Are the Kansas City Chiefs building the best offense in team history?
Expectations for the Kansas City Chiefs offense are through the roof right now, but just how good would they have to be to be the best in team history?
Let’s just start this thing off with a disclaimer before anyone starts yelling at me in the comments: I am NOT predicting that the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs will be the best offense in team history. To make that prediction with a first time starting quarterback (even one as promising as Patrick Mahomes) would be foolish. However, it is clear that the Chiefs believe they have a star in the making in Mahomes and have assembled one of the best groups of skill position players in team history to help him succeed. If he does turn out to be as good as many fans hope, this offense certainly has the potential to develop into one of the most productive in team history.
If you think that sounds a little too optimistic or “homer-ish” I will counter your doubt with the fact that last season’s Chiefs team was statistically one of the better in the history of the franchise with Alex Smith at quarterback. While Smith was sensational last season I think we can all agree that the Chiefs see a higher ceiling in Mahomes. Will he hit that ceiling? There’s no way to know right now but with a higher upside quarterback, the addition on another playmaking wide receiver in Sammy Watkins, and all the other top playmakers (Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill) returning it is certainly possible that in the near future the Chiefs offense could surpass the production of last season which would instantly put them in the conversation of best offenses in team history.
I didn’t want these claims to be based purely on my opinion or speculation so I set out to put some actual numbers behind what I felt like would be the clear top four eras of offense in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. Those being:
The Andy Reid/Alex Smith Era
The Dick Vermeil/Trent Green Era
The Marty Schottenheimer/Joe Montana Era
The Hank Stram/Len Dawson Era
When discussing different eras there is always going to be debate about how the game has evolved and how things would translate to different eras. Those debates are fun but for this post I really wanted to compare actual offensive production. So I picked the one most prolific statistical year for each of those eras to compare. Those years didn’t always translate to the best record or the most playoff success, but I really wanted to put the best numbers of each era side by side. You could argue that in a different season the offense of that era was “better” because they were more “clutch” and made big plays when it counted but now we’re getting back into a subjective area where comparisons get foggy. So for the sake of comparisons here are the four seasons I looked at:
The 2017 Andy Reid/Alex Smith team
The 2004 Dick Vermeil/Trent Green team
The 1994 Marty Schottenheimer/Joe Montana team
The 1966 Hank Stram/Len Dawson team
Let’s start by taking a quick look at each of those seasons, starting with last year’s team.