Who gets the rock? (warning--lots of stats)

Since the lockout has ended, Chiefs fans (as well as nearly every team's fan base) are very optimistic of the coming season. We have LOTS of new weapons this year, and everyone seems to be speculating on the success of our new offensive pieces.  Unfortunately, the game is still only played with one football.

According to, the Chiefs averaged the 11th most plays per game last season with nearly 65 plays per game.  Most (quality) teams have about the same number of plays run in each game, with the #1 NFL team (Saints) calling 67 plays per game and the #22 NFL team (Packers) calling 62 plays per game. Below I'm going to break down these plays and try to get a good estimate on what our offensive players' individual stats COULD be. 


Let's start with the breakdown.  

The Chiefs run about 65 plays per game. Haley has already stated that he wants to be a run-first team.  Last year, the Chiefs ran the ball 52% of the time, with an average of 34 rushes per game.  We had 29 passes per game and averaged 2 sacks per game (34 + 29 + 2 = 65). I'll take the sacks out of the equation since I'm not looking to tally the negative yards Cassel accrues with every sack. I'll also add 1 more pass per game and 1 less run per game since we now, uhh, can pass the ball to more people than just Bowe.


  • 63 Total plays per game (sacks taken out) x 16 games = 1008 Total plays per season (PPS)
  • 33 Rushing PPG (slightly more than half) x 16 games = 528 Rushing PPS
  • 30 Passing PPG (slightly less than half) x 16 games = 480 Passing PPS

Rushing: 33 PPG, 528 PPS 
  • Last year Charles had an average of 14.75 rushes per game, or 44% of all rushes.
  • Last year Jones had 15.63 rushes per game, or 46% of all rushes.
  • The rest of the team had 10% of the rushes.
The Chiefs have six rushing options: Charles, Jones, McClain, Cassel, McCluster, and "other". Here's what I'd expect:
  • Charles increases to 50% of carries (16.5 per game, 264 per season). With last year's average, he can expect 1689 yards.  However, Simpson, Sanders, Brown, and Sayers couldn't keep a 6.0 avg two years in a row. 
  • Jones drops to 30% of carries (about 10 per game, 160 per season). 
  • Cassel is at 6%, (32 rushes for the season-the past three years he's had : 73 rushing attempts in '08, 50 in '09, 36 in '10)
  • McClain, McCluster, and any other backs on the team then split the remaining 14% of carries (about 4 1/2 carries a game) 


Conclusions: There isn't much room for McCluster to break out. Also, I sure hope McClain is serious about being a FB instead of a RB.



Passing 30PPG/ 480 Passing PPS

First, let's narrow down to completions.  Since I'm drinking the Kool-Aid, I'm going to say Cassel makes me develop a man-crush on him this year and he completes 64% of his passes, slightly better than his New England days.

That's 307 completions, an increase of 36 from last year!

Now it's time to split them up.

Primary receiving threats:

Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, Moeaki, Urban, Charles, Jones, McCluster, McClain, "other"

Here are the guys we can make the strongest predictions of:


  • Bowe: 70 catches (237 left)
  • Charles: 40 catches (197 left)
  • Jones: 15 catches (182 left)
  • Moeaki: 55 catches--he had 47 in an injured year (127 left)
And here's where I get to have some fun and guess (and where a bit of debate on AP has occurred). We have 127 catches to split between Baldwin, Breaston, Moeaki, Urban, McCluster, and McClain.
  • Baldwin: 40 catches
  • Breaston: 50 catches
  • Urban: 20 catches
  • McCluster: 17 catches (I keep running out of room for him to have a break-out season.  He has the capabilities, I just can't figure out when he'll get the touches.)
  • McClain, Pope, everyone else: HELP! I'm all out of receptions!
Conclusions: Someone isn't going to live up to the expectations we've set for them.  I'm thrilled we have all these options--but the side effect of a balanced team is balanced numbers.  I'd be very happy if Cassel gets a 64% completion rate and no receiver gets over 50 catches.  Because that could just mean we have balance. And if someone does disappoint? That's not such a bad thing.  The cream rises to the top. And championship teams don't carry dead weight



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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