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Analyzing the Chiefs Playcalling By Down

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The Kansas City Chiefs playcalling has come under scrutiny in the first half of the season and for good reason.  The Chiefs have struggled to move the ball on offense, Todd Haley was brought in because of his offensive background, and then Haley took over the playcalling duties two weeks before the season opener.

Combine all that and you've got a microscope on the Chiefs playcalling.  I've broken down the Chiefs playcalls by down and supplemented those with some commentary on what the team generally does in certain situations.

Full numbers after the jump.

First Down: 108 rushing plays (3.45 avg), 75 passing plays (4.36 avg)

The Chiefs obviously prefer to run on first down but in situations where it's first and longer than 10, they also prefer to run, which seems strange.

The Chiefs have had a first and longer than ten on 12 occasions.  They have run the ball eight of those times for an average of 3.75 yards.

Second Down: 57 rushing plays (3.19 avg), 86 passing plays (4.41 avg)

The Chiefs prefer to throw on second down.  

They have had a second and less than five times 28 times.  They have rushed it 15 times in that situation, getting a first down 8 times.  They have passed it 13 times in that situation, getting a first down six times.

So, on second and short, the Chiefs run and pass the ball with as similar amount of success.

Third Down: 20 rushing plays (3.75 avg), 80 passing plays (4.54 avg)

Ah, third downs, arguably the Chiefs biggest problem this season.

The statement often heard: The Chiefs always run the ball on third and long!  An exaggeration, at best.

The Chiefs had third and long situations (more than 6 yards to go) 67 times.  They have run the ball a whopping 11 times.  

On third down, with less than five yards to go, the Chiefs have run the ball 9 times and passed it 24 times.  They have gotten 7 total first downs.

Fourth Down: 5 rushing plays (1.4 avg), 11 passing plays (7.0 avg)    

There's not much to glean from this small sample size.  This is more about situation than anything.

On fourth and short (less than two yards to go), the Chiefs have converted on 3/5 rushing attempts and 2/3 passing attempts.