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Chiefs second quarter report is about as good as it gets

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s amazing to think the 2016 NFL season is already halfway over. The older I get the faster time seems to move. Earlier in the season I posted a report for the Chiefs first quarter of the season, and now it is time to report on the second quarter of the season.

Just a Brief Rant

Lately I’ve heard some arguments and rumblings stating that passing touchdowns aren’t that important. I’ve also heard that running the ball into the end zone is worth the same amount of points as a passing touchdown, so the two aren’t any different. I believe they are and here’s why:

It’s awfully difficult to run the ball into the end zone on third and goal from the seven yard line.

There will come times when a quarterback needs to throw a pass into the end zone on third and long. I believe the projection for a Chiefs quarterback needing 27 TDs as you’ll see below isn’t just a fart in the wind.

To go deep into the playoffs the Chiefs need to be able to throw the ball into the end zone with some more success. Fortunately, the Chiefs improved on this aspect during the second quarter of the season.

Passing Game

Before the season started I built a passing game stat line that should give the Chiefs the best opportunity to win a Super Bowl (given what has happened in the past.) The stat line looked like such:

3,800 Yards, 27 TDs, 550 Attempts, 11 INTs

Here is their first and second quarter pace (Alex Smith and Nick Foles included).

  • Second Quarter Pace - 3,760 Yards, 24 TDs, 480 Attempts, 0 INTs
  • First Quarter Pace - 4,292 Yards, 20 TDs, 672 Attempts, 8 INTs

During the second quarter the Chiefs improved on their number of passing touchdowns, but did worse in terms of passing yards. However, the Chiefs passing attack is much closer to their goal than they were in the first quarter of the season. I would describe this as a good thing.

If the numbers were to be combined the Chiefs are on pace to do the following with their passing game during the regular season:

4,026 Yards, 22 TDs, 576 Attempts, 4 INTs

Offensive Balance Has Improved

In the first quarter of the season the Chiefs run/pass ratio was 33/67. In the second quarter of the season the Chiefs run/pass ratio was 49/51. This is a major improvement from the first quarter of the season. Running the ball has a fair amount to do with the Chiefs success in the second quarter of the season.

The Defense

Like we did for the offense, we’ll refer to the article from the preseason that projects defensive numbers which would give the Chiefs their best chances for winning a Super Bowl in 2016. This is the goal:

Total Defense: 19 PPG, 318 YPG

Passing Defense: 214 YPG, 19 TDs, 20 INTs, 45 Sacks

Rushing Defense: 104 YPG, 9 TDs

In the second quarter of the season the Chiefs defense is on pace for the following. Keep in mind these are full season projections while only using numbers from the second quarter of the season.

Total Defense: 15 PPG, 369 YPG

Passing Defense: 249 YPG, 32 TDs, 16 INTs, 44 Sacks

Rushing Defense: 120 YPG, 0 TDS

Amazingly the Chiefs did not allow a single rushing touchdown in the second quarter. The defense allowed too many passing touchdowns, and too much overall yardage. Of course this has something to do with the four quarterbacks the Chiefs played.

In the second quarter the Chiefs defense played fantastic. The passing touchdowns are the only black mark. The pass rush was right on par and appears to be making massive strides as the season progresses. In fact you could say...

The Chiefs defense played much better all around in the second quarter than it did in the first quarter. In case you’re curious to see how the first quarter projects, here they are:

Total Defense: 23 PPG, 370 YPG

Passing Defense: 241 YPG, 28 TDs, 32 INTs, 20 Sacks

Rushing Defense: 130 YPG, 12 TDs

When the second season and first season are combined we get the following numbers.

Total Defense: 19 PPG, 370 YPG

Passing Defense: 245 YPG, 30 TDS, 24 INTS, 32 Sacks

Rushing Defense: 125 YPG, 6 TDs

AFC West Second Quarters

Raiders (3 - 1)
Games against winning teams: 2
Wins vs winning teams: 1

Chiefs (4 - 0)
Games vs winning teams: 1
Wins vs winning teams: 1

Broncos (2 - 2)
Games vs winning teams: 2
Wins vs winning teams: 1

Chargers (3 - 1)
Games vs winning teams: 3
Wins vs winning teams: 2

Even the last place team in the AFC is scary. The Chargers are a team no one wants to play. Maybe when the Chiefs face them in Week 17 they will have cooled off by then.

Looking Forward to the Third Quarter

The Chiefs schedule in the third quarter looks like the following:

@Panthers (3-5), vs Buccaneers (3-5), @Broncos (6-3), @Falcons (6-3)

This may be the most difficult stretch of the season for the Chiefs with three very difficult road games. My reactions to the third quarter would be the following:

Zero wins: I’m not too sure the Chiefs make the playoffs
One win: Maybe the Chiefs can get to the playoffs
Two wins: Meh, about what I expected
Three wins: Winning the division should be a sure thing
Four wins: Home field advantage? Sweet!!!

The safe bet is for the Chiefs to have two or three wins during this stretch. I’m going to say the Chiefs have three wins in the third quarter since I feel like being a bit of a homer today. Hey, it happens to the best of us.