Chiefs Score 42? Again?




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.



Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) pulls is a catch in front of Houston Texans free safety Andre Hal (29) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)



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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The Rub!


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Frank Leggio
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Frank Leggio

Frank Leggio is an operations director living in the Columbus, OH area.He has two sons and a couple of Beagles.He was born in Germany, went to high school in KS and college in CO.
Frank Leggio
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  • Laurels and limitations

    Texans scored a lot a garbage time stats, and points, when Kc stopped pressuring Watson in the 4th qtr. I was trying to find a site that listed that out but can’t, so I am just using the good ol’ eye test. Kc led by a two score lead most of the game, then they let off.

    DeShaun Watson tonightWithout pressure: 125.0 passer ratingWith pressure: 0 for 5 passing and 1 sack— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 9, 2017

    • It can be hard to pressure the QB when none of your real pass rushers are playing. Ford and Hali never suited up and Houston was having some leg cramps late in the game. I don’t remember him being in near the end. If he was, then he probably wasn’t pushing too hard with the injury.

  • Laurels and limitations

    but yeah, as long as Alex can keep up THIS up Kc stands as good of a chance as any team in the league at given Sunday.

    Alex Smith currently leads the NFL in both completion percentage (76.6%) & yards per attempt (8.80), which is good.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) October 9, 2017

    • Laurels and limitations

      but his long ball accuracy is still suspect, lol.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Smith is ALWAYS going to throw the ball long enough to clear the defenders reach because the man just doesn’t throw INT’s………if our receivers don’t get out in front of the defender it’s going to be overthrown…….

        • Which is what every analyst ever would say. Put the ball where only your man can make the catch. I see that with a lot of his incompletions.

  • Laurels and limitations

    When HOU got the ball w/ 3:21 left and the game 0-V-E-R, Watson was 10/22 for 149 yards. In case you were interested.— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) October 10, 2017

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      That’s an interesting stat…..I know we had that game under control from The kickoff….and I also know in garbage time our defense was basically playing to not get hurt……….it didn’t stop me from being disappointed we let them put those garbage points on us though.

      • berttheclock

        But, if only Andy Reid could do a Superman and fly backwards, consider this point. Had not Watson been allowed to light ’em up late in the game, Houston would not have been able to close to the point where they tried an onside kick. But, for that onside kick, Conley might still be healthy.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Haha…yep…..i’m sure he would rethink that decision

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    Our 3rd down efficiency in that game was something to be very proud of.

  • Tazmosis

    Hated to see Watt and Mercilus go down. But being a die-hard of the Red and Gold, I hated even more to lose Conley. He makes catches that can come from nowhere, and Alex and Andy were making him a solid #2. I could easily see him having a 40-50 catch season. Now, the Chiefs have to look at the rest of the roster. Robinson? Andy and that staff will fill in for Conley.

    • Frank Rodela

      I think Robinson will get most of the snaps and the 2 WR sets, but Wilson is going to be called on for those 3rd down, must have conversions that Conley has made his calling in this offense.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Not bagging on Wilson, but I don’t think he has the hands or the ability to create enough space to be a 3rd down go to guy.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Wilson is like Harris…..if the defense is focusing on Kelce/Hill/Hunt/Conley/Smith running then they get their occasional “look what I founds”!! but no way no how are they the type of players that can produce under Offensive duress.

      • ladner morse

        Robinson should be the guy… whether or not he is… that’s another thing.

        • berttheclock

          Last week, Robinson was the X man, meaning the wide out opposite the Y (or TE) side of the system.

      • Tazmosis

        I am still not on board with Wilson. Too many bad memories.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      We only have so many options so I would assume it’s either Robinson or Chesson.
      Andy/Nagy has given Robinson some looks…..and if I remember correctly, those looks were the same type routes he had Conley running so he might be able to just slide into that spot.

      • Tazmosis

        Spot on. Robinson and Conley have many of the same things, Size, speed and route running. Conley has great hands. We did see some good things from Robinson in preseason, so I think that he can fill in well for Conley.

        • berttheclock

          Plus, one positive for Robinson is how he became noted for YACs in college.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            Suits our offensive scheme perfectly then.

      • I would like to see either of them, but I wonder what Chesson can do.

      • KCMikeG

        Watch out for Chesson! He is going to surprise the Steelers!

  • berttheclock

    So, the biggest question posed for the Chiefs this week will be the status of Kelce who is still in concussion protocol. Will he be allowed to practice tomorrow? If not, what could be done? A couple of options might be with Conley being placed on IR and lost for the season, then, elevating Neal Sterling, TE, from the KC practice squad. He did play wide out during his time spent in the small Monmouth College system. He tried to play wide out in the pros before switching to TE. But, one other option might be to sign the six three Will Tye, who played very well for the Giants in his first season, then, regressed a bit last year. He ended up being a last cut by the Giants and the Jets picked him up and played him against the Bills where he caught 3 passes for 30 some yards. But, they ended up cutting him the next week, so, he is available.

    There is absolutely no TE who would be available to replace Kelce as he is among the cream of the crop in TEs. But, adding one other TE could mean Andy Reid could still use 3 TE sets.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Reid has gone on record saying he believes Kelce is ok……but, if he has to miss the game against Pitt…..he “feels comfortable” with who he has in Harris and Travis.

      • berttheclock

        True, but, they will have to place Conley on IR soon and that means one player could be added to the roster. So, what type of position will be added?

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Good point and a very good question.
          In my opinion, since Kelce would most likely only miss one game where as Conley is out for the season, I would say a WR……Kemp maybe?

          • berttheclock

            I don’t believe it would be Seantavious Jones due to conflicts with the current wide out coach.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            What’s this you speak of?
            I hadn’t heard about this little jewel of gossip…….what happened between them?

        • Don’t know about you guys, but I am throwing my hat into the ring. I sent Reid a text earlier today. I am kind of a utility player. Basically useless in many positions.

  • berttheclock

    Speaking of TEs, when we were in pre-draft analysis mode, there were several college TEs on the wish list of many here. One TE was Everett from South Alabama. He is the former BB player who went to Hutchinson, Kansas CC to try to learn how to play football. Then, he transferred to South Alabama. Touted by pundits as having a ton of physical talent, but, with flaws, such as needing to learn how to run routes far better and the fact he had small hands. The Rams took him and I was able to watch his play last Sunday in the Seahawks’ game. He was credited for catching one pass for 8 yards, but, what the stat sheet will not tell anyone is how he was able to get open in the end zone and Goff hit him perfectly, unfortunately, in the worse place possible. Hit him in his hands and he dropped a sure TD. Just shows the transition to the Bigs does not hit running for many young rookies.

  • berttheclock

    I just posted this below, but, consider how Conley was hurt. He was hurt on an onside kick. Had KC put far more pressure on Watson late in the game, Houston would have not been able to close to point of trying an onside kick. Just another unfortunate what-ifs.

    • Good point. Somewhat like Belichek using Gronk on a PAT and him hurting his arm. Sometimes little things are costly.

  • berttheclock

    Speaking of Robinson, he was only targeted one time against the Texans and he caught the pass for 16 yards.

  • berttheclock

    It is too late now, but, could have KC been able to use Datone Jones? He was the 2013 first round pick by the Packers. DE from UCLA, who ended up last year being converted to playing OLB for Dom Capers. But, he did have some grass issues while playing with the Packers. Last year, he jumped to the Vikings, but, ended up getting his shoulder injured and was released with an injury settlement. He has just been signed by the Lions to be a situational rusher.