I was inspired by the comparison posted this morning about how the Chiefs and the Broncos match up statistically. I believe, despite the blowout loss in Cali that the Chiefs are playing better football with the addition of Chris Chambers and Jamaal Charles and the subtraction of "He Who Must Not Be Named" aka, 2.7.. I decided to look into the Chiefs numbers before and after the BYE and then compare those numbers to the Donkeys over their last 4 games. The results were pretty encouraging.
We all know the Chiefs have problems on defense that are unlikely to be solved this season but how has the ho-hum offense been progressing? Well, it seems that even without Bowe, the chiefs offense is turning a corner. Here are the numbers. I have left out the Baltimore game because I wanted to focus on the Cassel lead offense. Remember this has been essentially a different team since the BYE week with the additions of Long, Chambers and Charles. Also the rushing yards are not the teams total yards but the average of the lead back or 2.7 vs. JC. Johnson had the high rushing yards for each of the first 6 games with Cassel and Charles has had the high in the 4 since he left town.
Offense in first 6 games with Cassel:
Average Passing: 165.6 yards per game.
Average Rushing for lead back: 56.3 yards per game.
Average Points: 13.5 per game.
Offense in the last 4 games, after the BYE
Average Passing: 226 yards per game.
Average Rushing for lead back : 72.5 yards per game.
Average Points: 19.5 per game.
As you can see the Chiefs are averaging 60.4 more yards through the air, 16.2 more yards on the ground with their lead back and 6 more points per game. Cassel for that matter had 994 passing yards in his first 6 games as a Chief and 904 in his past 4. A very nice improvement. Are the numbers spectacular? No. But they show a marked improvement. Also, these improvements have helped the Chiefs improve the one stat that matters; wins. In the first 6 games of the Cassel era the Chiefs were 1-5. In the last 4 they are 2-2.
Will all this translate to a win over the Donkeys? Maybe. The problem here is the Chiefs defense. The D cannot usually compete unless the force some turnovers ala Pittsbutgh. However, the Chiefs seem to fair better in games with weaker QB's who can't really burn them deep. They also tend to keep it close in games against teams that play pretty good defense and tend to grind out wins. Denver certainly has had to grind out a lot of their wins, never putting up a ton of points but not usually giving them up either. Over the last 4 weeks the Donkey's have had a lot of trouble on offense, save the Giants game where their defense reemerged and gave their offense plenty of chances. Orton is not likely to go deep too often on the Chiefs. Denver's offense seems to thrive on their talented possession receivers who tend to make a lot happen after the catch. If the Chiefs defense can keep things in front of them, like they did in the Pittsburgh game, they should be able to prevent the kind of quick scores that killed them in games against the Chargers, Eagles and Giants.
The Donleys have actually not been as good as the Chiefs over the same 4 game stretch highlighted above. Here are the numbers.
Donkey Offense in the last 4 games:
Average neck beard: 1 per game
Average passing: 207.5 yards per game
Average rushing for lead back: 72.3 yards per game
Average points: 14 per game
Based on these numbers you could predict that the Chiefs will win by a score of 19 to 14. You could also probably flip that around and say the Broncos win by the same score. I think if the Chiefs can get their offense going early, especially the running game as Elvis Dummerville will attempt to eat Cassel alive, the Chiefs have a fair to good chance int his one. The offense must continue to make strides and the defensive play makers need to show up with some turnovers. The Chiefs offense, obviously, cannot afford to give away the ball.
I believe id the Chiefs offense continues to improve that have a shot at beating all of the teams remaining on their schedule. Denver, Cleveland, Buffalo and Cinci all like to grind out wins...well...er...Cleveland likes to grind out losses. The key will be holding on to the football, which for most of the season, the Chiefs have done a good job of doing.
I expect a wild finish Chief Fans. Strap in!