The Kansas City Chiefs have 99 problems, but the final score of all their games haven’t been one of them.
It was another story of offensive ineffectiveness to begin the game paired with great defense and terrific special teams. This Chiefs team has a clear identity. They are going to put the opponent’s quarterback on the ground, intercept his passes, stuff the opposition’s running game, put the opposition in bad field position with Dustin Colquitt, and eventually the offense will score enough points to win.
Offensive woes continue
The Chiefs again struggled on offense against the Oakland Raiders today. Their 216 total yards of offense were further amplified by going four of 14 on third down conversions. In the past two weeks the Chiefs are a combined five of 26, a miserable 19%. Until Kansas City turns in a better offensive performance, questions will continue to abound about how long the defense can keep playing at its high level when it is constantly being asked to make big plays.
Despite the struggles in scoring points and converting third downs, Kansas City continues to take care of the football. The Chiefs did suffer a Donnie Avery lost fumble but three interceptions of Terrelle Pryor today increased their NFL leading turnover margin to a plus 12.
What could be concerning about today’s game is that for the first time this season, Kansas City was on the short side of the time of possession battle. If that trend continues and the Chiefs’ defense has to spend more time on the field than on the sideline, its effectiveness will be compromised. Kansas City plays a high pressure scheme that requires high energy from its players on every down. When the offense isn’t scoring a lot of points, if it also isn’t moving the chains, it puts the defense in a tight spot.
Why those woes don’t matter
As long as the offense can control the clock, the Chiefs’ defense will continue to be one of the best in the NFL. The ten sacks today further padded the Chiefs’ league lead in that category and the interception return for a touchdown also furthered its status as the top scoring defense in the NFL. Kansas City limited Oakland to just 3.9 yards per play today, close to its season average.
Colquitt’s punting average of just over 43 yards today was actually better than his season average of 41.8 and at 19 punts inside the 20 after six games, he is on pace to have the best season of his productive career in that statistic.
Kansas City isn’t going to become an offensive juggernaut anytime soon. They don’t have to be. They have a defense that gets set up by a tremendous punter, doesn’t give up a lot of points and can score on its own. All they really need from the offense is rest. The Chiefs know who they are, and so far that’s led to a perfect season.