With the addition of running back Le’Veon Bell, what changes are coming to the Kansas City Chiefs backfield moving forward?
The New York Jets released running back Le’Veon Bell last Tuesday evening. Over the next 48 hours, rumors were circulating on where Bell would sign. Three teams were on the table between the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills. On Thursday morning, the Bills were eliminated from that list. Later that evening, Bell signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs.
Kansas City ranked 13th in rushing yards per game following the game against the Las Vegas Raiders. For a team that wants to pass the ball heavily, that’s not bad. However, the Chiefs have run the ball more to start the 2020 season. Last year the offense averaged 23.8 rush attempts per game. That number has bumped up to 26.4 attempts per game in 2020, before the game against the Buffalo Bills, which ranked 17th in the NFL. As for the percentage of offensive plays coming on the ground, the Chiefs ranked 18th with 39.88 percent.
First-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire began the season running all over the Houston Texans for 138 yards and a touchdown. Over the next four games, the rookie running back piled up 206 yards on the ground. As for the passing game, the Chiefs have yet to trust the LSU product in key passing situations fully. Darrell Williams has been the primary third-down running back for Kansas City.
Adding Bell to the mix undoubtfully makes the Chiefs offense better. The question that the signing brings is, what will the running back roles be going forward? As of right now, Bell will take more snaps from Darrell Williams than Edwards-Helaire. How many snaps will he get on a weekly basis is yet to be known without a game played in Kansas City.
Regardless of whether or not the Chiefs had signed Bell, the offense will utilize multiple running backs. Upgrading one for cheap that brings all of the abilities of Bell is a no-brainer. It’s the fact that one of his best traits is similar to the young rookie that was already on the Chiefs roster but has yet to get many reps.