I've been on a four-day trip for work so I'm currently sitting in an airport in Dallas about to head home to Missouri. I have always had really bad flight anxiety so I've popped a little 'helper' and have about an hour until it kicks in. (Nothing illegal folks, I got it from a doctor.) The best way I could describe how flying makes me feel is to imagine a fourth and goal during the Super Bowl with one second remaining and a touchdown is needed to win .... Now imagine that feeling lasting for the duration of the flight.
OK, thats enough about me, let's get on to the grade!
Grading Criteria (Points Possible)
- Starting Roster (15)
- Player Preparednes / discipline (15)
- Offensive play calling (30)
- Game altering decisions (25)
- Clock management (15)
- Challenges +/- a range of 5 points.
The offensive line continued to go at less than full strength and Andy Reid continued to split duty between Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware. This appears to be working well (although Ware is injured this week).
Punt returner is starting to become a concerning position. With De'Anthony Thomas out, Frankie Hammond Jr. has been returning punts. While Hammond has had some splash plays, the fumbles are more than enough reason to quit playing Hammond. I can't see why Albert Wilson or perhaps a Chiefs DB couldn't perform just as well as Hammond - or at least more sure-handed. I'm not sure if this is special teams coach Dave Toub's decision or not but Hammond is becoming a liability.
Starting Roster Grade: 13/15
Player Preparedness / Discipline
Alex Smith ended his passes without an interception streak. The interception thrown by Smith wasn't a bone-headed decision and Reid shouldn't be held accountable for that one because Alex Smith trying to stretch the field is a good thing.
On the other hand, the Chiefs had eight penalties that were accepted. The Chiefs have been getting a little sloppy the past could of weeks on the penalty front. They will need to fix this if they want to continue to play at the high level they have been playing at during this winning streak.
The Chiefs also had two fumbles. One by Alex Smith which was recovered and the other fumble was from Frankie Hammond. Taking care of the ball is a huge part of the Chiefs success and players will need to maintain focus on holding onto the ball.
Player Preparedness / Discipline Grade: 11/15
Offensive Play Calling
Really Good Cheeseburger of the Week, well maybe just a Good Cheeseburger.
This was a third and three run by Reid, I repeat a third and three run play by Reid. Most of this play call relies on Alex Smith's decision making ability and he made the right decision to hold onto the ball a run for the first down. Keep in mind this play kept the chains moving for the Albert Wilson touchdown a couple of plays later. In a game without much offensive production, it was hard to find a really good cheeseburger. Maybe this is just a good cheeseburger of the week.
Run/Pass Ratio: 21 run plays, 29 pass plays. 42% run, 58% pass. This passes the 40% test. Reid did a good job calling run plays in this game.
Third Down Conversion Rate: 6/11, 55% - This is a good rate for third down efficiency. I'm surprised with this rate the Chiefs weren't able to score more points.
Red Zone TD Rate: 0% Did the Chiefs even get in the red zone this game? **checks** The Chiefs were not in the red zone during the entire game against the Chargers. Wow, that is really, really bad.
Screen Play Rate: I might be crazy, but I am not sure if I saw any screen passes in this game. Right? I remember a number of short passes to the outside, but I don't believe they were screens. Did anyone else notice a screen pass during the game that I perhaps missed? It just wouldn't be a Reid coached game without a screen pass...
Offensive Play Calling Grade: 16/30
Game Altering Decisions
Once again Reid did not get tested with the opportunity to make many game altering decisions. This has happened more frequently throughout the year than I thought it would when I first decided to write these. Is this how football really is? Or have the football gods been kind to Reid this year and not forced him into many difficult decisions? I'm not sure.
Game Altering Decisions Grade: 25/25
For the second week in a row I wasn't questioning Reid's clock management decisions. If anyone remembers before halftime with seven seconds remaining it appeared that Reid was going to try and run another offensive play. Once I saw what was developing I leaned forward in my couch and began staring at the TV like I stare at my one year old son when he's thinking about playing with an electrical outlet -- DON'T YOU DO THAT! Ultimately Reid made the right decision to go with the field goal attempt and Santos knocked it in. I was impressed by Reid's ability to make a good decision regarding the clock -- especially after everyone is so (deservedly) hard on him for his mistakes in the past.
I'd also like to note that Alex Smith and the Chiefs were able to move the ball 39 yards in about 22 seconds before the end of the first half. The two minute offense has been a major weakness for the Chiefs and it was good to see some efficiency there.
Clock Management Grade: 15/15
Reid was not faced with a challenge in this game so no points will be added or subtracted.
Week 13 Grade: 80/100
2015 Average Grade: 77.23
Next Week against the Ravens
Next week against the Ravens I would like to see....
- Can we get Albert Wilson, Jeremy Maclin or someone else to return punts please?
- Limit the turnovers on offense. The Ravens have been poor with the turnover differential and it is one of the major reasons for their issues.
- Keep feeding West and Ware the ball. If Ware isn't healthy enough to go, Knile Davis can spell West.