The Pass Rush
The Chiefs had a promising start to the season when it came to the pass rush. Over the first three weeks, they averaged 3.3 sacks per game. If the Chiefs had maintained that pace all season they would be sitting at 50 sacks at this point and would be one of the top teams at getting to the quarterback. Unfortunately, that is not even close to the case. In fact, after totaling 10 sacks in the first three games, they totaled just 10 more in the following 9 games.
That middle part of the season was a barren wasteland of pass rush production. The Chiefs averaged just 1.1 sacks per game and 5.3 quarterback hits during that nine game stretch. However, over the past three weeks that production has picked back up, culminating with their best pass rush day of the season on Sunday when they had 4 sacks and a season high 12 quarterback hits.
The increase in production started against the Miami Dolphins, and over the past three games, the Chiefs have averaged 3 sacks and 9 quarterback hits per game. Those are the kind of numbers that will keep the Chiefs Super Bowl aspirations alive in the playoffs, especially if the Patrick Mahomes-led offense plays up to its potential. The Chiefs will need their big contract players like Frank Clark and Chris Jones to play like stars in the playoffs, and they certainly looked like that caliber of players on Sunday against the Falcons.
So yes, the Chiefs offense was underwhelming on Sunday. Yes, they need their offensive line to get healthy and do a better job of protecting Mahomes, but at the end of the day I believe that an offense with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce and coached by Andy Reid will put up points when it matters. The bigger story of this game is that the defense looks like it might just be ready for the playoffs and that should have the rest of the NFL worried.