I have been listening to a lot of the NFL analysts and reading a lot on the internet and one common theme when it comes to the Chiefs is, “they are in the play-offs because they had an easy schedule:” Now I’m not going to sit here and say they didn’t have an easy schedule but I decided to dig a little deeper. I know that based on win-loss records KC did have the easiest schedule, but we did play some tough offenses and defenses so how did we do against them? This is kind of a long post but if you skip to the bottom I will summarize it and tell how this could all affect our first playoff game against Baltimore on Sunday.
First thing I’m going to discuss is our offensive yards per game. Overall our offense ended up ranked 12th in the league with an average of 349.7 yards per game. Here is how we did playing teams in the top of the league defensively.
- We only played 2 games against a top 10 ranked defense for yards allowed and they were both against number one ranked San Diego. SD was allowing an average of 271.6ypg. In our 2 games we gained 197 yards the first game and only 67 the second game.
- We also played 3 more games against a top 15 ranked defense, two against Oakland and one against SF. Oakland was allowing an average of 322.8 ypg and in those games we gained 304 yards the first game and 201 yards in the second. Against SF we did do better gaining 457 yards when they were allowing an average of 327.8.
Against the teams ranked 15 or better that we played we ended up winning 2 and losing 3. After looking at this it tells me that our offense does have some trouble gaining yards against tough defenses and Baltimore is ranked number 10 overall giving up an average of 318.9 yards per game, just a little better than Oakland.
Next thing I looked at was how we did against top passing defenses. KC is ranked 30th in passing with 185.5 ypg. We played 5 games against top ten passing defenses and they were 2 games against number one ranked SD, 2 against number two ranked Oakland and another game against number 3 Buffalo.
- SD was allowing an average of 177.8 ypg. Against them we got 62 yards passing the first game and 19 the second both very embarrassing stats and yet we still walked away with one win out of those 2 games.
- Against number 2 ranked Oakland who is allowing 189.2 ypg we fared a little better gaining 200 yards the first game and 86 the second. Still not very good the second game but the first game was respectable.
- Finally we have number 3 ranked Buffalo. They were allowing 192 ypg but against us they yielded 274 through the air, a very respectable number considering how high they rank.
Against those 5 we again ended up winning 2 and losing 3. The Baltimore Ravens rank 21st in passing defense and are allowing 224.9 ypg. They’re below average here so hopefully we can exploit that weakness on their defense.
Now we will look at our number one ranked rushing attack. We were averaging 164.2 ypg and faced 3 top 10 run defenses. Again 2 of those games were against number 4 ranked SD and one is against number 6 ranked SF.
- SD was allowing an average of 93.8ypg, in our first game we gained 135 and in our second we only gained 48. The first game was pretty good but the second we definitely got handled.
- Against SF who was allowing an average of 96.7 ypg we gained a whopping 207 yard, over twice what they usually allow.
Out of the top 10 running defenses we did a little better coming away with 2 wins and one loss. Baltimore is the number 5 ranked running defense allowing 93.9 ypg, a little better than SF. So we still have a good chance of running against them if we play our cards right.
Next I’m going to look at our defense. KC ended the season ranked 14th allowing an average of 330.2 ypg. They faced 6 top 10 offenses.
- SD was ranked number one overall averaging 395.6 ypg and of course we played them twice. In the first game they gained 389 and in the second they gained 426. Both numbers are right around their season average. Of course in the game we won we kept them below and in the game we lost they exceeded their average.
- Next we played number 3 ranked Houston and they averaged 386.6ypg. We allowed them to gain 421 yards and steal the win from us.
- Coming in at number 4 is Indianapolis. They were gaining an average of 380.8ypg and we allowed them to get 341. A little better than their average and enough to beat us.
- And our final top 10 defense is Oakland twice. They were averaging 354.6 and we allowed them 321 and 344. Both games we kept them below their average but still wound up losing.
All 6 of our losses came from a top 15 offense, Denver is ranked number 13 and we split with them. The only top Offense we beat was SD in week one. This could be a bad thing for us if we were to go against a high octane offense but Baltimore has a below average offense coming in ranked at number 22. They are averaging 322.9 ypg. We didn’t lose to a single team with a below average offense, that could be very good for us.
Now I’m going to discuss our pass defense. KC ranked number 17 allowing 224.9ypg. We faced 6 games against top 10 passing offenses.
- Indy starts us off ranked number 1 and averaging 288.1 ypg. Against us they ended up with 244, quite a bit below their average but enough to come up with a win.
- After them is SD ranked number 2 with 282.4ypg. In game one they passed for 280 and in game 2 they managed 219. Both games we kept them below their average but split the games with them.
- Coming in ranked number 4 is Houston with a 259ypg average. Against us they surpassed that gaining 289 and coming up with the win.
- The last top ten offense we faced was Denver at number 7 averaging 252.4 ypg. Against us in game one they gained 299yards and in game 2 only produced 86. We won the second game but not by much.
Out of those top passing teams we ended up with 2 wins and 4 losses. Baltimore is ranked 20th going for an average of 208.4. That is good for us considering the only team we lost to that had a lower passing average was our two losses to Oakland who was averaging 198.8ypg.
The last defensive stat I’m going to look at is our rushing defense. We came out ranked number 14th overall allowing 110.2 ypg. We faced 6 games facing a team in the top 15.
- Oakland was the number 2 ranked rushing offense gaining 155.9 ypg. Against us in game one they gained 112 on the ground and in game 2 gained 209. They ended up winning both games but we did pretty good stopping the run in game one but not so much in game 2.
- The 3rd ranked rushing offense goes to Jacksonville averaging 149.7ypg. Against us they only got 84.
- Houston comes in ranked number 7 with a 127.6 ypg average. We ended up losing this one but they did gain 132 yards against us.
- And of course I have to bring up number 15th ranked SD. They averaged 113.1ypg and got 109 in game one and 207 in game 2 against us.
Baltimore is ranked 14th in rushing offense averaging 114.4ypg. Out of the 6 top rushing teams we faced we only won 2, but for the most part we kept the opponents below their averages.
So after doing all this research I came up with a few conclusions. KC lost 6 out of 7 games they played against if their opponents offense ranked better than our defense. Luckily Baltimore has a below average offense that our defense should be able to handle. When it came to our offense we also had problems handling anybody that ranked better defensively however as long as the opponent doesn’t have a great pass and run defense we should be able to move the ball on them. Baltimore has a great run defense at number 5 but their pass Defense is only ranked number 21. It also seems that besides our losses to Denver and SD nobody else could actually stop our running game so hopefully we can get that going early.
The last thing I’m going to mention statistically was our sacks allowed this year. In the three games that we got blown out in we allowed our QB to get sacked 15 times. We only allowed 32 sacks all season. That is almost half our sacks in just 3 games. Oakland and SD were 2 of those games and they are both tied for second most sacks this year. Baltimore is ranked 29th in sacks. On the other side of the coin Baltimore is ranked 23rd at allowing their QBs to be sacked and KC is tied for 10th place in getting sacks. So as long as we can keep up these trends we should be able to walk away with a win.
I know stats are very subjective but I was just wondering how we compared when looking at something besides the win-loss column.