The Kansas City Chiefs have hit their bye week undefeated and despite the unblemished record, there is plenty of work to be done at One Arrowhead Way. Most of the effort should go toward the offensive side of the ball, but there is some attention the defense needs as well.
Last week the potential for this defense to allow the opponent to run the ball effectively was exposed by the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City’s run defense hasn’t been as good as its pass defense all season, but until last week it hadn’t really hurt the Chiefs. With two games left on their schedule against teams in the top ten of the NFL in rushing yards, improvement against the run is a priority for Kansas City.
Offensive improvement needed
Offensively, improvement must start up front. Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith has been under pressure in most of his dropbacks so far this season and Kansas City’s yards per carry average ranks 14th in the NFL. In order for the Chiefs to develop any semblance of a vertical passing game, the protection must improve both to give Smith time to read the coverage and for the wide receivers to create space.
Incorporating running back Knile Davis more into the offense to try to give Jamaal Charles some plays off may be something Kansas City looks at as well. Through the Chiefs’ first nine games, Davis has only 18 touches. Davis is a fumble risk, but right now he’s the clear number two for Kansas City at running back.
Getting healthy in Kansas City
There’s no one listed on the official injury report for Kansas City right now, so getting healthy isn’t an issue for the Chiefs. There is however, a piece of news to report in that CB Sanders Commings, Kansas City’s fifth-round pick this past April, has come off the injured reserve and will begin to get reps in practice. Commings should make an already talented secondary even deeper.
This week is the Chiefs’ deep breath before plunging into their final seven games of the season. How those seven games go will somewhat depend on what use Kansas City makes of this time to prepare.