Can The Chiefs Win In The Playoffs With These Wide Receivers?

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Think I decided to line up the Chiefs’ stats alongside a bunch of league bottom dwellers to make my point? Wrong.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The others are three of the four teams from the NFC and AFC Conference championship games last year. Team #2 is the New England Patriots, Team #3 is the San Francisco 49ers, and Team #4 — that stinker that had fewer receptions by wide receivers than the Chiefs — is none other than the world champion Seattle Seahawks.

True, I left Denver out of this list, but we all know that they didn’t fit this trend with their phenomenal passing year, and guess what? They got destroyed 43-8 in the Super Bowl, in case you had forgotten.

So, I ask again, the Chiefs have no chance of going deep in the playoffs with WR production like we had last year, right? Wrong, if the success of all of last year’s contenders is any judge.

This list had some other things in common. They all had pretty good defenses:

Team #1 (Chiefs)

Average opponent points allowed (NFL rank): 19.1 (5th)

Sacks (NFL rank): 47 (T-6th)

INT’s (NFL rank): 21 (T-3rd)

Team #2 (Patriots)

Average opponent points allowed (NFL rank): 21.1 (10th)

Sacks (NFL rank): 48 (5th)

INT’s (NFL rank): 17 (T-12th)

Team #3 (49ers)

Average opponent points allowed (NFL rank): 17 (3rd)

Sacks (NFL rank): 38 (T-18th)

INT’s (NFL rank): 18 (T-10th)

Team #4 (Seahawks)

Average opponent points allowed (NFL rank): 14.4 (1st)

Sacks (NFL rank): 44 (T-8th)

INT’s (NFL rank): 28 (1st)

And, it’s been suggested that the fact QB Alex Smith was throwing so often to RB Jamaal Charles was due to a lack of better options or because Smith simply can’t sling it down field. For me, the only real concern with throwing so much to Charles is his durability, which is critical to the team’s continued success.

As for the amount of catches he was getting, it may have made the WR’s look bad, but when you have a special athlete like him who was averaging 9.9 yards per catch and had a TD for every 10 receptions, who cares? Throw him the ball.

The Chiefs are not alone in that philosophy.

Although the Chiefs were the only of these teams with a non-WR leading the team in receptions, the 49ers’ #2 player in terms of receptions was TE Vernon Davis, who snagged the ball 52 times for 1,627 yards and 13 touchdowns. Remember 49ers wide receivers had just 8 TD’s all season combined.

The Seahawks weren’t too different. Their RB Marshawn Lynch had the 3rd most receptions for the team. Same with the Patriots, with RB Shane Vereen coming in 3rd with 47 balls for 427 yards.

So, would it be nice for the Chiefs to have a wideout emerge as a clear number #1 who is consistently beating his man deep? Absolutely.

Are the Chiefs doomed without one? Hardly.

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Tags: Alex Smtih Defense Donnie Avery Dwayne Bowe Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Offense Passing

  • jimfromkcj

    If teams who play the chiefs Hug their CB’s tight on the line of scrimmage and maul the chief’s receivers, they will reveal the weakness of our off line and make for a long season or perhaps a short season for Alex. I am way more concerned with the off line than the receivers.

    • scomstock55

      there will be no way to mug the quick slots WRs we will be putting on the field….either DAT or Dressler or both are super quick….combine that with motion and there is no way they are getting bumped

    • scomstock55

      another bonus of the D having everyone close to the line is that when our boy JC gets that little crease he needs….there will be no one downfield to contest the TD….I say bring it all up to the line and let us show what we can do in the quick hitting passing game and then switch it up with JC….

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    No stats can defend that our receivers just aren’t that good. Bowe isn’t the #1 we want him to be and that all of the other receivers in the group are average at best.

    With that being said with good qb play and a solid run game I think they are good enough to get us a playoff win.

  • berttheclock

    One major problem with using the Chiefs stats of 2013 is the fact the passing game didn’t really kick in until near the end of the season and was exceptional against the Colts. You should really throw out most of the first half of the season due to problems with the offensive line, A J Jenkins just learning our system and trying to gain confidence, Avery’s shoulder injury following his break out slant patterns against the Eagles (for the knockers of Avery, I suggest you try to play wide out with only one good shoulder). In the West Coast system, the system is based on crisp sharp routes and is not a “bombs away” system. With the lack of a solid Number Two wide out and the fact Bowe was constantly double teamed, With a poor O-line not protecting him, Alex Smith had to use Charles as a receiver so often, Charles ended up with the most catches. In fact, if you consider the Chiefs with the Niners and the Seahawks, Charles had 259 carries, Lynch had 301 and Gore had 276. CK threw the ball for the Niners 416 times, with a mediocre 58 percentage accuracy. His top receiver was his Number 2, Boldin with his TE Davis coming in 2nd. He completed 43 passes to his backs, Miller and Gore. At Seattle, Wilson threw 407 passes, and completed 257, most of them to his Number One and Number Two wide outs.

