Seahawks Could Run Chiefs’ Season Into The Ground


The Seattle Seahawks are going to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday and the stakes will be much higher than owning a Guinness Wold record for loudest outdoor crowd roar. Seattle and KC are both in very tight playoff races, and neither team can afford to lose.

The Chiefs and Seahawks haven’t met since 2010. Both rosters look quite a bit different than they did back then, in a game that featured Matt Cassel out-dueling Matt Hasselbeck. The Chiefs won that game in a route, 42-24.

Don’t expect the same result this Sunday. The Chiefs are going to have a seriously hard time beating the Seattle Seahawks.

Kansas City is a very good football team but it is not without weaknesses and this is the time during the NFL season when weaknesses start getting exposed. Remember, the Chiefs were 9-0 at this point last season and were coming off a narrow win over the Buffalo Bills.

Sound familiar?

The 2013 Chiefs would go 2-6 the rest of the way, including a heartbreaking playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

In 2013, KC’s pass defense slowly got exposed. The Chiefs got to 9-0 by playing mistake-free, ball control offense and aggressive defense that caused turnovers. It did this against a slew of bad teams and awful QBs. Once the Chiefs began facing quality signal-callers and teams, however, the turnovers stopped and so did the winning.

The 2014 Chiefs are a much better team but Bob Sutton’s defense, though it is leading the NFL in a number of categories, has problems.

The Chiefs are awful at defending the run.

KC is seventh in the league in total yards, first defending passing yards, second in total points given up and 18th in rushing yards allowed.

The Chiefs may not have given up a rushing touchdown this season but its defense has gotten gashed on the ground to the tune of 4.7 yards per rushing attempt. Only the Cleveland Browns (also 4.7 ypc) and the New York Giants (5.0 ypc) are that bad on a per rushing attempt basis.

Yet, despite the fact that the Chiefs have one of the worst run defenses in all of the NFL, teams haven’t really taken advantage of that fact by ramming the ball down KC’s throat. Kansas City has faced the sixth fewest rushing attempts by opposing teams in the NFL. Take a look below at this screenshot from

Most of the teams in the top ten in this stat either have explosive offenses (Denver, Indy, New Orleans, San Diego) or very stout defenses vs the run (Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Buffalo). If you think about it, that makes sense. Teams don’t run much against Denver because they don’t have enough time to catch up and they don’t run much against Arizona because when they do, it doesn’t work.

The Chiefs stand out on this list because KC neither has a stout run defense nor an explosive offense. More perplexing is that the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the NFL at defending the pass.

In fact, it’s the best.

The Chiefs are giving up only 205 passing yards per game and have given up just 1,848 passing yards all season long, good for a number one ranking in both categories.

You would think that teams would have caught on by now that they will have more success running on the Chiefs than passing but you’d be wrong.

Take the Buffalo Bills last week. Despite the fact that the Bills were averaging 5 yards per carry, Buffalo elected to only rush the ball 20 times while having Kyle Orton, yes, Kyle Orton, attempt 48 passes against the Chiefs’ number one pass defense.

It’s mind-boggling.

Take the start of the second half. The Bills got the ball first and drove down the field with Anthony Dixon ripping off runs of 13, 6 and 12 yards. Fortunately for the Chiefs, that last run ended in a fumble out of the back of the end zone and a turnover for the Chiefs. The Bills basically stuck to the run and soon found themselves with a second down on the KC 3.

Then, on their next drive, Bryce Brown kicked things off with a run of 14 yards. Dixon followed that up with a tote for 27 yards. The Bills got all the way to the KC three before dialing up two failed Kyle Orton passes.

The Bills would run the ball only three times in the fourth quarter, one of those attempts being a Kyle Orton scramble.

Chiefs 17, Bills 13.

The Seahawks, however, aren’t likely to abandon the run in a close game.

In a lot of ways, the Chiefs and Seahawks are very similar. Both teams sport strong running games, conservative passing attacks and stout defenses. The difference is that the Seahawks are much more balanced defensively. Seattle is eighth in the NFL vs. the pass and fourth vs. the run.

Oh yeah, they’re also the NFL’s leading rushing team with more than 170 yards per game.

That stat is bad news for the Chiefs. If the Seahawks decide to take advantage of KC’s poor run defense, it could be a long day at

The man they call “Beast Mode” went off on the New York Giants last week, rushing for 140 yards and four TDs. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


If the Chiefs are wise, they will go back and look at what went wrong for them earlier this season against the 49ers. San Francisco gashed the Chiefs for 170 yards on the ground. Despite that stat, however, the Chiefs only lost that game by five points, on the road.

Looking back at the box score for the 49ers game, it appears that the Chiefs should have run the ball more themselves. Despite the 49ers sporting a top 10 rush defense, KC’s Jamaal Charles managed to average 5.6 yards per carry. The problem is that the Chiefs only handed the ball to Charles 15 times, electing instead to have Alex Smith attempt 30 passes against his old team.

San Francisco and Seattle are very similar. Both teams feature strong running games, defenses and QBs that can get out of the pocket and make plays with their legs. If the Chiefs want to score a crucial and impressive victory on Sunday, the defense needs to continue to stiffen in the red zone and Andy Reid needs to make sure he sticks to the running game, even if it doesn’t work at first.

There is perhaps no NFL team better equiped to go into Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs than the Seattle Seahawks. Last week, the Seahawks ran all over the New York Giants, running the ball 45 times for a ridiculous 350 yards. 140 of those yards came from Marshawn Lynch while QB Russell Wilson added 107 yards of his own.

Stopping the Seahawks’ ground game will be a tall order, indeed.

If the Chiefs can emerge with a victory on Sunday, folks will have to start looking at the Chiefs as not just a playoff threat but a Super Bowl threat as well.

Should KC get gashed on the ground however, then the rest of the league could have the blueprint on how to beat the  2014 Chiefs and that could spell big trouble down the stretch for Kansas City.

What’s it going to be, Addicts? Are the Seahawks going to run wild on the Chiefs or will Andy Reid’s bunch step up to the challenge and send the rest of the NFL back to the drawing board?