Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dwayne Bowe’s Recent Struggles Are Not a Good Sign for Chiefs Fans


The National Football League is a “What have you done for me lately?” league. Recently , Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe hasn’t done much.

Bowe, a first round selection out of LSU in 2007, entered the league and immediately validated being selected with the 23rd overall pick. In his rookie season Bowe snagged 70 receptions and accumulated 995 yards and five touchdowns. Since then, he’s eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark three times and had a career high 15 touchdown catches in 2010.

However, it’s safe to say that Bowe isn’t the receiver he’s used to be. In fact, his most recent season should be a cause for concern.

In 2013, Bowe struggled: he caught 57 passes for 673 yards, the second lowest season total of his career. The Chiefs leading pass catcher didn’t even come from the receiving corps. That honor came from Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles, who led the Chiefs with 70 receptions.

Success in professional football is incredibly difficult to maintain, so Bowe’s drop in numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise.

While Bowe has had a fine career thus far with the Chiefs, he’ll have to bounce back in 2014—he needs it, and so do the Chiefs.

In today’s pass-happy version of the NFL, a playoff team needs not only one talented receiver, but two. When Chiefs quarterback  Alex Smith was in San Francisco, he had a plethora of targets to throw to. However, in his first year with the Chiefs, he didn’t have the same options—especially on the outside.

Last year the Chiefs lacked a true go-to-guy on the outside. As of right now, Bowe is in that position. With free agency and the draft coming up, that is subject to change.

Expect general manager John Dorsey to reload this off season at the receiver position, possibly generating some competition that leads to a more successful season for Bowe in 2014.

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Tags: Alex Smith Dwayne Bowe Kansas City Chiefs

  • Chris Tarrants

    He was able to turn it on at the end of the season. I think it had a lot to do with Smith and Reid. Alex had to build chemistry with everybody on the field and Andy Didn’t take the training wheels off until deep into the season. I look for a big year for Bowe in 2014, a whole offseason to work with Alex and Reid seems like he is comfortable letting these guys go out and play now. 2013 was a fluke IMO and 2014 will be a reality and that reality is that the Chiefs are reloading and looking to knock the donkeys off thier perch

  • Jacob

    You worry too much.

    Bowe really stepped up in the playoff game. I would be surprised if he doesn’t play like that all next season.

    • Tristian

      Agreed

    • phantomebb

      If by stepped up you mean dropped the game winning pass, then yeah he did.

      • MrChiefsFan

        He didn’t drop the pass at all, he couldn’t get his feet down in bounds. He was six inches short of the game winning catch.

  • Tristian

    Yeah I don’t agree. Remember Bowe broke his foot in the playoff game but kept playing through it. I like Bowe alot and I think next year he has his best season ever next year. It would help bringing help in next to him to help dictate coverage. Lets not act like Bowe wasnt double teamed most of the year cause he was. Im not saying he took advantage of his opportunities fully because he didn’t but like Alex Smith he trended up second half of the year. I worry not especially with Andy Reid as playcaller. He will get the most out of Bowe

    • KCMikeG

      If it is to be then Andy will get it done. It would be huge if Bowe could play at the level we all know he can. How about a trip to Fitz’s summer camp like he did in the offseason before he exploded for the NFL high 15 TD’s. He was catching those 1,162 yards from Matt Cassel and was the ONLY WR option. He fought through those double teams and positioned his big body to shield defenders away from the ball. Didn’t see that from him last year. He was still one of the best downfield blockers in the game so I will let last year go but he needs to perform like a top 5 WR to earn his contract.

  • KCMikeG

    I pray Chris and Jacob are right & we’re worrying too much. My fear is you are wrong. This much I know for sure – for $56M he had better show up in the best shape of his life and play his heart out every play – unlike last year. He has said he wasn’t in the best of shape when he arrived at camp and that he was “tired” in the 4th quarter of the Colts playoff game. Inexcusable. $56M = not in shape, . Bowe ($12M) makes almost two and a half times more millions than Charles is making ($5.2). Double inexcusable. Charles is out there laying it on the line every single one of the 87.4% of the snaps he played putting up 19TD’s for 2.5 times less than Bowe did for 5TD’s. Shameful. I have an idea, why don’t they restructure Bowe’s contract and give Jamaal a couple more million this year.

    • Troy Utt

      Sorry Guys I have to agree w/ Mike! Like everyone else I am always cheering for Bowe to pull it together, but his effort this last season screamed “mailed it in!” (off-field issue’s aside but pending )
      Being a #1 WR in the NFL comes with certain expectations, Bowe has been in the league long enough to “figure it out!” Show up in shape! Take a page out of the Tony G. handbook and report to camp ready, that way in the 4th quarter your’e not gassed or running routes half speed.
      Being double-teamed is not an excuse as a #1! As long as there have been forward pass’ in the NFL WR’s have been doubled. This is where we separate the #1′s & #2′s, the good from the average, and where he is paid to earn his money. As I saw suggested maybe he should attend Fitzgerald’s Pass-Camp!
      Coming off a season in which he averaged 45ypg I have high hopes to see the effort

  • http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/community/profile/index.jsp?ipid=14872822'defer='defer upperturion

    Irregardless of how anyone feels about Dwayne Bowe, it’s a fact that he cannot beat anyone deep. So if he is to succeed from here forward, he’d better learn to take more chances over the middle. My hunch is he’ll try it more, and won’t like it … and he will fade into the twilight………………………..hope I’m wrong!

