clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

By The Numbers: Breaking Down The Chiefs Offense Vs. Bills

Getty Images

This weekly post will give you the basic info on what the Chiefs did on offense from a personnel standpoint. Obviously with the game turning out the way it did and the score being so lopsided early in the game, a few things may have changed from the original game plan.

I spent the better part of late-Sunday night and early Monday morning re-watching the game and charting the Chiefs offensive personnel from play-to-play, along with the formations and other basic stuff. This information translates itself into two weekly posts and a video here on Arrowhead Pride. This first post each week is going to be a lot of the 'meat' and basic stats to get the conversation started. I'll then have another post later in the week of some more in-depth stats that stood out to me after looking through all this information.

Personnel Groupings

The Chiefs used four different personnel groupings in this game in the 71 plays I charted for the offense. The most common was 11-personnel (1 RB, 1 TE), which they used 42 times. They used 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE's) 15 times in this game. Although they did move around Boss, Moeaki and even O' Connell late in the game in different formations. They used 21 personnel (2 RB's, 1 TE) 12 times in this game. Although a couple of times it just looked like a 1 RB set because either Charles or Hillis were lined up as a wide receiver. They used the 22-personnel just twice in this game.

First down

The Chiefs had 33 first down plays in this game (One of which was a spiked ball to stop clock). They passed it 18 times and ran in 14 times. Four carries for Charles for 3 yards on first down. Peyton Hillis ran it eight times on first down for 40 yards and Shaun Draughn carried it twice for 13 yards.

The Chiefs ran 29 plays altogether in this game that were NOT in 11-personnel and 19 of those plays came on first down. They were mixing up formations and looks on first down and generally getting back to 11-personnel on 2nd and 3rd down.

Matt Cassel was 10-16 for 126 yards on first down, although he was sacked twice. The Bills were not biting on play-action passes on first down either as the Chiefs attempted three and none of them worked out well. The first one ended in a sack/fumble that was costly to the Chiefs late in the first half. The other two were incomplete but the distance downfield on those two passes were 39 yards and 23 yards. So the Chiefs were going for the big play on those play-action passes on first down and didn't have any success.

Second down

The Chiefs had 24 2nd plays in this game. The Chiefs ran 16 pass plays on 2nd down (one ending with a sack) with Cassel finishing 7-15 for 104 yards. Cassel was 1-6 for 9 yards throwing to Dwayne Bowe on 2nd down. The eight running plays ran by the Chiefs on 2nd down gained a total of 58 yards on the ground, but 48 of those were on three carries by Draughn.

Third and short (5 or less yards to go)

The Chiefs only ran three plays at 3rd and 5 or less. One of those plays ended in a sack, one was a completion to Bowe for 10 yards and the other was a Hillis run for two yards on 3rd and 1. The first down was picked up two of three times.

Third and long (6 yards or more to go)

The Chiefs ran the ball twice out of nine plays that were for 3rd and 6 or longer to go for a first down. Those two running plays gained 39 yards on the ground. Matt Cassel was 3-6 for 45 yards and a sack on 3rd and long.


Of the 42 passing plays in this game only seven of them were play-action passes, and only two of those were completed. That doesn't sound right for a team that's supposedly predicated on running the football. Only once in seven times of running play-action passes were the Chiefs in 11-personnel. So to be clear the personnel grouping the Chiefs use the most is what they don't use when using play-action passes.

Shotgun formation

The Chiefs used shotgun in 34/71 plays in this game, but to be fair only 9 of the 30 plays in the first half were in this formation. 25 of 41 offensive plays in the 2nd half were in the shotgun formation. Cassel was 19-30 from shotgun with 221 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had three of his five sacks in shotgun. The Chiefs ran the ball five times in shotgun for 60 yards total (including Cassel's scramble).

That's it for the basic info from this game. Did anything stand out to you from these numbers, or maybe compared to last week?

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.