After the Sunday night game, I had some mixed feelings on the victory. While I was definitely happy with the victory, I also felt like we had a lot of points but didn’t look like we were playing very well. It seemed to me like we were getting stuffed on the run a lot and the defense was getting torched. So, I decided I needed to check the stats to see why my eyes were deceiving me.
By The Numbers
A couple of numbers jumped out at me as the reason I might be feeling like we didn’t play to the level of our score. First were related to the Chiefs controlling the ball. We ran 73 plays, made 29 first downs,and held onto the ball for 38:17. In contrast, Houston only ran 57 plays and made 20 first downs. That is the difference in several series over the course of the game. We also only punted twice versus Houston punting 5 times.
The second is the number of KC receivers catching a ball. Alex Smith connected with 10 different receivers. I can’t think of another game where I saw that many people getting involved. This is big when you think about the opposing defense. They can’t focus on a player or two and limit our offense. They double a Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill, then Demetrius Harris and Chris Conley start catching some balls.
The third area is quarterback pressures. Our defense made 3 sacks & 7 knock downs. That is 10 plays out of their 57 that the QB wasn’t able to operate cleanly, leaving him at just over 50% completion rate. If he is getting that much pressure, he will be rushing throws and not making plays.
One final number is 100%. Our kicker was 100% on the night with 8 total kicks, 5 field goals and 3 extra points. His longest field goal was at 49 yards. While not a record, it isn’t a chip shot either.
Alex Smith And The Long Ball
I didn’t realize that AS11 was attempting so many deep throws. I counted 9 pass plays, out of 37 attempts, that were called “deep” on the play by play. That’s a 25% deep ball rate. Who would have guessed our QB would be slinging the ball downfield that much?
While it looks like 5 of those 9 were incomplete, I am sure it had the desired effect of not only picking up yardage, but making the defensive backfield respect the deep routes. I would have thought it might have loosened up the rush some, but Kareem Hunt didn’t start picking up yardage until late in the game, even without JJ Watt in the game.
Looking at Smith’s stats, this is the QB we need every week. Going 29 of 37 for 324 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 rushes for 19 yards, and only 1 sack, with a rating of 130.2 is awesome. Not the stat line we normally see, but one we need to see more often.
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How About Considering This
Now that I have covered a bunch of numbers, mostly on the offense, I’d like to also point out some things about the situation we were in when these stats were delivered.
- The offensive line had Mitch Morse and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif out from the start of the game.
- Travis Kelce only played in the first half due to a concussion, yet still had 98 yards receiving on 8 receptions. He was our leading receiver.
- On defense, in addition to Tamba Hali being on IR, Dee Ford was held out of the game with a back injury. So, we were missing an edge rusher with just Justin Houston in the game. Even Houston didn’t play the full game as he left with spasms in his calf.
- In the fourth quarter we lost Chris Conley to a ruptured Achilles.
- Take all of this and add in that Eric Berry was lost for the season in game 1, and Steven Nelson and Spencer Ware are also on IR.
- On this list we have 2 starting offensive linemen, a starting TE, a starting WR, a starting RB, 2 starting caliber OLBs, a safety, and a cornerback. Three of these are season ending and the rest are missing significant game time. These victories seem to be very costly.
Even with all of these injuries, KC keeps on performing. This is a testament to the front office in how they have built the team and the coaching staff for putting together the right gameplan to put the players they have in the right position.
Roll Out the Red (& Gold) Carpet
Now that the Houston game is over and we are sitting at 5-0 and the only AFC team with 4 or more wins, it is time to turn our focus to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team that knocked us out of the playoffs with 6 field goals and zero touchdowns. The team that lit us up a little more than a year ago with a score of 43-14.
We need to get this ugly black and yellow monkey off our back. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who seem to be playing some good football this year, made them look like a Pop Warner team. I think Big Ben completed more passes to the Jags than his own team members.
We need to take a good long look at that game tape and replicate the outcome.
What do you guys think about the score versus our play? Do we still have room to grow? How amazing is it that we continue to win games and do so despite the number of injuries we have?
Until next week, there’s The Rub!
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