    If the offensive line can become a solid pass protecting unit, consider this the 2nd season with the system, a more confident A J Jenkins, a healed shoulder of Avery, the inclusion of DAT, a young Hemingway coming into his own, a healed TE corps and Bowe showing up in the best shape he has been in years, this could really be breakout year for the Chiefs.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      I agree, it’s going to be a tough road to hoe with the Chiefs 2014 schedule, but I really don’t think the team is far from contending.

      • mnelson52

        The rest of the division has about the same hard schedule. Just like they had the same easy schedule last year.

  • area

    Whether or not I believe that the Chief’s receivers are adequate or not is almost a moot point at this part of the season. I’m also indifferent to bringing in trimmings from other teams rosters following cuts, because those players are going to take time to acclimate and probably be incapable of immediate impact of any consequence. The current players are more than capable of making heads turn this season due to knowledge of the current scheme and system, conditioning, and experience(maturation).
    What I DO believe in is Reid’s ability to game-plan with the current roster as is. New England saw trouble last year with new and/or rookie receivers and much like the Chiefs, took a little longer out of the gate to get to full speed. Where New England had a set design in place and the only adjustment necessary was on the part of the receivers and Brady, the Chiefs entire offensive system was new to both the coaches and players both. In agreement with Bert, the latter part of the 2013 season of both the Patriots and the Chiefs were very similar as far as a production standpoint, but it could be argued that the Chiefs responded better.

  • scomstock55

    very nicely written. I love the perspective from strictly statistics. It shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can compete and we will compete. I feel that with Abdullah and Commings shoring up the safety spot, the added jewel in a pass rusher, and a little better CB play…we will make a very large improvement. A simple second…one measly second, with half coming from better coverage and half coming from an improved pass rush will make all the difference in the world for our or any defense that was as close as we were so many times…

  • mnelson52

    According to Denver reporters and other pundits, the best the Chiefs can hope for this year is 7-9. Some feel 4-12 is more realistic. They feel like we not only didn’t improve in the draft, but will be a worse team than last year with a harder schedule. Denver reporters are saying we will be battling it out with Oakland for 3rd & 4th in our division, I can only say to them, they said the same thing last year. I like being the underdog and taken lightly. I think our defense is better and our offense is healthy, which will make them better. Both the O & D now have a year behind them in Reid’s system. I’m expecting good things for our Chiefs. They can go on thinking we are the only team that didn’t get better.

    • micah stephenson

      A lot of other teams(including all the afc west) have another yr under they system too.

      • mnelson52

        I agree and I never said the rest of the teams in our division haven’t made moves to improve their teams. I’m just saying they’re wrong about the Chiefs not being as good or better than last year.

        • micah stephenson

          We should b about the same or a tad worse. We lost Flowers, our 3 best olinemen, mcluster, TJack, Jordan. Walker and Mays should b upgrades over tjack and Jordan. We need to get the sencondary together now. I was pointing out that while some thinkyou just get waaay better cus its another yr in the same system, other teams shud b making the same leap so not much ground is gained that way.

          • mnelson52

            Most of the teams we are playing are not going into their 2nd year of a new system. Therefore I don’t feel their leap will be as big of a leap as the Chiefs. With one year behind them in the system, they will be able to play much faster since the thinking before you act or react will be mostly out of the equation. They can just take their reads and go for it.

          • micah stephenson

            I get that. ASS11, all the wrs and TEs seem like they need to make a HUUUUUUGE leap this yr. O line too.

  • preston riley

    I agree that it shouldn’t be seen as a negative that Charles was the primary weapon running and catching the ball. Seemed to me also that a lot of those were designed plays, not just check downs by Alex – especially the short TD passes.

    Part of slow start last year I believe is due not only to loss of TEs but also when they were lost. they went thru most of training camp with them it seemed then lost them close to start of season. TEs are big part of this offense and they had to make changes on the fly – while entire O was learning new system. Also, as bert noted, AJ came in late after chiefs gave up on baldwin at start of season. I think they will be much better. I think the system is designed for these WRs to be put into positions for quick passes and YAC. Alex will get criticized anyway, but the offense will move and score.

    • mnelson52

      We definitely came out the best on that AJ-Baldwin trade.

      • berttheclock

        Have you read where Baldwin may try to switch to TE to make the roster?

        • mnelson52

          No. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I do wish him well though. (except when he plays the Chiefs)

          • berttheclock

            What is interesting is Brandon Lloyd was out of football for a year and he is turning heads at OTAs of the Niners. Acrobatic catches. He and their new wide outs are pushing Baldwin to the curb, unless he can latch on as a TE.

