The Dick Vermeil-led Kansas City Chiefs offense was as good as you remember. In a ranking of the 30 best offenses of the last 30 years, Football Outsiders includes three Chiefs offenses and you can bet they weren’t the ones with Alex Smith leading them.
First, what Football Outsiders did is use their stat DVOA to rank the offenses of the past 30 years. Why 30? Because that’s how far back their stats go.
“Our DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) metric accounts for all [variables], measuring success on each play based on down and distance, then comparing it with an NFL average baseline adjusted for situation and opponent,” Schatz writes. “0 percent DVOA represents the league average, so an offense with a +30 percent mark rated 30 percent better than an average unit.”
The Chiefs had three offenses in the top 30:
13. 2004 Chiefs
7. 2003 Chiefs
4. 2002 Chiefs
Sigh. The reason this is a little depressing for me is because those Chiefs went 8-8, 13-3 and 7-9 with no playoff wins. Football Outsiders called this group “the great forgotten offensive juggernaut of the modern NFL.”
The 2003 season ended with the no punt game against Peyton Manning and the Colts (always the Colts). You go look at another dominant team on this list, the Patriots, and they have the rings to show for it. The Chiefs don’t. That’s a little depressing.
Still, that era was fun as hell. It was fun knowing you were almost guaranteed a 30-point game. This was over 10 years ago before offenses really took off. The Greatest Show On Turf had just come out a couple years before.