Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs Are Ranked Number 1!

 

 

 

Now that I have your attention, I will clarify my title a bit: after 3 weeks of play, the Kansas City Chiefs are ranked number one in penalties. That’s number one in total penalties, penalty yards, net penalties, net yards, and total flags. This is not where we want to be ranked and, if we don’t get it fixed, it will bite us at some point and cost us a game.

 

Here’s The Situation

As of the end of week 3, we are averaging 11 penalties for about 100 yards per game. Think about that for a second. Stack those back to back and you have a touchdown for the other team. But really, it is bigger than that since they don’t all come on one series. Each of those could represent a missed first down, a punt instead of a FG, a missed FG, a first down for the other team, a FG instead of a punt for the other team, or a made FG for the other team. If you took 2 per series, that would be 5 series per game that give us a negative outcome. Possibly. Since we have apparently overcome all 33 and 301 yards so far.

 

What’ going on with the team? I seem to recall being one of the better disciplined teams in the league in the past. We didn’t lose our cool and put ourselves in a position to fail that often. Well, let’s take a look at the last several years.

 

 

 

I went back to 2012 to see how we actually did during the last half decade. I also extrapolated the 2017 full year based on the rate of the first 3 games. I wasn’t far off the mark. We were at the 2/3rds or less mark in number of penalties and yardage every year. We also had a net favorability in 3 of the prior 5 years. The other thing that stands out to me is that our net average yards per game has been between -3.4 to 10.6 yards per game. Or, basically, not impact up to a bonus first down. Compare that to giving up half a field per game this year.

 

 

 

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Here’s The Cause

What is so different this year, as compared to the past? The opposition average doesn’t seem very out of line. I don’t think the rules have changes enough to cause this, since we should see a corresponding change on the opposition. We have had a pretty stable coaching staff for most of those years. What could it be? Is it the players?

 

Before I get into the why, let’s take a look at the who and what. Here is a listing of the flags thrown against our misunderstood players.

 

 

I highlighted a couple of the big things in red blocks and font. You can also see that most of the penalties are coming on defense, some of which makes sense with teams challenging the non-Peters defensive backs. I will say that I thought we had more plays where we getting called after plays and false starting/offsides. It would appear from the data that we are really just getting beat too often. I would chalk the Holdings, DPIs, and Illegal Use of Hands to getting beat on a play and trying to “catch up”. Considering the alternative, probably not a bad idea, but we shouldn’t be there in the first place.

 

To pick on Eric Fisher for a minute, I remember hearing in the Charger game how Fisher really had his hands full with a player of Melvin Ingram’s caliber. My first thought was, Ingram should have his hands full dealing with Fisher. Fisher was a number one pick in the entire draft. Ingram was “only” an 18th pick.

 

Just trying to make the point that we have good players, so they shouldn’t be playing catch up this much. However, of the 37 total flags thrown, 11 of them went to Phillip Gaines and Terrence Mitchell. This makes some sense as they are taking more targets with Marcus Peters on the other side. Another 5 went to Bryan Witzmann, the new guy on the line at left guard. Those 3 players get us near half of the flags thrown.

 

After those 3 players, I can see how some of the other players will draw some occasionally. The ones I seem to remember the most and are the worst offenses are the 3 that went to Travis Kelce and Marcus Peters, 2 tauntings and an unsportsmanlike conduct. Those are losing your cool, letting the fire get out of control, and maybe even being a bit selfish.

 

That being said, those are two of our players that play with fire and determination, big time competitors. They need to gain the maturity of an Eric Berry or Justin Houston. I don’t think anyone would question their fire or determination, yet they keep it under control.

 

 

That’s a Wrap

While I don’t like the number of penalties, I can see why we are getting them. Best part is many of them can be addressed by revising the defensive scheme a bit to help out Mitchell and Gaines more. I really can’t say I want the guys like Kelce and Peters to tone it down, I think they need that attitude in the game. I would like them to channel it differently though.

