Who Had The Best “First Drives” In The AFC West?

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Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints

Chiefs Offense vs. Saints Defense

I won’t bore you with the play-by-play but, it’s enough to say the Chiefs engineered a 14 play drive ending in a touchdown.

One play that stands out is an 8 yards pass in the flat to FB Anthony Sherman. It’s not so much what the play ended up becoming but, how it was executed.

You can see the clean pocket provided for Alex Smith whose eyes are clearly downfield searching for an open receiver. Whether it was the design of the play to go downfield or not, Smith does a good job of perusing the possibilities.

Because Smith keeps his attention down field until the last possible moment, when he turns to pass the ball to Anthony Sherman in the right flat, Sherman is wide open. Smith delivers the ball perfectly leading him and Sherman is able to put a move on the first tackler and make him miss.

Excellent execution all the way around.

I also want to point out that the pocket may have looked so clean because 5 KC linemen were blocking only 3 NO defensive linemen pursuing Smith. Which also mean the Saints had dropped 8 players down field in coverage.

Since the design of the west coast system is to initially draw defenders in, the early running and passes in the flat helps to achieve this goal. I’m more certain the design of that play was a pass in the flat instead of pass downfield given what stage in the game they were in (early 1st quarter).

On Monday morning, Andy Reid was interviewed on WHB 810 radio and around the 7:00 minute mark of that interview, he had this to say about throwing to the Fullback on a regular basis,

"(In Philadelphia) we used our fullback in the passing game and…you want to be able to present a defense with no extra offensive linemen…. It’s important that all the guys that are out there are viable threats to a defense. Then you’re going to get your receivers singled up… (then) it’s important that your quarterback can see that and pick out the guy that’s singled and make the defense pay."