Kansas Chiefs Offense charted out vs Denver Week 2

Hi to all who are taking time out of their day to read this blog, which I always love to check out for Dolphins related content. I am extremely honored to be asked to post to the blog, and am going to try and bring fresh content on a weekly basis. For my debut post, I decided to check out the Chiefs offense in focus for one game, to see how they dispatch their personnel, to see what trends and tendencies one might find by studying their offense. What follows is what I charted out for the past game vs Denver, and after, I will try to make sense of it while also giving my opinion on certain things the Dolphins defense must pay attention to and be ready for to have success on Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs ran a total of 80 plays, and credit goes to Andy Reid for having an equal 40 play split from both the shotgun and with Alex Smith under center. They used a variety of formations and personnel groupings, When the offense was under center, the run/pass ratio equaled out to 21 runs, 18 passes, and 1 play in which Alex Smith lost control of the ball while carrying out end around action, and it was tough to tell if he intended to hand the ball off or not. When the offense was in shotgun, however, the run/pass ratio was far less balanced, with 9 runs, compared to 31 runs.

1st down under center saw the Chiefs run 22 plays from under center, with 15 runs and 7 passes. When in shotgun on first down, the Chiefs ran 13 plays, 5 of which were run, while 8 of these play calls were passes. 2nd down under center saw the Chiefs run 14 plays from under center, with 6 runs, 7 passes, and the aforementioned Alex Smith mishandling of the ball. 2nd down plays from the shotgun was where you began to see the Chiefs become pass heavy, with only 2 runs compared to 11 pass plays. 3rd down with the Chiefs under center saw all 4 plays be passes, while the shotgun had a ratio of only 2 runs compared to 12 pass plays.

My gut feeling looking at these numbers led me to the following conclusions: Andy Reid had two things that he was really trying to accomplish, protect his offensive line and keep his offense out of obvious passing situations, while controlling the ball and keeping it out of Peyton Manning's hands at the same time. I think our defensive line is every bit as good as Denver's, and given the state of the Chiefs offensive line, I expect a similar approach from Reid and Co. in this football game.

As for a personnel grouping breakdown, this is what I found:

Under Center, 1st Down

11 personnel-2 plays (2 pass)
12 personnel-6 plays (4 run, 2 pass)
20 personnel-3 plays (2 run, 1 pass)
21 personnel-9 plays (8 runs, 1 pass)
22 personnel-2 plays (2 runs)

Under Center, 2nd Down

11 personnel-4 plays (2 runs, 1 pass, Alex Smith mishandle)
12 personnel-8 plays (3 runs, 5 pass)
13 personnel-1 play (1 pass)
21 personnel-1 play (1 run)

Under Center, 3rd Down

11 personnel-2 plays (2 pass)
13 personnel-1 play (1 pass)
22 personnel-1 play (1 pass)

Shotgun, 1st Down

10 personnel-1 play (1 pass)
11 personnel-6 plays (3 runs, 3 pass)
12 personnel-1 play (1 run)
13 personnel-1 play (1 pass)
21 personnel-2 plays (1 run, 1 pass)
22 personnel-2 plays (2 pass)

Shotgun, 2nd Down

11 personnel-10 plays (2 runs, 8 pass)
12 personnel-3 plays (3 pass)

Shotgun, 3rd Down

11 personnel-9 plays (2 runs, 7 pass)
12 personnel-5 plays (5 pass)

Things I noticed:

When the Chiefs want to run the football, they have no hesitation letting it be known by putting Anthony Sherman on the field, They sprinkled in some play action, but it was few and far between.

They used end around action on multiple occasions, never handing the ball off, but to run to the vacated space, or to widen the defense opening up extra space for runs up the middle.

The Chiefs use a lot of motion, with the main emphasis being one of two things, either as coverage identifiers, or to get into a stack/bunch look to allow for free releases for their targets in the passing game.

The routes being utilized were very much so in the short to intermediate area, the deep developing routes involved keeping a TE in to help block and allow for the WR's to get down the field.

All 3 times the Chiefs got Demetrius Harris on the field, they kept Fasano in to block and had both Harris/Kelce release down the field. Kelce is much like he was in college, a big body who gives Smith a reliable target. However, outside of obvious passing situations, Fasano was the TE who stayed on the field when they only went with one.

Alex Smith is very dangerous with his legs, multiple times he hurt the Broncos defense when they played man and had defenders backs to the defense. His ability to manipulate the pocket is one of his very underrated traits, it is critical that our defensive line maintain their rush lanes. Say what you want about Smith, he is very good at helping the offense secure first downs, he doesn't make unforced errors.

The Chiefs showed the zone read on a few occasions, with packaged concepts included. One of the things that Andy Reid allows for Alex Smith is built-in slants and bubble screens, on 3 plays Smith aborted his handoff to turn and throw to these built-in concepts. Reid also liked to isolate Travis Kelce on the backside of multiple plays, and was unafraid to move him all over the formation trying to find the right matchup.

My Final Thoughts

This is a game where the LB's are going to be the key to this game, as well as tackling on the perimeter, and in the open field. Reid is a master in the screen game, and though it didn't show up a lot in the Broncos game, it is a great tool to help an over matched offensive line. Our defensive line will have to exhibit a great deal of patience, as I don't expect to see a whole lot of long developing routes, and they use a lot of bunch/stack looks in which Alex Smith literally wastes no time getting the ball to the correct man with accuracy.

While Donnie Avery and AJ Jenkins have some speed, I don't believe they will get behind the defense. Stopping both Travis Kelce and Dwayne Bowe and getting them to the ground with as little yards after catch as possible will be key. Red Zone defense will be even more critical in this game than most, as Alex Smith and Andy Reid will most likely be able to scheme their way to move the football between the twenties.