 

All that being said, we are 3-0. Until next week, there’s 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

    Witzmann, Mitchell and Gaines I can actually understand having the majority of calls made on them though. Teams are coming in and game-planning specifically for those three. They will either learn or be replaced but I actually like that Mitchell and Gaines are challenging players, a lot. With Nelson and Berry out these guys are being thrown to the wolves, you either fight or you get eaten so I’m good with them being aggressive.

    • Merlin

      I have hope for Mitchell. I think with Gaines, we have seen who he is.

      • Laurels and limitations

        I’m not even disagreeing with that, but I do think Gaines is slightly better than people think he is. I remember more than a few plays Sunday where Gaines navigated traffic to make plays. Even still, he’s good depth and hopefully good stop-gap until Nelson returns.

        • Merlin

          I think that’s fair. If you see Gaines in the starting lineup, it’s cause for concern

        • Frank Rodela

          I’m not mad at Gaines so far this season. He might have been beat a few times but has shown a motor to get back in on the play and get to the ball carrier. I thought he did admirably when he had to bounce outside while Peters was on the sideline getting looked at. As soon as Peters went out, Rivers and Co went straight at Gaines with minimal success.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            Wilson is a great receiver too!

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          I will give him this, I have never seen anybody puke as well if he did on the line of scrimmage.
          The projectory!

      • freshmeat62

        If Gaines could just work on getting his head around, I think he could be a top CB. I’d like to see him take an off season to work on just that. He seems to have the speed and ability to stay w/ his receiver.

        And Mitchell missed the whole preseason. I think he’s doing better each week.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Gaines is always in that crouch mode like he is preparing to leap, but then never does. The receiver is always higher than he is. He gets bullied regularly.

    • That’s what I was thinking too. They seem to be the weakest links, so test them. Thus my point on we need to roll some support their way (just a bit) so they don’t have to take the penalties.

      • Laurels and limitations

        except for some penalties, they are working out though. Let’s just hope they continue to mature.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      They are scared to target Dirty Dan…..he will bust em with an uppercut when the refs aren’t looking–lol

      • Laurels and limitations

        deathblow!!

      • Roswell Incident

        Man, that hammer he threw against LAC?! There was clearly some bad blood on both sides of the ball.

        • Laurels and limitations

          someone during the game thread caught Peters, I think it was, calming JH50 down. That game was premeditated assault on both sides.

  • Laurels and limitations

    I'm trying to come up with a case that the #Chiefs, through three weeks, haven't been the best team in the league. I got nothin'.— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) September 25, 2017

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Regardless of the Chargers record…all three of the Chiefs wins were against very good teams, two of which have very good defenses and two who could very well end up their division leaders……..and we didn’t stumble into any of those wins, we took them in convincing fashion.
      The Chiefs made people skeptics with decades of choking, it’s going to take more than a 3-0 start to convince them otherwise.

  • larry mckinney

    We’re Number One! We’re Number One! We’re Numb….Oh, I see what you’re doin’. Guess we take the bad with the good.

    Wonder if Kelsey was “game-planned” by Reid in LA. One target??? Lad needs the message that he’s got a target on his back and that he’s harming the team. Zip it, son.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    While our defense has several playmakers, Houston showed he is the General out there……the big Dog. On one hand the calming force and on the other the motivator.
    He was all up in Peters face when Peters got the personal foul, yet one of the first ones there to celebrate the interceptions.
    Sure am glad to see him back healthy and in charge.

    • I agree. Tough enough losing EB. Now Houston and DJ are the ones that need to lead the backfield too.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        DJ seems to be still looking for his legs to me, but Houston is looking phenom.

        • freshmeat62

          I’m afraid that age and injuries are finally catching up to DJ. I’ve seen a few plays this year where DJ was losing ground to a runner where in the past he probably could have run him down.

