I am not in the mood to write some in depth analytical piece. Nor am I in the mood to write about the dumpster fire we have been watching the last 7 games. Instead, I thought I would write about a couple of aspects of this last game that stood out to me. They are good, bad, and for consideration. You decide which applies to them.
The numbers we need to consider are, in no particular order, 17:11, 3, 13-20, and 8
Let’s start this off with 17:11.
For those of you that don’t pay attention to stats, that is the time of possession of the KC Chiefs in our recent game vs. the NY Jets. Many times that kind of possession would result in a blowout loss to the team that held the ball almost 43 of 60 minutes. Instead, however, the Chiefs were able to put up 31 points in that time frame. If you were to give the 3 points they didn’t get on a missed field goal, they were scoring 2 points per minute. That is a 60 point game most of the time. Let that sink in for a second. In a typical game, where the teams are close in time of possession, the Chiefs would have scored about 60 points at that rate.
Is that scoring too fast? Is it something we should applaud or rebuke. Did it put the D on the field too much? Who knows. I would pretty much take 31 points in a game anytime, regardless of what you told me the TOP had to be. 31 points wins most games. The game started with KC up 14-0 after 4:24 of total game time.
It was crazy fun to watch the guys put up points at that rate.
To take it a couple steps further. In all 17 minutes and 11 seconds, the offense passed for 362 yards and rushed for another 112. Again, taking that out to a full game with about equal TOP, that would be 635 yards passing and 196 rushing. Simply insane rate of offense.
The average drive was less than 1:45, 5 plays, and gained over 10 yards per play (not attempt, but play). Too much fun to watch that kind of offense.
The next number I would like to discuss is 3.
Three is obviously what you earn for kicking a ball through the uprights in football. Our kicker had been on a nice streak since missing his first NFL kick. In this game he missed one. It happens. He had the franchise record for kicking a FG streak.
This missed field goal is important because of the implications at the end of the game. Now, let me pause a second and say that I am not trying so blame the loss on the missed kick. The blame is way beyond a missed kick. I am just wanting to point out how the strategy of the game changes with little things, in this case 3 points from a field goal.
So, let’s just say we made this field goal earlier in the game and we are at the last drive of the Jets. The score would have been 34-30 Chiefs. With 3:58 left in the game, might the Jets have gone for the TD instead of their own FG? A FG still leaves them down a point and needing another score. If they go for a TD and get it (with PAT), they are up a FG. If they miss the TD, we are pinned at the 3 and they still need another possession. I say they would go for the TD. Perhaps they get it, perhaps they don’t (or we don’t get a penalty either).
If they don’t get it, we go into clock grinding mode or go for another TD mode, since we were scoring at will. If they do get it, we are down a FG, not TD. Either way is better than what happened. However, the missed FG early made a FG an acceptable option at this point in the game, as opposed to making the TD the only real option.
That missed 3 points created a different set of meaningful options. Those options might have favored the other team.
Up next is the magical 13-20.
This is the stat that says the opposite of 17:11 to me. While 17:11 may signal what a new play caller may mean, 13-20 says what a current play caller is going to give us. This stat is the number of first downs given up on third downs. That is right, we gave up a first down on about 2 of 3 opportunities.
In case you aren’t aware, that is not the hallmark of a good defense. Heck, that isn’t even what a below average defense would give up. You know, if I could convert on 2 out of 3 third downs, I would go for it on every 4th down.
This is important for a number of reasons. First up, it contributes to why the offense only had the ball for 17:11. Granted, the offense was scoring very quickly and putting the defense back on the field, but I would bet every head coach in the league would be happy to score 31 points in 17:11 minutes of possession.
Second, this leaves the defense on the field for a long time. The longer the defense is on the field, the more time to make a costly mistake. Those mistakes lead to yardage and points. Surprisingly enough, the Jets had the ball nearly 3 times as long as our offense, yet barely outscored us.
Earlier I mentioned how this points to our signal caller. Bob Sutton. Hot seat. Cross hairs. Potentially a sign trailing airplane. Yes, that serious.
I think we can be done with talking about what a great job he has done with what he has. How he has schemed around injury. How those great games we had in the last several years are him, putting the pieces together to make the most of the situation.
At this point, that defense looks lost. No real leader out there. Marcus Peters acting like a fool. Steven Nelson prepping for WWE work later. General lack of discipline. Lack of toughness and swagger. And I don’t mean these guys aren’t tough physically. I mean they aren’t collectively the kind of tough defense that can decide to make a stand. At times, a defense has to stop the other team. You might call it gut check.
Our defense seems to be a… bend and bleed… defense. I read numerous articles citing our secondary playing too soft. Why sit at 14 yards on a 3rd and 11? Contest the space. I think the NFL has slanted the rules a little too far in favor of offense (yes, I get why they do it). But, honestly, I would rather see us give up a first down on a penalty contesting the play instead of sitting back and giving it up.
Whether we are in a run or pass defensive situation, I think our D’s identity needs to be one of attack. Sometimes our defensive backs will get beat. Sometimes our linebackers will be out of position. Sometimes our defensive lineman will get pushed out of position. It happens. If our team is attacking, I am happier with the outcomes than I am when we sit back and react.
My defense — the best defense is a good offense. What that means to me is that we need to attack the offense, not defend. Go after the QB on passing downs. Clog up the running lanes on rushing downs. On each of these, have the backup schemed to support.
As a last point, think of the “Hill Mary.” This is the best example of what I DON’T want our defense to become. The Cowboys sat in the traditional prevent defense. Stay deep and keep everything in front of you. We took it to the house against that kind of defense. While they did win the game, that cost them a TD. If they had come with a more typical defense, we wouldn’t have scored.
Finally, (I know I can be wordy)… the number 8.
This is the most disappointing number of all. A simple 8. So clean looking. So round. So Christmassy ( it is round like a snowman or tree). It is almost unimaginable to consider it as not a part of the season.
This number is perhaps the most concerning. We had a total of 8 penalties. I know, this is only about 2/3 of the penalties called in a game. You are correct. We are somehow below the norm for this game.
The Chiefs aren’t an average kind of team with regard to this. They tend to have highs and lows. I have already mentioned how the defense gave up too many first downs on third down. I have also discussed how we seem to play too much of a laid back defense. The 8 is about not attacking, not trying to take away the field. Hoping something happens instead of making it happen.
Plain and simple we need a different defensive identity.
To conclude this episode of The Rub! , we need a change of direction on defense. I am willing to wait a minute on offense, considering the play calling change.
What do you guy think? How are we positioned for this year and next? What do we need to do to fix this?
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