From the FanPosts. Bumped it up until now for the evening post. -Chris
Every week, the topic of discussion in our most popular posts, examine what the Chiefs must do to beat this week's opponent. Facing the World Champions in week 11, (who are looking to wash the bitter taste of being swept by a division rival with the blood of a 2-7 team) some fans are suggesting the only win we are capable of celebrating is leaving the stadium with no major injuries.
I'm here to argue that an evaluation of the Bengals' performance in the week 10 win, shows that Kansas City actually may have a decent shot at going 3-7. Hopefully this won't come off as too much of a leap.
Go ahead. Leap with me.
For some reason I was checking out the box score of the Bengals-Steelers matchup and I found myself thinking "hey, these numbers look like a Chiefs game." I proceeded by comparing the Bengals performance in this game to KC's season average in a few areas. These are:
1) Vital Signs (includes such stats as passing and rushing yds, time of possession, etc.)
2) Sore Spots (any APer is familiar with these. Includes stats such as sacks allowed, 3rd down conversions, etc)
Results are as follows
|Category||Bengals vs. Steelers||Chiefs Season Average|
|Net Passing||157 yds||166 Y/G|
|Pass Comp-Att-Int||18 - 30 - 0||(Cassel) 18 - 32.4 - 0.75|
|Net Rushing||61 yds||100 Y/G|
|Time of Possession||29:08||29:53|
|Punt Return||6.66 Y/Ret||6.90 Y/Ret|
|Total 1st downs||14||15/G|
|3rd Down Conversions||4/12 -28%||20%|
|Sacks Allowed||2||4 s/G|
|Opp RedZone Att-TD-TD%||0 - 4 - 0% (20 - 9 - 45%)
||22 - 12 - 54.5%|
|Yds Allowed||226||375 Y/G|
It looks to me like no extraordinary effort by the Chiefs is required to actually eke out a win. As long as the offense is able to produce similar numbers to what it has, we can keep this game within reach. This, of course, is assuming one of our WRs can step up and fill Bowe's shoes in the passing game.
Luckily, our "sore spots" may not hold us back as much as we percieve they may.
Considering O-line play, if we can have a semi-decent day opening running lanes, we have a chance. Also, this will be three weeks in a row (fingers crossed) with the same OL unit on the field. Hopefully this cohesion will be good for preventing at least one additional sack.
Cincinnati was able to pull off a win with a lackluster return game. However, as on commenter points out, production here may be required for a win.
A win may not presuppose an about-face with respect to 3rd down play. Our painful 3rd down conversion rate is not much worse than what Cincinnati was able to do.
In terms of the sore spots on this year's team, It looks like the situation that will be the greatest impediment to a win is red-zone defense. Sure the Bengals played great overall defense, allowing 226 yds and only 3 3rd down conversions. What really won this game for them was keeping Pittsburgh out of the end-zone. As you can see, this has been a struggle for the chiefs allowing the TD more than half the time.
However, throughout the season the Bengals D has not been impervious in the red-zone. They currently allow opponents to score TDs on 45% of the trips. Moreover, coming into the game, Bengals opponents' TD rate from the red-zone was 56% (9/16) -slightly higher than the Chiefs current rate.
To win at Arrowhead this weekend, the Chiefs must do as Cincy did. Step up and keep the Steelers out of the end zone.