      • preston riley

        I agree, but not sure why. It’s one thing if Baldwin didn’t turn out to be a great WR, but hard to imagine that he couldn’t have been a good WR. not sure if niners have any plans for him either. He’s still young though so maybe he’ll put it together

        • berttheclock

          When he went to the Niners, Harbaugh really needed him as his corps of receivers was limited. However, he only caught 3 passes for them as he could not gain separation. He is slow to get into full stride and does not like to use his hands against aggressive D-backs.

          • Deadmeat

            Maybe he keeps getting flashbacks of Thomas Jones.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    We can win with this crop of receivers. I watched Alex Smith raise the level of the entire offense with his play in the Colts game.

    • micah stephenson

      You wish. Actually it was the defense who set up a lot of those scores. Ass11 felt good when there was no pressure for him to have to do something, but when the lead started dwindling, Ass11 was like a fish out of water, he wasnt so great when he HAD to do something in the 2nd half.

    • micah stephenson

      I like Bowe, but Avery, Dressler, Jenkins, and Hemmingway? Fasano? Ass11? Stacy, you are easily impressed.

    • micah stephenson

      I like how you judge ASS11 off of one game now. You cant judge every QB by his best game ever, that is not his normal game, that’s his best game, a lot of qbs have a really better than normal games, that don’t mean that will b level of play all the time. If we played the Colts right now, do you think we score 44 pts? NO. Do you think we score 34 pts? No.

      • htmn74

        How can you say that? Charles torched Indy for over 200 yds rushing at home 2 seasons ago. KC has no problem moving the ball on the Colts.

        • micah stephenson

          Well mayby we have they number on defense with our offense.

      • htmn74

        It was Alex Smith that had the best playoff performance of any Chiefs player in franchise history. No Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac like performance there.

        …btw Alex Smith shredded the Ariz Cards who had the #1 pass defense at the time an for the year in 2012.

        Week 8 against the Ariz Cardinals:

        18 for 19, 94.7%, 232 yds, 12.2 ypa, 3 td 0 int.

        At the time Alex Smith was knocked out of the Rams game, the very next week, he was 7 of 8 for 1 td an 0 int. The Rams gave up the fewest pass td that year. So, in Smith final 2 starts in SF:

        25 of 27; 92.6%; 304 yds; 11.3 ypa; 4 td 0 int and perfect qb rating.

        No qb in nfl history has recorded that in a 2 game stretch. You certainly don’t lose your job for that. Harbaugh did that. You can’t just say that what Smith did in the 2013 playoff was a fluke. Did you see his 2011 divisional against N.O.?

  • Soda pop

    Flowers out of KC you heard it here first

    • berttheclock

      The Texans will have a new corner back. Romeo will have his GM swoop in a heartbeat.

  • berttheclock

    Flowers’ dead money split over two years.

  • berttheclock

    Mr Flowers, I hate to see you go. You gave it your all. Best to you where ever you end up playing.

  • berttheclock

    Attention Ben, but, Joel Thurman of Arrowhead Pride beat you to the punch on Flowers.

    • mnelson52

      BR came over my phone with the news before AA, but AA came real soon after.

      • mnelson52

        Actually I got a tweet from Brandon before any of that.

  • Reggie Flenory


  • micah stephenson

    Anything is possible. I think we cud use a better QB, wrs and TEs.

  • e_racer

    Andy Reid’s offenses in the past have produced numbers despite not having elite receivers. Bowe and Alex Smith are getting their timing down. I anticipate Bowe will rebound in 2014. Charles, Davis, and Thomas will get plenty of receptions out of the running back position. Kelce, Fasano, and McGrath should get quite a few receptions out of the TE spot. Shoot, if we are to believe reports, Harris will stick on the 53, and may produce this year.

    The Chiefs will be fine.

  • Evan Morris

    The Chiefs biggest needs are TE,OG,DT, and CB obviously. Parker and Cooper have their chance at stardom now, travis kelce will get a fresh start, and dee ford will reek havoc and motivate Hali and Houston even more.

  • Travis Forsyth

    “We have no chance” that’s what they said about us heading into last season and what happened? 9-0 BABY!! When was the last time these “experts” actually had something good to say about the chiefs any way? “Worst 9-0 team ever” are you kidding me? These people sit in a office half the time looking at pieces of paper with a bunch of numbers and they come out with a prediction. The only way for the chiefs to shut these people up, is win; which is what the chiefs are currently poised to do. Do we have a tough schedule? yes. and so does the rest of the AFC West and I don’t think it’s anything the chiefs can’t handle. I think kc is very capable of getting 9 or 10 wins.