can not only take some heat off of #82, but also stretch the field. I think Chiefs general manager John Dorsey knows this as well or better than anybody and will target the best wide out he can when the Chiefs pick 23rd in the draft in May.

With a roster of talent working in the same system for the second straight year, this team will be an offensive powerhouse in 2014, picking up right where they left off.

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Tags: Alex Smith Dwayne Bowe Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs

  • Brian Martasin

    Let’s hope that’s the case given their much more difficult schedule. Let’s also hope that Lewis is sent packing and that Sutton can figure out how to at least slow down the leagues better offenses.

  • tazer15

    I agree our offense just caught on at the end of the season.It will be as good or better next year.Esp with a new WR Avery sent packing and a full season of our 2 headed monster Charles & Davis.Problem lies with our secondary.Said this before I’ll say it again with out replacing Cooper, Lewis and Flowers were doomed.And or maybe Sutton himself who refuses to make adjustments.

    • Jacob

      There is absolutely not reason to replace Cooper and Flowers.

    • Jacob

      There is absolutely no reason to replace Cooper and Flowers.

      • Larry Devore

        Cooper needs help

    • sidibeke

      We need a FS who can keep the top on the D. That and either an ILB who can cover (short passes to backs killed us; think Woodhead at Arrowhead) or a DE who can get some consistent pressure to help out H, H and Poe.

  • Tristian Shelley

    Its going to be interesting because now that I think about it I wouldn’t be totally opposed to bringing back avery and mccluster because they are cheap but they know the system more importantly. How long would it take a free agent wideout to get acclimated to the system? I hope the answer isnt 8 game like this year. But also the cap room as currently constructed wont allow us to sign an eric decker number 1 type receiver. Personally id bring back Avery for sure because despite his drops there isnt much better out there and he can play both the Z which is the outside receiver and the slot of course which is where he would be best. He showed he can get open at timeswhich is what a number 3 borderline number 2 is and can stretch the field but we cant consistently depend on him. I have a feeling Reid brings in 3 or 4 recievers to compete in camp to go with Bowe Avery and whoever is on the roster currently. Huge offseason and draft for the Chiefs. Dont forget a lot of tougher defenses and teams next year so the offseason workouts will be huge too. Cant wait to see how Dorsey and Reid attack this offseason!

  • Calchiefsfan

    I’ve been saying this for a while now Jason and agree 100%, Bowe will be back next year with a vengence now that he and Smith are starting to get on the same page. It also helps that our O line was coming together. I actually think it’s a higher priority to keep the O line together than to get a new wide receiver. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to get a Marquise Lee or someone like that in the draft or a top FA WR but we were scoring points and moving the ball at will the last half of the season. What we need to do is fix our defense and we will be competing for the Super Bowl every year. Though I have to admit it’s a heck of a lot better than the old Vermeil days.

  • tazer15

    QBs were told to pick on them it’s public knowledge how bad those 2 were.If you some how missed it during the games look at their numbers they were terrible. They cannot survive in that scheme.Flowers was voted to the pro bowl by bias uneducated fans.

    • superman_25_58

      This is his first Pro Bowl so if this was the case than you would of thought he would of made other appearances in previous Pro Bowls IMO. They got beat a few times covering who cares shit happens. There has been no Safety help all year as well as some poor Defensive play calling in the second half (I’m looking at you Lewis and Sutton). It’s impossible to cover a guy man on man for as long as our CB’s had to cover after the bye week even if your name is Richard Sherman lol. For instance the first game against the Chargers……. the Chargers are around the 50 yard line with 31 seconds of game left they had to score a TD bc we were up by 4 with no timeouts. How do you not pick a 3 or even 2 deep safety zone with everyone else playing man knowing that they are either going to try to hit the sideline or take a shot deep? Instead you play strait man and I believe tried to blitz and got beat deep! C’mon man this was a no brainer! Cooper and Flowers will be just fine, we need to focus on getting a safety capable of being able to read defenses, wrap up and tackle, and also fast enough and skilled enough to play center field IMO. As well as a WR that can take some coverage off Bowe which will allow everyone on the offense be a lil more productive IMO.

    • Larry Devore

      didn’t your favorite player get in?

  • phantomebb

    Its funny because I just got used to wincing every time bowe got thrown the ball, he seema to find ways to either not get in bounds, not make the right read, or drop a pass, or not be physical. Kinda sad that McCluster and Jenkins seemed to be the best recivers…. not going to even mention how bad fasano ended up.

    • superman_25_58

      How many receiving yards did Bowe have in the playoffs against Indy? McCluster? Jenkins? While I think McCluster is a Beast and I like how productive Jenkins was in that same Indy game in the playoffs once we get someone on the other side of Bowe that can run and catch defenses will have to change their game plan allowing him to return to the Bowe of old. I do agree that Fasano ended up not being what everyone thought he would be, but we will see what next year has in store for us.

      • phantomebb

        Bowe gets fed the ball and consistently doesn’t make the catch, If two indy defenders actually tackle him (which he is proven its easy to do) he gets barely a 100 yards on 13 targets which would still be his best performance of the year. Hes being paid alot to not win games.

      • Larry Devore

        Bowe 150 yds. 1 catch 27 yds.

  • Larry Devore

    I’m also excited about the offense going into next season. It’s the defense I’m worried about.