FanPost

KC Chiefs offense: More damned lies and statistics

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

From the FanPosts -Joel

I just read the post by KVin2, which argues that

the Chiefs offense is one of the worst in the league, by nearly every measure.

I have to congratulate the poster for inflaming the fan base. We haven't had a good debate like this since the "QB Wars" of last winter.

I especially enjoyed the contentiousness around KV2's methodology. Specifically, she adjusted the Chiefs' total points number downward by subtracting the team's defensive scores but did not do the same for the rest of the league. She acknowledged as much in the commentary, but for some readers, this flaw was enough to invalidate the entire argument.

I know I'm late to the party, but I wanted to supplement KV's work with some new data, because it turns out it's pretty easy to separate the offensive points scored from the total number. As noted in KV's post, Football Outsiders publishes drive stats. The offensivedrive stat table includes the fields "Number of Drives" and "Points per Drive". Simply multiply these values to get the number of points scored by the offense.

I've put together a table to show the results. It also calculates the number of points contributed by defense and special teams ("DST Pts") and offensive yards gained per point scored ("Yds/Pt"). The Yds/Pt measure indicates how good an offense is at scoring TDs and/or how much it has benefited from good field position. You have to look at the Pts/Dr and LOS/Dr to get a feel for which factor plays the larger role.

I'll offer a couple of comments and conclusions from what the data shows me:

  1. In terms of points, the Chiefs go from slightly above average to slightly below average when adjusting for DST Points. After 3 weeks in a totally new offense and with a high degree of turnover in personnel, this is not a discouraging result to me. I do believe the offense must improve to stay on the playoffs track and to perform well once we get there, but so far so good.
  2. The Chiefs' ranking for Yds/Pt (12), when considered along side of Pts/Dr (22) and LOS/Dr (1) tends to support KV's argument that the team's offense has not done enough with the benefits delivered by special teams and defense. Compare the KC line with those of the Dolphins and Titans to get a sense for which dark-horse AFC playoff contender has the stronger case for sustaining its course. Looks to me like it's the Dolphins at this point.
  3. Check out the 49ers - 35 of their 79 total points are from defense and special teams plays. Wow. I can't see them sustaining that DST rate. Look for more trouble for them down the road.
  4. Many experts have predicted that the Colts will regress this year and miss the playoffs. I don't see it, mainly because Andrew Luck is too good to let that happen. The table below adds a boost to the idea.

And so for the main course. Have a blast with it. (Note: the data for the "TotPts" field was imported from Pro Football Reference.)

Team Drives Pts/Dr TotPts* OffPts DST Pts Yds/Dr Yds/Pt LOS/Dr
DEN 37 3.24 (1) 127 120 7 38.84 (2) 11.99 (1) 31.70 (5)
SD 31 2.52 (2) 78 78 0 36.45 (5) 14.46 (6) 26.90 (18)
GB 36 2.47 (3) 96 89 7 38.44 (3) 15.56 (8) 27.75 (11)
IND 28 2.43 (4) 68 68 0 39.43 (1) 16.23 (13) 25.46 (22)
SEA 36 2.36 (5) 86 86 0 30.75 (15) 13.03 (3) 34.28 (2)
CAR 30 2.27 (7) 68 68 0 33.70 (9) 14.85 (7) 30.00 (6)
CHI 33 2.27 (6) 95 75 20 30.12 (16) 13.27 (4) 33.91 (3)
MIA 34 2.18 (8) 74 74 0 27.47 (21) 12.6 (2) 28.09 (9)
PHI 37 2.11 (9) 79 79 0 35.41 (6) 16.78 (15) 27.24 (14)
DET 36 2.08 (10) 82 75 7 34.67 (7) 16.67 (14) 23.92 (28)
NO 34 2.06 (13) 70 70 0 36.82 (4) 17.87 (19) 27.59 (13)
DAL 34 2.06 (12) 83 70 13 29.76 (17) 14.45 (5) 29.59 (7)
ATL 31 2.06 (11) 71 64 7 34.65 (8) 16.82 (16) 25.90 (21)
CIN 34 2.03 (14) 75 69 6 31.65 (13) 15.59 (9) 24.00 (27)
OAK 30 1.90 (15) 57 57 0 33.70 (10) 17.74 (18) 28.00 (10)
MIN 38 1.76 (16) 81 67 14 27.89 (20) 15.85 (11) 26.68 (19)
STL 34 1.68 (17) 69 57 12 31.94 (12) 19.01 (22) 22.32 (30)
TEN 32 1.66 (18) 60 53 7 26.25 (27) 15.81 (10) 26.66 (20)
HOU 38 1.61 (19) 70 61 9 29.68 (18) 18.43 (21) 29.13 (8)
WAS 35 1.57 (20) 67 55 12 33.14 (11) 21.11 (27) 22.26 (31)
KC 37 1.54 (22) 71 57 14 24.62 (30) 15.99 (12) 36.97 (1)
BAL 37 1.54 (21) 71 57 14 26.49 (25) 17.2 (17) 24.86 (23)
NE 39 1.51 (23) 59 59 0 27.31 (23) 18.09 (20) 32.85 (4)
ARI 34 1.47 (24) 56 50 6 31.44 (14) 21.39 (29) 27.59 (12)
BUF 40 1.40 (25) 65 56 9 27.98 (19) 19.99 (24) 24.70 (25)
NYG 39 1.38 (26) 54 54 0 27.33 (22) 19.8 (23) 27.13 (16)
SF 34 1.29 (27) 79 44 35 26.06 (28) 20.2 (26) 27.24 (15)
CLE 38 1.24 (28) 47 47 0 24.92 (29) 20.1 (25) 26.92 (17)
NYJ 43 1.23 (29) 55 53 2 26.28 (26) 21.37 (28) 22.81 (29)
PIT 36 1.11 (30) 42 40 2 26.97 (24) 24.3 (31) 22.22 (32)
TB 34 0.79 (31) 34 27 7 23.91 (31) 30.27 (32) 24.06 (26)
JAC 40 0.68 (32) 28 28 0 15.80 (32) 23.24 (30) 24.85 (24)

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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