Charting The KC Chiefs Offense Against The Falcons

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 9: Defensive back Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles running back Peyton Hillis #40 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter season opener on September 9, 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Atlanta defeated Kansas City 40-24. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

It's the first regular season post of this series and we're going to take a closer look at the Kansas City Chiefs offense against the Atlanta Falcons. This series is intended to give fans more information than you would find in a regular box score. I went through and charted all of the offensive plays for the Chiefs and broke down that information into a hopefully-organized post that makes sense to everyone.

I'm just going to be giving the meat of the information in these posts as there won't be a whole lot of analysis in here. The post will be fairly long as it is and there's just too much stuff we don't know that affects a lot of these numbers (scheme, game plan, adjustments, etc...). That said, hopefully this can lead a good discussion in what was working for the offense and what might not have been working as well in this particular game.

After the jump we'll get into the details.

Personnel Groupings

The Chiefs used four different personnel packages throughout the course of this game. They used the 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight-end) 55 times out of 67 plays. Almost all of those plays were with Dexter McCluster in as the slot WR. They used the 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE's) just five times in this game. They used the 21 personnel (2 RB's, 1 TE) five times and the 22 personnel (2 RB's, 2 TE's) just twice.

The Chiefs ran the ball 25 times in 11 personnel and threw it 30 times. In 12 personnel they ran it three times and passed it twice, while in 21 personnel they ran it just once while throwing it four times. They split one pass and one run in 22 personnel.


First Down

The Chiefs ran the ball 18 times on first down for a total of 89 yards (46 on Charles' long run). That's an average of 4.9 yards per carry overall, but taking out Charles' one long run and it's an average of 2.5 yards per carry on the other 17 carries.

The Chiefs attempted 10 passes on first down and completed just three for 34 yards. Four of the passes attempted on first down were play-action passes, and all of those were on the first drive of the game except for one, the flea flicker pass during the Chiefs second drive. After the flea flicker the Chiefs never attempted a play-action pass on first down. Two of the Falcons' three sacks came on first down.

Of the Chiefs passes that were attempted AND thrown (taking out two sacks) on first down, which would be eight, they were attempted down-field an average of 10 yards per pass. That's how far the ball is traveling and it includes incompletions AND completions, but takes out the run-after-catch for a completed pass.


Second Down

The Chiefs ran the ball 10 times on second down for a total of 49 yards. Charles specifically carried it five times for 14 yards on second down, Hillis twice for three yards, Shaun Draughn one time for 14 yards and Cassel twice for 18 yards.

The Chiefs passed the ball 13 times on second down and completed eight of those passes for 88 yards. Of the 13 passes attempted on second down they went down-field for an average of 7.15 yards. This down-field stat is a way of knowing how much of the field we're making them defend. Even if the passes aren't completed, the defense still is aware of where the ball was trying to be thrown and has to plan to defend it.


Third Down - 3rd and 5 or less

The Chiefs ran the ball three times when they had five yards or less to pick up a first down on third down, and they picked up the first down each time. They threw the ball five times, completing three with one interception. Those three completions went for 48 yards. An overall success rate of 6/8 on picking up the third down with five yards or less to go for a first down.

Third Down - 3rd and 6 or more

The Chiefs never ran the ball when they had more than 6 yards to go for a first down. I REPEAT, THE CHIEFS NEVER RAN THE BALL (EVEN ON A STUPID SPRINT DRAW) WHEN THEY HAD MORE THAN SIX YARDS TO GO. The Chiefs had eight chances with 3rd and 6 or more and they picked up the first down five of those times. Matt Cassel was 5/7 for 78 yards in this situation. One of the plays was the sack/fumble that was a turning point in the game.


Running Game Direction

The All-22 film doesn't come out until later in the week so I had to do my best as far as seeing which direction the play was going on a few of these runs. If I couldn't see a clear left or right, I considered it middle. I consider LG---out to be LEFT.

The Chiefs ran 13 plays to the left for a total of 36 yards, 10 plays to the middle for 28 yards, and finally 10 plays to the right for 88 yards! A lot of that was on Jamaal Charles 46 yard run off Eric Winston, but even taking out that run, 9 rushes for 42 yards isn't bad.

That's all for this post. I'll have a more in-depth breakdown later in the week with some stats on Matt Cassel's day as well as another video for the Arrowhead Pride YouTube channel breaking down a 'stat of the week' that really stood out to me.

What do you guys think and what numbers really stand out to you?

Photo credit: John Reiger / Denny Medley USPressWire
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