As we start to take a step back from the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs season and look forward to what needs to be done for next season I thought it might be worth while to dig into the numbers a little to see just where the offense and defense are. This week I’ll look at the offense and then next week it will be the defense’s turn. Let me preface by saying that I’m a firm believer that numbers don’t tell the entire story. However, they do give you a good “big picture” outlook.
First the obvious numbers: Kansas City’s offense finished the season ranked #12 in yards at 349.7 per game and #14 in points at 22.9 per game. Those are both nice improvements over 2009 when they finished #25 in yards with 303.2 per game and #23 in points with 18.4 per game.
So the question then becomes how much of this improvement is due to the team being better and how much is due to the much talked about “easy schedule”?
After the break I’ll take a look inside the numbers and see how the Chiefs did against their opponents this year compared to other teams in the league.
First let’s look at each game this season and how that team ranked defensively (in yards allowed and points allowed) and how the Chiefs offense did against that team so we can compare it to the average. Warning: If you are not a big “stat person” you may want to just jump to the conclusion after the week by week break down.
Week 1 – San Diego: #1 with 271.6 yards, #10 with 20.1 points
KC results: 197 yards, 21 points (21-14 Win)
Compared to average: -74.6 yards, +0.9 points
Week 2 – @ Cleveland: #22 with 350.1 yards, #13 with 20.8 points
KC results: 312 yards, 16 points (16-14 Win)
Compared to average: -38.1 yards, -4.8 points
Week 3 – San Francisco: #13 with 327.8 yards, #16 with 21.6 points
KC results: 457 yards, 31 points (31-10 Win)
Compared to average: +129.2 yards, +9.4 points
Week 5 – @ Indianapolis: #20 with 341.6 yards, #23 with 24.2 points
KC results: 261 yards, 9 points (19-9 Loss)
Compared to average: -80.6 yards, -15.2 points
Week 6 – @ Houston: #30 with 376.9 yards, #29 with 26.7 points
KC results: 417 yards, 31 points (35-31 Loss)
Compared to average: +40.1 yards, +4.3 points
Week 7 – Jacksonville: #28 with 371.8 yards, #27 with 26.2 points
KC results: 426 yards, 42 points (42-20 Win)
Compared to average: +54.2 yards, +15.8 points
Week 8 – Buffalo: #24 with 361.6 yards, #28 with 26.6 points
KC results: 414 yards, 13 points (13-10 OT Win)
Compared to average: +52.4 yards, -13.6 points
Week 9 – @ Oakland: #11 with 322.8 yards, #20 with 23.2 points
KC results: 304 yards, 20 points (23-20 OT Loss)
Compared to average: -18.8 yards, -3.2 points
Week 10 – @ Denver: #32 with 390.8 yards, #32 with 29.4 points
KC results: 484 yards, 29 points (49-29 Loss)
Compared to average: +93.2 yards, -0.4 points
Week 11 – Arizona: #29 with 373.6 yards, #30 with 27.1 points
KC results: 352 yards, 31 points (31-13 Win)
Compared to average: -21.6 yards, +3.9 points
Week 12 – @ Seattle: #27 with 368.6 yards, #25 with 25.4 points
KC results: 503 yards, 42 points (42-24 Win)
Compared to average: +134.4 yards, +16.6 points
Week 13 – Denver: #32 with 390.8 yards, #32 with 27.1 points
KC results: 359 yards, 10 points (10-6 Win)
Compared to average: -31.8 points, -17.1 points
Week 14 – @ San Diego: #1 with 271.6 yards, #10 with 20.1 points
KC results: 67 yards, 0 points (31-0 Loss)
Compared to average: -204.6 yards, -20.1 points
Week 15 – @ St Louis: #19 with 336.8 yards, #12 with 20.5 points
KC results: 383 yards, 27 points (27-13 Win)
Compared to average: +46.2 yards, +6.5 points
Week 16 – Tennessee: #26 with 367.7 yards, #15 with 21.2 points
KC results: 458 yards, 34 points (34-14 Win)
Compared to average: +90.3 yards, +12.8 points
Week 17 – Oakland: #11 with 322.8 yards, #20 with 23.2 points
KC results: 201 yards, 10 points (31-10 Loss)
Compared to average: -121.8 yards, -13.2 points
So here are the totals:
The teams we faced had an average ranking in yards per game of 20.4 and allowed an average of 346.7 yards per game. So what did the Chiefs average against that? How about 349.7 yards per game? So they were 3 yards per game over what the teams they faced allowed. Now a great offense would be above the average amounts and a bad offense would be below the average amount, so I think a safe conclusion to draw would be that ending up within 3 yards of the average would make our offense officially “average”.
In terms of the points allowed the defenses we faced had an average ranking of 21.4 and allowed 24.1 points per game. The Chiefs averaged 22.9 points per game so they were 1.2 points below the average amount allowed by these teams. So again the Chiefs are close enough to the average to validate the overall “average” rating for the offense.
Now in a vacuum having an average offense is not that exciting. The hope is that it is an improvement over where they were a year ago. So let’s take a look.
On the surface the Chiefs improved on offense from 2009 to 2010. They went from #25 in yards per game at 303.2 up to #12 with 349.7. They also went up in points per game from #23 with 18.4 up to #14 with 22.9. But let’s look at how they compared to the averages that season. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to go game by game again, I’ll go straight to the results).
In 2009 the Chiefs faced teams that averaged a ranking of 14.2 in yards per game with an average yard per game amount of 329.9. They teams average ranking in points allowed was 15.2 with an average of 20.9 points per game allowed. So in 2009 the Chiefs were 26.7 yards per game below the average amount allowed by their opponents and 2.5 points below the average of points allowed by their opponents.
So here is what I think is proof of the progress. Not only did the Chiefs improve their yards per game by 46.5 yards but they went from putting up 26.7 yards per game LESS then their opponents allowed to 3 yards per game MORE. That’s a 29.7 yards per game swing that factors in the strength of their opponents. Unfortunately the points per game increase isn’t quite as good. They improved by 4.5 points per game. However, they went from scoring 2.5 points per game LESS then the average allowed to 1.2 points per game LESS then the average. That is an improvement of 1.3 points, but it is still below the average and not as good as the improvement in yards per game.
So if you’re looking for some good news you can take away from all these numbers, here it is. The improvement on offense was not just due to the strength of the defenses they faced. The numbers show that there was improvement more then what the averages allowed. The Chiefs went from clearly being a below average offense to now being just plain average. That’s progress. Now we have to hope that they take the next step and become an above average offense. I think having four offensive players make the Pro Bowl is a good start.
So next week we’ll take a look at the defense. Until then….
Thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!