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Kansas City Chiefs Are Talking About Third Downs Again

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Leonard Pope #45 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches the football from Matt Cassel #7 against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Leonard Pope #45 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches the football from Matt Cassel #7 against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
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Today we're talking about one part of the Kansas City Chiefs 2009 season they can't shake off in 2010: Third down troubles.

The Chiefs in 2010 have converted 14 of 50 third down opportunities. That's 28 percent which is fourth worst in the NFL. Third downs are one of the areas that have not gotten better for the Chiefs. They struggled with them in 2009 as well (27 percent, 31st in the NFL).

"One thing we're really trying to concentrate on as an offensive unit is third down," Chiefs QB Matt Cassel said Wednesday. "That's really an area we have to get better at. I think we were 1-of-10 on third down [. You have to be able to convert, stay on the field and keep the defense off the field and maintain drives. I think that's an area offensively that we need to continue to get better at."

To get better, you need to know what you're dealing with. So, here's a break down of all the Chiefs third downs this year. There have been 50 total. 15 of those have been a rush and 35 of those have been a pass.

Here's the break down by yards to go.

1-2 yards (5 rush, 2 pass)

They've run it 5 times in this situation and passed it twice. In those seven attempts, they have just one first down, which came via the rush. Their average run goes for -1.2 yards and they have not completed a pass in this situation.

Total: 1-of-7

3-5 yards (7 rush, 15 pass)

Rushing the ball the Chiefs have gotten a first down 2 of 7 attempts. Passing the ball however they're 6-of-15 in getting the first down. That's a healthy 40 percent third down percentage through the pass. Overall, they've completed 8 of their 22 attempts in this situation.

Total: 8-of-22

6-10 (2 rush, 13 pass)

The Chiefs have been in this situation 15 times and run it just twice (converted one of those times). The other 13 times they have passed the ball and converted three of those.

Total: 4-of-15

11+ (1 rush, 5 pass)

The Chiefs have converted once in this situation via a 24-yard rush actually.

Total: 1-of-6