Statistical Analysis: The Chiefs Offense 1/4 Through


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From the FanPosts  -Joel

It'll come as no surprise to anyone reading this that the offense has been bad.  I would agree.  However, several posters have made reference to Haley being the complete fault of this, and that Chan's offense last year was better.  I went searching to find out the truth, and why that may be the case, and here's what I found when I pulled the numbers together.

Week 1

2008 - New England

10 points scored

284 Total Yards

4.6 Yards/play

1 INT 

0 Fumbles Lost 


2009 - Baltimore

17 points scored (not counting blocked punt)

188 Total

4.3 Yards/play

0 INTs

0 Fumbles lost

Week 2

2008 - Oakland

8 points scored

190 Total Yards

3.1 Yards/play

2 INTs

0 Fumbles lost


2009 - Oakland

10 points scored

409 Total Yards

5.2 Yards/play

2 INTs

0 Fumbles lost

Week 3

2008 - Atlanta

14 points scored

301 Total Yards

4.2 Yards/play

3 INTs

0 Fumbles lost


2009 - Philly

14 points scored

196 Total Yards

3.8 Yards/play

0 INTs

1 Fumble lost

Week 4

2008 - Denver

33 points scored

370 Total yards

6.0 Yards/play

0 INTs

1 Fumble lost


2009 - New York Giants

16 points scored

193 Total yards

3.1 Yards/play

0 INTs

0 Fumbles lost (Charles fumble on Special Teams)



16.25 points per game

286.25 Total yards per game

4.48 Yards/play

6 INTs

1 Fumble lost



13.5 points per game (16 ppg with the blocked punt)

246.5 Total yards per game

4.1 Yards/play

2 INTs

1 Fumbles lost

Just looking at the statistics alone, yes, 2008 is better from a yardage and scoring standpoint.  However, if you want to make the argument that Chan's offense was better, you've got to dig a little deeper.


1.  Statistical Anomalies (aka, Spikes in Performance)

The first three games of the 2008 and 2009 season were about even in total yards, while 2009's yards/play and scoring (as well as turnovers) were better.  Week 4 of 2008 was a game where LJ played out of his mind and racked up 197 yards on the ground.  The scoreboard showed this, and that skewed the totals in 2008's favor.  Larry only got into the endzone twice more and only broke 100 yards once more that season.  2009's Chiefs have not seen an "above and beyond" performance like this, so the numbers are lower.  Still, numbers are numbers, and we can't discount LJ's performance, even though it was a rarity.

2.  Time of Possession

Many have faulted the offense for keeping the defense on the field (I, one of them), so I looked into the amount of time spent by this year and last year's teams on the field.  I was a little surprised at the results.  In 2008, the Chiefs offense spent about 33 minutes/game on the field through the first quarter.  In 2009, they've spent about 29 minutes/game on the field.  Most of the 2009 numbers stem from the 4th quarters of the Eagles/Giants games, and from the Oakland game.  So, for 6 quarters, we held the ball well.  The other 10 we couldn't keep it.  Is 4 minutes/game enough to skew the numbers?  Possibly, but not enough to put the blame there.

3.  Defensive Ratings

We know the schedule makers didn't give us an easy go to get this thing started.  New coach, new scheme, new QB, and a new attitude are things to get adjusted to as the year goes along.  Last year had a QB carousel through the first 4 games, but the vibe from the previous year was still there.  That being said, what's the hardest thing to get figured out with so many new components?  A rhythm amongst the players.  That has not happened amongst our guys (partially due to the constantly shifting depth chart), and it shows when we take the field.  Going against a strong defense is one of the toughest barriers to overcome when you don't have that rhythm.  With 2008 and 2009 starting off with some new components, how tough were the defenses to overcome?

2008 - Average defensive ranking: 23rd in the NFL

2009 - Average defensive ranking: 8th in the NFL

That's a leap that very few established teams would be able to handle.  A team trying to get some cohesion is understandably struggling.  The strength of the defenses that we're playing are causing our coaching staff to change the way they call plays.  We may see it as poor play calling, when in truth it could be a superior defense forcing our hand.  Watching a pass-happy Cardinals team, and a preseason Chiefs team more comfortable with throwing the ball, I think it's pretty safe to say Haley's disappointed with the amount of plays he can successfully run.  Is that the reason for the poor offensive outings so far?  Most likely.  Our 409 yards of offense against the worst defense we've seen (Raiders - 18th) supports this somewhat...unless that is our statistical anamoly.  Dallas (26th overall) should help prove or disprove this theory.

So is this offense bad?  Yes, they've shown little to prove otherwise.  Is it completely on one aspect of our offense (Cassel, Haley, offensive line, LJ)?  Hardly.  Too little credit has been given to toughness of the defenses we've played, and the extent they've changed our gameplans.  Give it time, let us play a couple more teams without such strong defenses (Dallas, Washington, Jacksonville, Oakland in our next 4 - average of 21st overall at the moment), and then evaluate.  A brand new offense takes time to develop without tough D.  Let's take a step back and give it such.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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