Kansas City Chiefs Offense: Scouting Report

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” --Sun Tzu

QB Alex Smith

  • 188-315 (59.7%), 1919 yards (6.1 per attempt), 9 TD's (2.9%), 4 INT (1.3%)
  • Sacked 26 times (almost 3 per game), has been pressured about 41.2% of his total dropbacks (130).
  • 70 of his 315 passes (22.2%) have gone more than 10 yards down the field
  • Last three games has passed better than 65%, has yet to record a 300 yard game, has failed to throw a TD pass in 5 games.
  • Creates some issues with his feet (53 rushes for 265 yards)
  • 71-122 (58.2%) with 2 INT when blitzed.
  • When not pressured, Smith's completion percentage is up (65%) but his yards per attempt (6.5) and Interception percentage (1.2%) remain relatively the same.

HB Jamaal Charles

  • 170 rushes, 723 yards (4.3 YPC), 6 TD, 3 Fumbles
  • 324 yards after contact
  • Most rushing attempts in a game is 22, longest rush of the season is 24 yards
  • 65 targets, 47 receptions, 389 yards (8.3 APR), 2 TD
  • 388 YAC, longest reception is 31 yards
  • Smith has been intercepted twice while targeting Charles
  • Averages 24 touches per game.

TE Sean McGrath, Anthony Fasano, FB Anthony Sherman

  • Your men in two TE sets. McGrath was the starter while Fasano was injured
  • McGrath has 24 targets, 18 receptions for 206 yards (11.4 APR) and 1 TD
  • McGrath has 81 YAC
  • Fasano has 16 targets, 11 receptions for 95 yards (8.6 APR)
  • Sherman has played 232 total snaps meaning the Chiefs go with a two-back set about 36.5% of the time.
  • Not a threat to run--one carry on the season, is a nominal threat in the passing game (13 receptions for 106 yards and a TD).
  • Sherman is the highest rated FB in terms of run blocking according to PFF.

WR Bowe, Avery, and McCluster

These will be your primary targets. Bowe has played the most snaps out of anyone. If the Chiefs are running 22 personnel, he will be your lone WR on the field. If they are running 12 personnel or 21 personnel, he will be one of the 2 WR's on the field. You can call Donnie Avery the #2. McCluster is used primarily as the slot receiver in 3 and 4 wide sets.

It is useless to peg these guys into a specific spot because they are moved around the formations extensively and play different roles depending on personnel and alignments.

  • Dwayne Bowe - 56 targets, 33 receptions, 369 yards (11.2 APR), 120 YAC, 2 TD, 1 INT. Season long is 34 yards.
  • Donnie Avery - 47 targets, 27 receptions, 396 yards (14.7 APR), 146 YAC, 1 TD, 1 Fumble. Season long is 51 yards.
  • Dexter McCluster - 42 targets, 25 receptions, 262 yards (10.5 APR), 143 YAC, 1 TD, 1 INT. Season long is 43 yards.

The Offensive Line

  • LG Jeff Allen and RT Eric Fischer are the weakest links. Both have had terrible seasons run blocking and pass protecting.
  • Eric Fischer has allowed 4 sacks, 3 hits, and 22 hurries
  • Jeff Allen has allowed 2 sacks, 4 hits, and 10 hurries
  • Though LT Branden Albert grades out positively in pass protection, he was allowed 3 sacks, 4 hits, and 12 hurries.

Personnel and Alignments

I went back and recorded the first 9-10 offensive snaps from both the Raiders game and Texans game. Choosing those games was done by random. Below you'll find personnel, alignments, and run/pass by down:

Down

Personnel

Formation

Alignment

Play

1-10

21

Singleback

1x3

Pass

2-17

10

Shotgun

1x3

Pass

3-10

11

Shotgun

3x1 LT

Pass

1-10

11

Pistol

3x1 LT

Run

2-9

22

Power "I"

1x2 RT,RT

Run

3-8

11

Shotgun

2x2

Pass

1-10

12

Pistol

1x1

Run

2-12

11

Pistol

1x3 RT

Pass

3-12

11

Shotgun

1x3 RT

Pass

Down

Personnel

Formation

Alignment

Play

1-10

21

Shotgun

2x2

Pass

2-10

12

Singleback

3x1 LT,LT

Run

3-12

11

Shotgun

3x2

Pass

1-10

21

Power "I"

1x1

Run

2-9

20

Pistol

2x1

Pass

3-9

11

Shotgun

2x2

Pass

1-10

12

Singleback

2x2

Run

2-7

11

Shotgun

2x2

Pass

1-10

22

Power "I"

2x1

Run

1-10

22

Shotgun

2x2

Pass

When I indicate LT/RT, it is just telling you where the TE's are lined up in relation to the offensive line. This is only used when they are inline or tight to the line.

  • The use of heavy personnel (two backs or two TE) occurred 47% of the time (9 snaps)
  • The use of heavy personnel occurred on 1st and 2nd down long (7+yards) exclusively with 7 instances on 1st down (87.5%) You can think of the Chiefs as a heavy personnel team on base downs.
  • The use of light personnel (3-4 WR) occurred 53% of the time (11 snaps)
  • The use of light personnel occurred on 1st down once (12.5%), on 2nd down 4 times (66.7%), and on 3rd down 5 times (100%).

Here is what those personnel groupings look like:

Heavy (21, 22, 12)

Cheifs_21_2_medium

Chiefs_12_medium

Chiefs_22_medium

Light (10, 11, 20)

Chiefs_10_medium

Chiefs_11_medium

Chiefs_20_medium

How to be successful

  • Get pressure on Smith, which isn't difficult. The kind of pressure does not matter, he is equally porous against natural rush as he is against the blitz. Smith recognizes the blitz but also resigns to check the ball down when there are receivers open down the field.
  • Sound fundamentals and tackling are a must. The Chiefs and their short WC passing game is rhythmic and quick. Defenders must wrap up and prevent YAC.
  • Keep down and distance in your favor by winning 1st down. The Chiefs will run some playaction and designed passes on early downs, but remember-they are a WCO first and foremost and most of the passing game is not meant to pick up yardage in chunks. If you can leave them with 3rd and 6 or more consistently, you will get them off the field.
  • With man coverage underneath, a linebacker must be aware of Alex Smith and his scrambling ability. Smith will make first downs with his legs. He isn't a big threat throwing on the run and seemed inaccurate on these occasions.
  • Charles has not shown that big play ability yet, but he is still dangerous and slippery. Just like the receivers, you must wrap up and tackle on first contact.
  • Be aware that the Chiefs will also run some trickery and misdirection plays. It is not outside their realm to dial up the read option, option, or even reverses if they think they can get the edge.
  • Clog up the passing lanes from hashmark to hashmark. Outside the numbers, Smith struggles with ball placement, timing, and therefore accuracy.

This is a grind-em out offense, not one that will get yards and points in bunches. Remain patient and let their own weaknesses stop their progress.

We will bring you more in-depth analysis and breakdowns of specific players and matchups as the week progresses.

GO BRONCOS!!!

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