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5 things for Kansas City Chiefs to fix down the stretch

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Stop the run, run the ball and more tips for the KC Chiefs for the rest of the season.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Andy Reid spent the bye week evaluating the Kansas City Chiefs first five games and trying to avoid being predictable. One way the Chiefs can do that is by listening to my suggestions below, which are tips that Andy Reid has never, ever heard before and will likely come as news to him. (My sarcasm font isn't working)

The Chiefs will have specific things they need to do to beat the Chargers. These big picture items below are some of those they'll need to fix for the rest of the season.

Get to the plus side on turnovers

The Chiefs are minus-three on turnovers. I believe they will end up with a better turnover ratio than that, which means things are going to get better before they get worse. This will come with the pass rush. Good things usually come from a consistent pass rush which is why I think this evens out in the Chiefs favor as the season goes along. Turnovers are the most important stat in the game (besides, uh, wins and losses) so while it is obvious I felt I had to mention it.

Run defense has to be more efficient

The Chiefs are giving up 4.8 yards per carry which is one of the worst numbers in the league (28th). The Dolphins running on the Chiefs in Week 3 and the 49ers clinching their Week 5 game over the Chiefs via the run late in the game are two games that stand out for me on the run defense. (So does the Titans game but I decided a while back that I hate that game and won't talk about it anymore)

I'm not here to crap all over the Chiefs on this one. They're missing Derrick Johnson who is in my biased mind the best inside linebacker in the NFL and the best at shooting the gap and disrupting run plays. The Chiefs are also missing Mike DeVito who was signed because of his prowess as a run stopper. Part of the blame for the Chiefs run defense woes can be placed on Achilles injuries.

This is something that needs to be fixed for the long haul of the season. The Chiefs have a great chance to pick up some momentum in this category as they face the Chargers, who are statistically one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL.

Keep running the ball

The Chiefs at their best when running the ball. Yeah, yeah, Andy Reid is a passing guy. But this Chiefs team right now is better equipped to have more of a focus on the running game than they do right now. Offensive linemen will tell you that it's easier for them to get in a rhythm when they're lining up and smashing the guys in front of them. Eric Fisher, in particular, is a much better run blocker than pass blocker. The Chiefs two wins this year are also the two games they have rushed for the most yards. Some think the Chiefs could have beaten the 49ers if they just stuck to the run in key situations.

The Chiefs are at their best when they're running the ball well enough that Knile Davis can be a larger part of the game plan. Everyone knows Jamaal Charles is Jamaal Charles and needs to get a healthy dose of the rock (not that Rock) but Davis can be a weapon too (except in pass blocking, which is where things can fall apart). The added bonus here is that Alex Smith can sell the play action well and has a history of performing well with a strong running game.

The best players should touch the ball the most

Another one that seems so obvious that I almost didn't even write it here.

This would be a reference to Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce. They have the best chance to cause the most damage to the opposing defense. For Jamaal Charles, it's because he's better than anyone at picking up yards and he is a constant threat to go the distance. He's very reliable with the ball. He is also the best player on the team and should touch the ball a lot. Meanwhile, Kelce picks up first downs seemingly every time he touches the ball and he doesn't even play 75 percent of the snaps. These are the guys that should be the stars for the Chiefs offense.

Change the game on special teams

The Chiefs last year would change the game on special teams with their kick and punt returns. They would rarely make silly mistakes that would cost their team (such as a 12 men on the field penalty). They didn't make these mistakes last year, which contributed to them winning (or not losing) games. Special teams this year has not always been part of the solution. I can get over not having return touchdowns but you can't get over the penalties or coverage mistakes. That has to change because the Chiefs are a team that needs a good game from their special teams unit to win games and a team that needs to do the little things right to avoid the mistakes you see other teams make.