Nice film piece on the Kansas City Chiefs over at NFL.com that his littered with neat stats. I found this one on Alex Smith interesting: He gets the ball out faster than anyone in the NFL ... except Nick Foles.
Want to beat Kansas City? Stack the box and play press coverage, and dare the Chiefs to go deep. But you better bring your pass rush and deploy it often, because there's only one quarterback faster at getting the ball out than Smith (2.37 seconds per snap), and it's his backup, Nick Foles (2.36 seconds). It's by design -- of the league's fastest to throw, the top two are the Kansas City quarterbacks, and Smith was even faster in Week 16 at 2.24 seconds per throw.
(Those are via NFL.com’s numbers. I’m sure PFF has it differently)
That becomes especially important against a team like Denver, who like the Chiefs, deploys multiple capable pass rushers. The Chiefs could face a similar issue with the Houston Texans who have a solid front seven. The Raiders have Khalil Mack who will force the ball out quick. Those are the two teams in the AFC playoffs that stand out to me from a pass rushing perspective.
What this doesn’t help is going vertical. You need pass protection to do well in order to hang onto the ball long enough to let those routes develop. As we know, though, this isn’t a focal point of the Chiefs offense. Getting the ball out quickly can eliminate much of the threat of a pass rush. It helps that you have a guy like Travis Kelce who is big enough to go over the middle and has enough wiggle to get open. Or just let that pass rush come and dump it to Tyreek Hill on a screen. It doesn’t always work that way but on paper I can see why the Chiefs design their offense the way they do.