Chiefs DVOA Rankings: Week 11


Last Sunday the Chiefs put away the Cardinals in pretty convincing fashion. And by “convincing” I am mainly referring to result on the scoreboard.

Among other things, I thought Cassel looked very comfortable in the pocket and his footwork, from my perspective anyway, continues to show improvement. Moreover, I thought the numbers that Cassel and Bowe put up together said a lot about both players considering Bowe was Cassel’s only go to receiving option in the game. The one thing I remember Weis saying when he hired was that job number one was fixing the quarterback. In my purely subjective opinion, I believe it is fair to say that Weis is making significant progress on that front. This week’s DVOA stats may indicate otherwise however.

On defense, the thing that impressed me most was how the Chiefs performed in the red zone. Beyond that, I thought they looked a little suspect, especially in coverage. Call it bend-but-don’t-break D if you like, but I saw some things going on that just looked plain bad to me. By now, we’ve probably all seen comments about how much better our defense plays when Kendrick Lewis is in. Again, this week’s DVOA analysis might have a completely different take.

On special teams, I thought Colquitt was damn near spectacular and that’s about it. Aside from Colquitt, did Special Teams do anything to lift themselves out of their ongoing slump?

Let’s see if we can gain a little greater insight into these burning questions, just beyond the jump.

If you’re not familiar with what DVOA is all about, click here first.

Additional stats of interest:

Well there you have it. The stats do seem to support the case that Cassel is showing pretty steady improvement. I guess what I find even more encouraging is that that has been case for several weeks now. Bowe’s situational stats are also starting to become fairly respectable. He’s probably not yet in an “elite” class but he is making good progress in that direction. I have to believe that if Cassel had another decent receiving option (or two), Bowe could be even more effective. If Verran Tucker can start making more of an impact, along with Moeaki returning, I am of a mind that we may just have the foundations of a very formidable offense. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Now for some major announcements from the Bureau of Big Worries.

DVOA suggests that our defense is not playing well (at all really) and that it is indeed becoming a unwelcome trend of late. Remember that the more negative the DVOA the better the defense and that an above average defense can be identified by a negative DVOA percentage. The biggest concern is our front seven’s inability to disrupt the passing game – we rank 29th in that category. Needless to say the ongoing downward trend of our defense is especially alarming. We need our defense to start pretending like they know how to play if we are to expect any success on the road because, well, San Diego, in addition to being right on our heels, is also a team we have yet to face away from home. Time is short, the stakes are enormous.

One more area of concern – the Chiefs win over the Cards did nothing to statistically improve our chances of making the playoffs. Even worse news, because of the way the Chargers are now playing and the fact that they just beat the Broncos, they (the Chargers) are now considered the team most likely to win the division. The best way for the Chiefs to alter that statistical likelihood is by winning.

Lastly, I’ll close with a comparison of current rankings between the Chiefs and their next opponent, the Seahawks.

I believe the main keys to this game will involve the X factors. Top of the list, we have to focus on preventing Leon Washington from doing damage in the return game and secondly, we need to be aware of what Matt Hasselbeck can do when he runs with the ball (he’s the 6th best rushing QB in the league) and come with a defensive game plan that includes taking Hasselbeck’s legs into account and I’m not talking about the ones that belong to his talk show wife.

So that’s my Double Take. What’s your take Addicts?