The Chiefs really kicked Thanksgiving week off with a bang for us fans. I should be thinking about the turkey, brisket and ten pounds of mashed potatoes my Mom is making for Thursday. Instead I’ve had to re-watch the Giants loss a few times, and it was not remotely enjoyable. I watched every snap of the offensive (adjective) offense (noun) twice and I couldn’t find anything I felt would add anything of substance to the conversations we’ve had this week about the loss to the Giants.
Finally, I found something on the third time through for this week’s 45 seconds:
This is what I'm writing about for 45 seconds this week. Yes, just this. I'll explain in the article. pic.twitter.com/du248gG1KK— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 22, 2017
Believe it or not, there’s something significant about this throw. It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s one of the longest plays of the game. There’s something else interesting here. Something we don’t see the rest of the game.
This play is related to the first play somehow:
Any guesses why I would post this play and the one earlier for 45 seconds? It has nothing to do with Kelce. pic.twitter.com/mhUGldQcNh— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 22, 2017
It’s not that Travis Kelce is the target. It’s not the pass was completed, although I’d understand that one as bad as Sunday was. These two plays help tell a story.
Let’s add a third into the mix:
When the ball is on either hash mark, the short side is called the boundary and the wide side is called the field.
The Chiefs had a field throw problem on Sunday. The first pass of the game was the the closest thing the Chiefs had to a field throw all game. The only other completions to the field were in the flats, screens or moving Alex Smith to make the throw easier.
All those screens the Chiefs were throwing to Tyreek Hill? Part of the reason they were probably throwing them so much was to keep defenses honest to the wide side. They were trying to get the Giants to think about more of the field. If that’s what you have to resort to, you’ve got issues.
Square yardage is a big deal in the NFL. The more square yardage teams have to worry about defensively, the easier things can be to move the ball. The Chiefs were predictable and struggled because of the little amount of space the Giants felt threatened in.
On Sunday, the Giants basically had to worry about this when Smith dropped back to pass:
When the Chiefs were rolling, people were having to defend a lot more than that. This week, I mentioned the lack of respect teams are showing the Chiefs and Alex recently. Sunday was a prime example. I’ve seen more teams sitting on shorter routes, especially to the field lately. Fear creates opportunities to run the plays we had so much fun watching the first five weeks.
I’m sure the wind factored into it some, but a good team can’t be deterred by wind if they’re serious about a Super Bowl. The weather is only going to get worse. Alex needs to be able to make throws to the field, and Andy has to call them trusting that he’ll execute them. If Alex can’t, I know someone who can.