Three things KC Chiefs must fix before the postseason
Stop forcing the ball downfield
How many times this season – or any of the past few seasons- have the Chiefs come out with an aggressive rushing attack complimented nicely by a couple of 7-10 yards passes down the field just to have a drive stall out because they dial up a couple of deep shots in a row? How many double-digit leads has the team given up because they refuse to run the ball consistently in the second half of games? This is strictly hyperbole because I don’t know the answer and don’t chart the film, but if you’ve watched enough Chiefs football in the Patrick Mahomes era, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’m not insisting on a wholesale identity change for the Chiefs heading into the postseason. Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes and any time the ball is in his hands, the team has a better chance of winning than they do of giving the game away. But this offense has been built to grind teams down whether it’s been wholly intentional or not.
Matt Conner wrote this week about Creed Humphrey’s emergence as a stalwart on the Chiefs offensive line and his potential for long-term greatness in KC, and as a former center myself, I couldn’t agree more. Creed anchors an offensive line that is built to blow opposing defenses off of the ball and they’ve done nothing but when given the opportunity. Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon are absolutely cooking at the moment, and with Clyde Edwards-Helaire potentially coming back for a postseason run the Chiefs have one of the more formidable three-headed monster rushing attacks heading into the postseason both carrying and receiving the ball out of the backfield.
To me, this is more of an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” type of recipe for Andy Reid and the Chiefs’ offensive play callers. Everyone can see what works, and I’m not naive enough to ignore the fact that great defensive minds like Leslie Frazier and Lou Anarumo are well-equipped to adjust and take those weapons away with adjustments to their defensive schemes. But the chemistry has proven to not be there with the deep ball in KC this year without first softening up opposing defenses, so to come out firing or to try to force it when a defense is letting you kill it with 1,000 paper cuts is not the play.