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Three Areas The KC Chiefs Can Improve

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Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley and the rest of the coaching staff have been doing some self-scouting as we enter the bye-week and Haley was asked yesterday what he's found out about his team in this time.

There are three areas he focused on -- third downs, starting fast and, of course, turnovers.

Third down is a problem, both sides, in some certain areas. It's not all-encompassing. There's certain areas where we need to be better within third down.

The Chiefs are right in the middle of the league -- ranked 18th -- in third downs converting on 37 percent of their attempts. Haley noted that the Chiefs are near the top of the league in third and longs but they fall down when it comes to third and shorts. That's really a problem they've had dating back to last year, which is perplexing considering how good the running game was in 2010.

Starting games, it's easy to get after, but as we started to study and go through, really, a couple games we've moved the ball, just found ways to shoot ourselves in the foot offensively. And we've started some games defensively in pretty good fashion and others not so good, so hard to find a real pattern other than that it always comes back to what you and I talked about yesterday.

Before last week, Matt Cassel had never brought the Chiefs back in the fourth quarter when they were down by more than seven points. That tells you all you need to know about starting fast.

The No. 1 thing on the top of the Chiefs list, I know is, ‘Do not turn the football over.' When we don't turn the football over - factor in a bunch of other things - that's a key to us being much more successful.

Clearly this is the No. 1 thing. Everyone around here knows it: When the Chiefs lose the turnover battle, the percentages are extremely high that they'll lose the game (and often it's not close). When they tie or win the turnover battle, it's usually a much, much closer game.