    And I hope the Jenkins kid matures and comes into his own this yr. Bring-in Avant (and anyone w/ wheels), and stretch the damn field Dorsey. You think our offense was explosive the last thirds of the season — watch what a deep threat on both sides of the field will do!!!

  • Canad-Ian

    I don’t know how many times I watched Cassel throw to a double team covered Bowe and I’d swear at the TV until Bowe came down with the ball. Alex Smith doesn’t throw to covered receivers. Maybe he needs to learn that when Bowe is covered he’s still open? Anyways however it happens we need more production for that price tag.

    PS
    I don’t want Avant. We need a burner like Avery, but with hands.

  • Jeffrey Fisher

    The Chiefs Got a little help at receiver by getting Weston Dressler! Watched some vids on him! Athletic reminds Me a little of Wes Welker! Then we pick up another WR via the draft! I wonder if the Chiefs have a recourse if he gets suspended For substance abuse! It is his 2nd offense! !

  • Corey thompson

    What most people don’t realize is Bowe is way more valuable than just his stats. He may have underperformed stat wise but he is very key to the offense. Whenever you see a big run by Jamaal or a long reception down the field it is because Bowe is one of the best blocking receivers in the game and when he is not blocking down the field he is drawing double teams. If we get a wr that can even somewhat deaw attention off of Bowe I believe KC has a top 5 offense. The key is to get him in more one on one situations but that will only happen when teams respect the WR personnel the chiefs have.

  • Justin Rogers

    It has to do with Alex Smith not being one to take many chances. Smith and Bowe are starting to build more trust and I think they should be just fine next year.

    • toperspective

      You’re absolutely right. If AS was the QB in Detroit, Johnson would have half the yards. Stafford throws some really crazy azz passes and Johnson just goes and gets them…..or else they are intercepted. Not saying AS should fling the ball around like Stafford but AS has a different approach which is going to impact the receiver’s numbers. I sure hope it’s a comfort thing and not a big skill erosion.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I tend to agree. Bowe’s got a big catch radius and he’s a guy you have to trust to go and get the ball. Alex Smith really isn’t the guy to throw into tight coverage all that often. I think Bowe gained his trust though as the season wore on. Bowe was targeted more than any other receiver on the team and I think that will continue.

  • Josh

    What most people are failing to understand is that most of the time he was double covered… Which will make it hard for any receiver to catch a ball if thrown to them.

  • Calchiefsfan

    Last year Smith was developing chemistry with his receivers and everyone was learning Reid’s system. This year, if the O line holds together, we should see a lot of improvement. If Bowe sucks this year then I will agree he’s on the decline but last year there was just too much going on to know for sure. That being said, Smith had the best year in his career with the current group of receivers. If he starts going to Bowe like he did in the playoff game it’s going to be a very good year for both.

    • Troy Utt

      There is also much truth to making the most of your opportunities… Something Bowe did not do during the regular season! Double covered or not seperation, & route running is expected of a #1 in the NFL. Granted Bowe blocked well downfield but there are much cheaper options for those senario’s… TE’s! I realize & appreciate Bowe’s ability to block downfield, but after getting paid I felt duped? I look for him to have a better 2014 as well especially if he winds up serving any form of suspension for his off field antics, he’ll be looking to win back his favor with the coaching staff, & fans. At least thats my hope.
      Granted it took the offense a minute to get the playbook down, & everyone on the same page. I am in hopes that next season brings a healthy TE Corp as well another WR option. This would do wonders for taking pressure off JC!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I think he’s going to rebound in a big way in 2014.

  • sadapooda

    This is a weak article. The title implies Dwayne Bowe is getting old or something. Bowe still has the ability to go up and get it and run over DB’s. He was never brought in to run past DB’s, especially 2 of them. It took over half the season for Smith to throw the ball down field because of comfort with the playbook and lack of WR. Not to mention Bowe could be doubled every play with the other wide outs and lack of TE play that we had. The NFL is a pass happy league, but the true good QB’s spread the ball around which keeps WR #’s down. I think we have that in Alex, we just don’t have the people to spread the ball around too. My guess is Bowe’s numbers increase this year due to Smith’s comfort with Reid’s scheme if nothing else changes. If we do get a game changing #2 WR and healthy TE play, it could be a significant change for Bowe in targets, receptions, and td’s.

  • Stan Colbert

    I have always felt Bowe was over rated. Was shocked when heard about his contract! I thinkhe is a #2 receiver that needs a #1to help him get open. One of the reasons for drafting a receiver would be to take the pressure off him so he could beat single coverage.