Kansas City Chiefs: 10 Good and Bad Chiefs Stats After 5 Games
After five games for the Kansas City Chiefs, they stand at 1-4. They are looking for ways to improve as they struggle in many areas this season.
Despite only one win, the Chiefs have a couple of strengths they can build off of and turn some of their losses into wins.
In this slideshow, I will go over 10 good and bad Chiefs statistics. Fans will be aware of some of these statistics while others may come off as a surprise. Check out these 10 statistics and let me know what you think!
Good: Jamaal Charles Has Rushed for 551 Yards
A little over a year ago, Chiefs fans witnessed the scariest thing every NFL fan fears: losing their top player to injury.
Jamaal Charles suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. But fast forward to today, the timing of the injury can be good for this season, giving Charles ample time for his knee to heal. Sure enough, he used that time wisely while trying to recover.
Charles rushed for 233 yards against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3, making it the first 200-yard rushing game by an NFL player this season. Charles leads the NFL in rushing yards with 551, putting him in the early lead for the league's Comeback Player of the Year award.
Bad: Chiefs Have Not Scored a Touchdown on Their Opening Drive in 22 Games
You read that correctly. It's been 22 games since the Chiefs last scored a touchdown on their opening drive.
This goes all the way back to Dec. 26 2010, Week 16 against the Tennessee Titans. Since then, the Chiefs have gone through opening possessions on offense either empty-handed or managed to only put up three points.
Solution: Start the game with the football
As soon as the football is kicked off, offenses typically get off to a good start. They will either score a touchdown or move the football to a spot where a kicker can add three points to the scoreboard.
Good: Chiefs Have Converted on 46.5 Percent of Their Third Downs
Kansas City has seen its ups and downs on offense. While not many people may know this, the Chiefs are fifth in the league in third down efficiency.
With Brady Quinn getting the call to start this week, it will be interesting to see if the Chiefs will improve, go down or stay the same on third down with a new quarterback under center.
Bad: Chiefs Have Yet to Play with the Lead This Season
Among all 32 teams in the NFL, 31 of them have led in games at some point this season. That 32nd team missing comes from Kansas City.
Despite winning one game, the Chiefs won in overtime against the New Orleans Saints. As soon as kicker Ryan Succop made the field goal, the game was over. Out of the 309 minutes and 33 seconds of football the Chiefs have played this year, they have either tied or trailed their opponents.
Solution: Start the game with the football
That is the exact same solution I suggested earlier. But by starting things off with the football and scoring first, Kansas City can gain a lot of momentum to start off a game. It will be up to head coach Romeo Crennel and his staff to make sure the Chiefs can hold on to the lead.
Good: Justin Houston Has 6.0 Sacks
Justin Houston is wreaking havoc for quarterbacks on the other side of the line of scrimmage. After coming up with 5.5 sacks in the final five games of 2011, Houston has recorded six sacks, which already passes his season total from last season.
Houston kicked off his 2011 rookie campaign as a backup and climbed his way up as the season progressed. Going into the start of training camp, Houston was declared as the top starter at outside linebacker opposite of Tamba Hali.
Houston is tied third in sacks and is turning into a third-round steal.
Bad: Chiefs Have Turned the Ball over 19 Times
Ball security has not been a big strength of Kansas City's this season. They lead the NFL in turnovers with 19 in just five games. The Philadelphia Eagles are in second with 14, making the gap five turnovers between the two teams.
Turnovers ultimately decide the outcome of a game in all sports. For the Chiefs, seeing that they've committed 19 turnovers is no surprise that they have only pulled out one win this season.
A lot of it has came from quarterback Matt Cassel, who is responsible for 74 percent of the Chiefs' turnovers
Solution: Simply better ball security
Coaches stress the importance of turnovers, offensively and defensively, to their players. The Chiefs need to enter games with a bigger mindset of taking better care of the football. If they limit their turnovers, the final score could go in their favor.
Good: Jamaal Charles Has Five Runs of 20 Yards or More
Here is another stat from Charles fans should not be surprised about. Charles' breakaway speed is the biggest reason why he is leading the NFL in rushing. He also has five runs of 20 yards or more and three runs of 40 yards or more, leading the league in both.
This will benefit the Chiefs as the season goes on as six of their remaining opponents (including the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders, who the Chiefs will play twice,) are in the bottom half in the league against the run.
Charles has amassed over 200 yards in two games in his career so far, taking advantage of weak defenses and giving his team the best chance of winning. Expect Charles to have at least one more game of 200 or more rushing yards.
Bad: Matt Cassel Has 14 Turnovers This Year
Matt Cassel suffered a hand injury last season and missed the last seven games of the year. The 2012 season was one where Chiefs fans hoped that he could do well with some of the new talent recruited this offseason. Unfortunately, it's been far from that in his attempt to bounce back.
Cassel's committed nine interceptions and five fumbles in five games. He leads the NFL in turnovers with 14, which is the exact amount the Eagles have as a team.
Solution: Bench him
Cassel is listed as "out" against Tampa Bay this week due to a concussion. He's not actually being "benched." The Chiefs front office seems to like Cassel, but if Brady Quinn performs well on Sunday and in other games while Cassel is out, general manager Scott Pioli may consider pulling the plug on Cassel sooner rather than later.
Good: Dustin Colquitt Has 13 Punts Inside the 20-Yard Line
Dustin Colquitt does not rank in the top-10 in gross punting or net average. But his biggest asset as the Chiefs punter is trying to pin opposing teams deep in their own territory when the offense leaves the field after not being able to convert on third down.
Colquitt often gets a good shot everytime he punts the football. His teammates on special teams have done their part in covering the punt as close as possible to the goal line. He ranks second in the NFL in punts inside the 20-yard line.
Against the Saints and San Diego Chargers, Colquitt and the punting team forced their opponents to start inside the five. The Saints had trouble getting momentum and did not get a first down in the fourth quarter nor in overtime. Colquitt's deep punts gave the Chargers a hard time in the third quarter, not allowing them to get a first down.
Bad: Chiefs Have Allowed 145 Points This Season
The Chiefs defense is another reason the team has earned only one win this season. The Chiefs defense has had to go through defending a short field due to offensive turnovers. However, they've had issues of their own at times.
The defense has improved in the last couple of games, but they are still suffering the repercussions from giving up 75 points to open up the season.
Solution: Add pressure on opposing quarterbacks
The Chiefs have already started doing this now that Hali and Houston are working together as the primary starters. Last year, Houston started the season late and made some impressions before the conclusion of the season. Now, the Chiefs have outside linebackers from opposite sides of the defense attacking opposing quarterbacks.
Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Joe Flacco was taken down four times as Hali and Houston each took him down twice for a sack.
If the Chiefs defense keeps this up, it could create low-scoring matches for the Chiefs, unless their offense improves in scoring.
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