The participants for Super Bowl XLIX have been set and once again they do not include the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans they will have to watch the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks do battle in the Super Bowl knowing that their favorite team is at home watching the game as well. While that’s obviously not how KC fans would have drawn things up, there may be some good that can come of it. The Chiefs are on the verge of beginning a key offseason and how they approach that offseason can go a long ways towards giving the team a chance to compete for a Super Bowl of their own in the near future. If the Chiefs are paying attention to the teams that are playing in the big game there may be something that they can learn from them.
While there are certainly several “tweaks” that the Chiefs could make to the roster this offseason the two clear position groups that everyone agrees must be upgraded are the wide receivers and the offensive line. Last week I made my case for why the offensive line should be the top priority and even suggested some basic steps they could follow to fix it. I won’t recap the entire thing, but the bottom line is that I believe that an elite WR corps is pointless unless you can control the line of scrimmage. While improving the WRs will help and should be addressed, the primary focus should be fixing the offensive line so that the Chiefs can run the football and give Alex Smith the time he needs to find open targets.
While some Chiefs fans don’t need any convincing others continue to believe that upgrading the WRs should be the top priority. After all, ZERO WIDE RECEIVER TOUCHDOWNS. While that number is staggering, I’ll repeat one more thing from my post last week. The Chiefs had 11 WR TDs just last season with a WR corps of Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, and Junior Hemingway. While the Chiefs WRs this past season weren’t good enough, they weren’t 11 TDs worse than that group. Isn’t it reasonable to believe that if KC were to reestablish an offensive line as good as the 2013 team that had Branden Albert and Geoff Schwartz that they could get similar TD production from the WRs next season without having to spend huge free agent dollars and their top draft pick on the position?
Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. “We need to aim a lot higher than 11 WR TDs if we want to compete for a Super Bowl.”
That’s where we can all learn something from this year’s Super Bowl participants. Below is a list of this year’s playoff teams in order of their WR TDs during the regular season.
Green Bay 28
New England 13
The two Super Bowl teams were at the bottom of the list. In fact, the average WR TDs for the two Super Bowl teams is 10, which is one less than KC had last season with a pitiful WR group. While it is vital in today’s NFL to be able to pass the football efficiently, this year’s Super Bowl proves that you don’t have to have elite WRs and massive WR TD totals to win a championship.
So is this year just an aberration? In today’s pass happy NFL are the Super Bowl champions usually a team with a WR corps full of TD making playmakers?
Well last season the Seahawks had 17 WR TDs and in 2012 the Ravens had 14 WR TDs. So let’s say the Seahawks win the Super Bowl again this season. That would mean that over the past three NFL seasons the Super Bowl champions would have averaged 12.7 WR TDs during the regular season. That’s less than 2 TDs more than the Chiefs had last season with Bowe, Avery, McCluster, and Hemingway.
So my question to you is this. If KC overhauls their offensive line successfully and gives Alex Smith quality pass protection and a cram the ball down your throat rushing attack do you think that a WR corps of Bowe, Wilson, DAT, and a 2nd round pick (Tyler Locket?) could get two more TDs than those four WRs above got in the 2013 season? If the answer is yes, then the Chiefs will have enough WR TDs to be on par with recent Super Bowl champions.
Alex Smith is never going to throw for a bazillion yards and 50 TDs. That’s not who he is. He can lead a smart and efficient passing attack that leans on Jamaal Charles and the running game and a top flight defense. Those things are all within the Chiefs grasp this offseason, but it begins with controlling the line of scrimmage up front not elite WRs on the outside. The Patriots and the Seahawks are proof of that. Let’s hope Andy Reid and John Dorsey are paying attention.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!