        • Laurels and limitations

          DJ56 is still making plays, but he also looks 34 years old. I’ve always said that DJ56 is pone of those who can play longer due to his football acumen and IQ. Play smarter, not harder, right? I hope he holds up.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I hope he gets his first ring.

          • Laurels and limitations

            Dude deserves it, we’ve been spoiled with him for so long that even when he was hurt we could take solace in that we knew he was coming back as a difference maker. I’ll be surprised though if this is not his last season in KC.

      • Robert Conklin

        I’m hoping he’ll round into shape soon. It takes a while to recover your form after a surgery like that, plus his age. I think he’ll be just fine, or maybe I just want him to?

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    The Chiefs have scored 42 fourth quarter points in the last 3 games…….say whaaaaaaat?

    • Laurels and limitations

      dang, they keep this up and we’ll have some false bravado going into any game that we believe KC can play all 4 quarters.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    The Chiefs are second in the league in pass attempts per game, second only to Atlanta who sits at the top.

    I doubt this trend ends next week with Washington sitting near the top of the charts in run defense and near the bottom in passing defense.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      ^^I was way off on this one guys, we are not even close to second in passing attempts this season….. not sure where I would looking at.
      sorry.

    • Laurels and limitations

      Oh HELL YEAH, AIR RIeeeed, dang, just saw you follow up post.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    After 3 games Alex Smith has 7 TD’s…….he had 15 all of last season!
    If he keeps up this pace he could have 35 TDs by season end by far eclipsing his best ever season of 23 TDs
    Of course, chances are he won’t, but I among others here called it in the off season…..Alex will have the best season of his career in 2017.

    • Laurels and limitations

      quit braggin’, sheesh.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Hehe

  • freshmeat62

    Has anyone gone out to NFL.com website lately? How in the world do you find anything over there? Stats, Schedules, Standings? I ended up going to the dreaded ESPN to find those things.

    • ladner morse

      When you do a google search type: NFL STATS … or NFL SCHEDULE … or NFL STANDINGS ………….

      Then click on that are you want to enter.

    • larry mckinney

      Look for the three small dashes stacked one atop each other up at the top of the NFL page, to the right of the little magnifying glass. At least that’s how it looks to this Apple user. Click it

  • berttheclock

    Santos has been placed on IR. Harrison Butker has been signed from Carolina’s PS. Butker is a six four kicker from Georgia Tech. Last year in college, he made 17 of 18 FGs with a long of 52. He had a perfect 46 extra points. On kickoffs, he had touchbacks on 54 of 73 kicks. He was a 7th round draft pick in April by the Panthers, but, a veteran beat him out for a roster slot. So, he was placed on their PS.

    No word as to whether Santos will be able to make it back from IR as his injury has not been disclosed.

    • Heilios

      I wonder if the roughing the kicker in the last game made the decision for Reid. Hopefully Santos can come back healthy and ready for the postseason. I was kind of surprised to not see Ficken get a call.

      • berttheclock

        Ficken was waived on September 2nd.

    • Roswell Incident

      I’m glad it sounds like we got a solid fill in, but losing our kicker is tough.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Can we really disagree with this?

    Captain Checkdown is BACK baby! pic.twitter.com/qkSbbcnehU— Clay Wendler (@ClayWendler) September 26, 2017

    • Roswell Incident

      I think the big early lead dictated AR’s play calling. He clearly felt our D could hold. I think it was a ball control strategy and a nod to their pass rush.

      • Laurels and limitations

        I can’t disagree. But it’s concerning that Reid would take his foot off of the gas so early in a game. Of course, I wonder how much not using Kelce factored in.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Coincidentally, the OL was giving him less time against LA

      • Laurels and limitations

        cause and effect? SD brought the rush and Smith/Reid resorted right back to the short game to compensate. Of course, every time they tried to go even remotely long Smith would take a coverage sack.. Hell, I don’t know, lol.

  • Roswell Incident

    Line has moved from 6 to 7, so money coming in on the Chiefs. Big line for KC.