The Kansas City Chiefs have made a real reversal over the last year with negative plays. Perhaps the one thing I grew tired of the most last year was this line from Todd Haley: "We can not have negative plays."
How many times did we hear that? A lot. But guess what? It's working.
- 17 negative plays (fewest in NFL)
- 18 penalties (3rd-fewest in NFL)
- 3.0 sacks allowed (NFL low)
I'm not sure that we sit back and truly appreciate those stats. If you followed Arrowhead Pride throughout the 2009 season, you knew we were harping on those stats on a weekly basis. I probably could have copy and pasted the same story, from week to week, with different numbers thrown in there.
The turnaround this year is very impressive.
Now let's compare that to the next opponent -- Houston Texans -- for some perspective. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com notes that against the Giants the Texans were down 21-0 after running just 13 offensive plays.
Of those 13 offensive plays, nine were negative: two passes batted at the line, a fumble by Matt Schaub, a pass for a loss, two runs for a loss, an interception, a pass breakup that was nearly another pick and a throw-away from Schaub while under pressure.
That puts the Chiefs smart football in perspective. The Texans are commonly referred to as an up and coming playoff team and in one half matched the Chiefs total lost fumbles on the season and nearly half their negative plays on the season.
It seems that Haley wasn't BSing us on a weekly basis in 2009: There really was progress last year.