Alex Smith Has Been Really Good And Other Fun Stats

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Oct 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports


Eighty-two would be the number of offensive possessions the Chiefs have had this season, the fewest in the NFL.

It should be a surprise to no one that the Chiefs winning formula involves hogging the ball for as long as possible, and they have been doing it quite well of late. Kansas City leads the NFL with an average drive time of three minutes, seven seconds, and rank in the top 10 in yards per drive.

Kansas City doesn’t turn the ball over, they’re second in the NFL in third down conversions, and they are the least penalized team in football. The result is a lot of long, sustained drives that chew up a bunch of clock. And 40% of the time their drives end in a score, which is eighth best in the NFL. (Incase you were wondering, Denver scores on 37.4% of their drives.)

Fewer possessions means the Chiefs’ offensive statistics are going to be repressed a little bit in terms of counting stats. The average NFL team will have had about 96 drives at this point in the season which means they have had 14 more opportunities to rack up yards, catch, and, potentially, touchdowns. This is something to keep in mind with guys like Charles, Smith, and Bowe.

It should be noted, however, that one counting stat that has not been too effected by the ‘Hold Onto The Ball For Dear Life’ philosophy is ‘points scored.’ The Chiefs have scored 200 points this season, more than 18 of the other 31 NFL teams. So even though they’ve played one less game than a third of the league and they’ve had the fewest offensive possessions in the league, they’ve still managed to outscore more than half of the NFL. Not too shabby.

On the flip side, because the Chiefs do have many possessions then neither do their opponents. Kansas City has been on defense only 85 times this season, second fewest in the NFL. Their 493 plays are the second fewest in the NFL as well. A fresh defense that can get after the passer has been key to the Chiefs ability to prevent points, thus putting Kansas City in a good position to win virtually every game they’ve been in.

It isn’t glamorous, but it is a winning formula for the Chiefs through nine weeks.