2. Bob Sutton is a Deer in Headlights
Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Bob Sutton watches play on the sidelines during the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver won 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton is a military-minded man. He needs to look at his defense pragmatically. Since the team started 9-0 in 2013, the defense has been under fire. The weak spots in personnel have been exploited over the last two 28 games, starting with Marcus Cooper and currently with any cornerback that isn’t Sean Smith or Philip Gaines. Even Marcus Peters ran into a wall just last week.
Film study has exposed his scheme and he has not adjusted. He is showing his ties to Rex Ryan. Sutton coached under Ryan with the Jets from 2009-2012 and Ryan has rubbed off. Sutton has been stubborn in sticking with his failing single-high, all man coverage scheme. He is reluctant to admit that in order to be successful in that coverage, he must have a minimum of three cover corners. In 2015, he has had no more than two at any given time. Losing Gaines prior to Smith’s return ensured that he won’t ever be able to field his best secondary in 2015.
"“I think one of the big things is how you perceive yourself, how you perceive the issue – the real issues. I think if we stay the course we’re going to end up just fine” – Sutton, speaking to the media Thursday."
To be successful the defense has to adjust to the personnel the team has. Unfortunately, he doesn’t recognize the need. There is no urgency to drive that change.
3. The Reid offense has to evolve right now
Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the stats from #1 above, the offense is too predictable, features too many short passes and sets up the defense to attack the offensive line.
Alex smith threw for a career best 386 yards on 31 completions versus the Bengals. That sounds like solid improvement until you chart the passes. Only 158 yards were through the air. The receivers accounted for 228 yard after the catch; a 60% clip of his total passing yardage.
More critical is that Reid has forgotten that screens are most effective when used against aggressive defenses and as a change of tactic, rather than a staple. He’s gone too far and after four weeks, 23.3% of Smith’s passes have been throw behind the line of scrimmage.
Next: Are the Chiefs their own worst enemy?