As I've been going through the regular features this season - game recap on Monday, stats on Tuesday, etc. - I've noticed a lot of similarity to last year's Kansas City Chiefs team in a a few key areas. The usual caveats apply - this is only the fourth week of the season; the Chiefs are rebuilding; this team is fundamentally different than last year's team regardless of the stats. But here are a few areas where the Chiefs have yet to markedly improve from 2007.
Of course, you can find more areas where the Chiefs have improved and areas where they've gotten much worse. This is just a short look at some stats.
2007: 28th in run defense
2008: 31st in run defense
I'll keep harping on this, even though the Chiefs defense is the victim of a lot of more rushing attempts made on them, especially in the second half of games.
2007: 31st in scoring offense
2008: 30th in scoring offense
We may be at the bottom of the league rankings for a while in this category. Last year, the Chiefs scored 13 or fewer points ten times and, as you may have noticed, the offense hasn't progressed far beyond that.
2007: 20th in passing yards
2008: 28th in passing yards
The interesting point about our highly ranked pass defense is that it comes at the expense of our run defense. Teams don't have to pass on us so they don't, resulting in higher rankings in pass defense. A similar point can be made about passing stats. When you can't run the ball and are playing from behind most of the time, your passing stats are going to be bolstered.
2007: -11 good for 28th in the league
In 2003, the season I seem to remember most vividly in my head as you may have noticed, the Chiefs were +19 on turnovers. How many of you remember us getting all of those turnovers and thinking how ridiculous it was? The Chiefs are still a ways off from being judged too harshly on their turnover ratio but if you have to guess if it would get better or worse....
First downs per game
2007: 28th in first downs per game
2008: 27th in first downs per game
This one is killer and is a stat that indicates major offensive problems and not just trends or an easily explainable alibi. If you can't move the ball down the field, what can you really do?
And with that, I'm about to get on a plane headed for India. I'll be traveling for most of the next two days and will hopefully be back online very soon. Don't worry about the ship though - Primetime and others are here to keep it steady. I'll be checking in as much as possible. I'm still not sure what my schedule will allow while I'm there so we'll have to wait and see.