Oct 26, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs helmets after the game against the St. Louis Rams at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 34-7. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time this season, the Chiefs can be called a winning team. That feels pretty darn good. It feels even better that they are set up to continue -that trend with very winnable games coming up over the next couple of weeks.
Though I wished they found a better way to do it than by losing, the Chiefs have been a very exciting team through their first seven games. After the Titans came to town, we hoped to avoid the first pick in the draft. After the Rams came to town, we are looking at paths to the playoffs, and even wondering whether winning the AFC West is possible with a misstep or two by Denver.
In the midst of this roller coaster of emotions, the Chiefs have earned the number-three rushing attack, scoring defense, and overall defense in the league. So I thought I would take a look at some of the stats you may not have seen, which have contributed to the Chiefs’ success.
Here is a look at five of the Chiefs’ most impressive stats thus far.
1. Touchdowns Allowed
The Chiefs lead the league in touchdowns allowed with 12.
That is impressive by itself, and when see that it came in games that included three teams who are in the top 10 in scoring offense (New England, Denver and San Diego), it looks even better. Just for good measure, I’ll also note that the Chiefs managed this predominately on the road.
But the real icing on the cake comes from the number of rushing touchdowns the Chiefs have allowed this year, which is ZERO.
That’s right, through seven games the Chiefs have not allowed even a single touchdown on the ground. I attribute this to Kansas City’s incredible front four. If you weren’t aware, Justin Houston currently has more sacks than anyone else in the NFL.
Had the secondary been at full health this whole time, just imagine how good the Chiefs defense might look right now.
2. Third-Down Efficiency
The Chiefs have converted 47-of-93 third-down attempts. That gives them a 50.5 percent conversion rate, which is third in the league.
Converting third downs is always crucial to a team’s success. But what makes it more impressive for the Chiefs is the fact that they have achieved that mark playing without Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, or De’Anthony Thomas at different points in the season.
Add to that the fact that the offensive line has had struggles, and this stat looks better still.
3. Third-Down Efficiency (Against)
In addition to being one of the best teams in the league at converting on third down, the Chiefs are also one of the best in the league at preventing their opponents from converting.
Just like the Chiefs offense on converting, the defense ranks third in the league at stopping opposing teams from converting.
Chiefs opponents have had 85 shots at third down, and have only been able to convert on 28 of those attempts. That is a rate of 32.9 percent, and sits closely behind the Colts (31.1 percent) and Lions (32 percent).
Not to sound like a broken record, but when the Chiefs lost Derrick Johnson, Mike Devito and Eric Berry early in the season, this stat seemed like a pipe dream. Especially when you consider the level of competition the Chiefs defense has faced since then.
That competition includes five teams with winning records. Four who had quarterbacks with the names Manning, Brady, Kaepernick and Rivers. In an age when passing is king in the NFL, getting consistent stops against four franchise guys is a tall order.
The Chiefs are tied with the Saints for fewest drives in the NFL. However, they are fourth in the league for drives lasting five minutes or longer, with 15. This ability to grind out long drives is a big reason that they have possessed the ball for just under 55 percent of game time this season.
In fact, the Chiefs won the time of possession battle in every game except their losses to Tennessee and San Francisco. Even in the loss to Denver, they managed to keep the ball for 36+ minutes. And against the Chargers, the Chiefs dominated the clock by possessing the ball for 39 minutes.
They say that the best defense is a good offense. There may be something to that as every team ahead of the Chiefs in time of possession (Colts, Cowboys, 49ers, Steelers and Lions) all have winning records. The Chiefs may not be the exact unit that springs to mind when you hear that saying, but they have been pretty adept at limiting the time opposing offenses have on the field.
5. All-Purpose Yards (Individual)
The rest of this list has been focused on team stats, but I wanted to recognize the fact that Knile Davis has managed to gain 820 all-purpose yards. That is the 10th most in the NFL. The only player to have more all-purpose yards that is not listed as a starter on his team’s depth chart is Devin Hester. And being behind the guy who just broke Deion Sanders’ record for return touchdowns is no reason to be ashamed.
Davis has turned into an outstanding pickup for the Chiefs since being drafted in the third round last year. He may not make Chiefs fans forget about Jamaal Charles, but has filled in admirably for him when Kansas City’s all-time leading rusher went down with an injury in last year’s playoff game, and week two of this season.
What do you say, Addicts? What are your best Chiefs stats of the year so far?
Stats retrieved from sportingcharts.com.