Kansas City Chief’s Playmakers


We interrupt your regular programming… free agency… to bring you the following report.

How many playmakers do the Chiefs currently have? Is there a correlation between the number of playmakers the Chiefs have on their roster and the number of wins in any given season?

I’ll bet you can guess the answer to that one (stretch out with your feelings Luke).

Let’s take a look.

A playmaker isn’t just a player who can score or put the team in a position to score otherwise, Tamba Hali would not be considered a playmaker, and he surely is one. So, who were the K.C. Chief’s playmakers in 2010?

Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Eric Berry, Brandon Flowers, Derrick Johnson and Jamaal Charles.

These players each showed the capability to consistently beat the opposition when needed.

In 2011, I anticipate adding the following players to that list:

Tony Moeaki, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas (KR) and Jon Baldwin.

I’m placing the caveat on Arenas that he could become a playmaker as a Kick Returner but, not as a nickel back. Obviously, we haven’t seen Jon Baldwin play a single down of pro ball yet however, I expect him to contribute right away in his first year and become a consistent playmaker in his second season just as I believe Tony Moeaki will show he can in his sophomore campaign. Also, Justin Houston could surprise. He’s a first round talent who slipped to the third.

I don’t want to get into an evidential debate about Matt Cassel but, last season I believe he basically operated as he was scripted to perform. This past week I watched a number of last season’s Chief games and would see Cassel “managing” the games while attempting to grasp everything that was going on… on the field… which was diminishing his ability to lead and “make the big plays” that would place him in a class with the other QB’s in the league that you would call “playmakers.”

Michael Vick’s ability to create. Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to escape. Tom Brady’s ability to make a throw in just the right spot. Josh Freeman’s ability to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. Peyton Manning’s ability to change a play at the line of scrimmage. Aaron Roger’s ability to find the third or fourth receiver. Drew Brees’ accuracy.

So, what is Matt Cassel’s special ability? The one that would distinguish him as a “playmaker?”

This is not a Cassel bash fest. I believe he’s a, way above average, QB who is getting better and better. He just started his 3rd year as a signal caller… since high school. I don’t consider him a “playmaker”… yet. When I see the signs that he could be, I’ll place him on the list.

Back to the playmakers.

If all the Chief’s possible playmakers, mentioned above, do become playmakers, does that mean the Chiefs will win as many, or more, games than last season? Perhaps. But, if they don’t, they surely won’t.

When it comes to playmakers: we have a need, to succeed.

In red you can see the total number of K.C. Chiefs playmakers each season for the last ten years. In blue you can see the total number of wins in each season. There is a fairly strong correlation between the number of playmakers and the number of wins in a season.

Look specifically at 2001, 2007, 2008 and 2009… though painful it may be. That’s right, the Chiefs didn’t win many games in those seasons. The Chiefs also didn’t have very many playmakers on their roster in each of those seasons either.

The message is clear. 2011 is going to be a very good year for the Kansas City Chiefs, as long as the playmakers make the plays that the playmakers are supposed to make.

“Playmaker, playmaker, make me a play.”

Hey, maybe I should write show tunes.

Maybe not.

Now, back to your regular programming.