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The Chiefs 3rd down problem is really a 1st down problem

And their first down problem is really a quarterback problem.

Jason O. Watson

The Kansas City Chiefs have a third down problem.

They also have a first down problem. And a second down problem.

OK, there are a problems all over the place with this team. But on third down the Chiefs are especially bad -- 28th in the NFL. They complete just 34 percent of third downs. Compare that to the New England Patriots, the best third down team, who completes 50 percent of third downs.

Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel explained on Wednesday that the Chiefs third down problem is really a first and second down problem.

"[W]e haven't been doing a good job on first and second down and if you look at those third downs, they've all been third and long - third and seven-plus," Crennel said, via comments sent out by the Chiefs.

"I think 24 of 24 have been third and seven-plus and the defense has the advantage on that distance on third down. And I think 16 of them have been third and 10 or plus, so we've got to do a better job on first and second so that we can getit to third and four.

"Now the defense has to defend more things when you can get it to third and four. But third and 10, they know that you pretty much have to throw and they pin those ears back and they come on."

So the Chiefs can't fix their third down problem until they fix their first down problem. And they can't fix their first down problem until they fix their quarterback problem. And they can't fix their quarterback problem until they, uh, have a quarterback.

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