The Kansas City Chiefs Wide Receiver Touchdown Semi-Myth

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Nov 2, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) looks to the referee for a penalty during the second half against the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Three quick things about the wide receiver touchdown situation.

First, these touchdowns don’t solve the problem of the Chiefs’ listed wide receivers touchdown failures, but it does suggest the team is still getting some production from that area of the field. The idea is to get the best players on your team in the best position possible to make a play, right?

There’s a pretty good argument to be made that Dwayne Bowe is the fourth best skill position player* on the team behind Charles, Kelce, and Knile Davis. If Bowe is your fourth best option then it would make sense for him to not have a lot of touchdown opportunities.

In fact, if you were going to list out the Chiefs best offensive weapons it would probably look something like this:





De’Anthony Thomas

Anthony Fasano

Donnie Avery

A.J. Jenkins

Junior Hemingway

That’s one wide receiver in the first five guys no matter what order you decided to put those first five in. Avery, who is sixth on my list, is hurt. So when the Chiefs get into scoring chances, why target your seventh best offensive weapon? We’d all lose our minds if Andy Reid did that, no?

And in terms of big, explosive plays — Kansas City’s longest pass play this season is only 34 yards — the best candidates to do that are Charles, Thomas, Kelce and Avery. Again, Avery is hurt and the other three guys are not listed as wide receivers. At some point you’ve got to look at this and go, “It’s probably a good thing a wide receiver doesn’t have a touchdown because it means we are getting to ball to the best players on the team.”

John Dorsey will almost certainly look for a wide receiver upgrade to pair with Bowe for the 2015 season, so I don’t want to give the impression that the Chiefs are just fine at wide receiver. What I am suggesting is that it is probably not a bad thing a wide receiver hasn’t caught a touchdown yet this season.

Second, notice how all of these plays came in the red zone. The Chiefs rank fourth in all of the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage at 70.37 percent. Their 2.4 red zone touchdowns per game ranks fifth in the NFL.

The difference is the Chiefs are eating a bunch of clock and are not necessarily aiming for the ‘big play’ on offense. The result is fewer possessions which means fewer touchdown opportunities. And when you have Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis to hand the ball off to in the red zone, why risk throwing many passes (and interceptions) so near to the goal line anyway?

Third, some of this ‘no wide receiver touchdown’ thing is a fluke. Dwayne Bowe could have easily been Jamaal Charles or Travis Kelce on either of those touchdown receptions. Some of this is a designed effort to get Charles and Kelce the ball in scoring situations.

Remember the ‘Butt Touchdown‘ from Sunday? The pass was intended for Dwayne Bowe before it was batted into the waiting hands of Anthony Fasano. Bowe was wide open on that play and would have had an easy touchdown if it were not for the fact the ball was swatted in the direction of Fasano.

One would imagine Andy Reid is going to draw something up for the Buffalo game to ensure a wide receiver catches a touchdown pass and put this narrative to rest. And after the way the secondaries of San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Oakland have looked the last few weeks, I’d imagine another couple of touchdowns for Bowe can be had in there as well.

That is unless Kelce and Charles continue to get them all.

*Cue the complaining about Bowe’s contract. Just remember this, if the Chiefs had not signed Bowe, then things would be much worse at wide receiver. You do remember the Tennessee game, don’t you? Dorsey was in a position where he had to overpay to ensure Bowe didn’t hit the market. There wasn’t much he could do. If you don’t like Bowe’s contract then blame Jonathan Baldwin, because he’s the one ultimately responsible for all of this.