In a surprising turn of events, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves facing significant concerns on the offensive front following their Week 9 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
The Chiefs secured their seventh consecutive win with a hard-fought 21-14 triumph in Germany. However, their overall performance did not exude the same level of dominance that has characterized their previous seasons.
This Kansas City team, while still formidable, lacks the same flair that propelled them to five consecutive AFC Championship Games and led the NFL in offense two out of the past three years.
The current Chiefs squad, for the time being, relies heavily on their defense, despite boasting the best quarterback in the NFL. Their offense, while not subpar by any means, falls short of their usual standard.
Presently, they rank seventh in total yards and third in passing yards. However, they need to elevate their game to match their past achievements.
Fortunately, the Chiefs’ defense has stepped up admirably. Cornerback Trent McDuffie, in his second season, has been outstanding, forcing a fumble against Tyreek Hill that resulted in a thrilling lateral touchdown.
In the game against the Dolphins, they held the league’s top-ranked offense to zero points in the first half and a mere 14 points overall.
Throughout the season, they rank fourth in total yards and passing yards allowed, as well as second in points surrendered per game.
With the defense leading the team, the Chiefs must address their offensive shortcomings. Let’s delve into the areas that require improvement.
Chiefs Passing Attack
During the initial drives, the Chiefs’ offense displayed its characteristic brilliance. Patrick Mahomes and his arsenal of weapons effortlessly marched down the field, with quick passes culminating in a touchdown by Rashee Rice. The subsequent scoring drive saw Jerick McKinnon glide into the end zone with minimal resistance after a short pass.
However, for the remainder of the game, the Chiefs’ offense failed to put up any points. This unit lacks the consistency and explosive power it possessed in previous years.
While Mahomes continues to perform at a high level, the magic and spark seem somewhat diminished compared to the connection he had with Tyreek Hill, even in the previous season.
Moreover, the Chiefs currently lack a potent deep passing game with their current set of weapons. While Travis Kelce remains a formidable intermediate threat, the team lacks a receiver who can consistently haul in deep passes like Hill did in the past. Although the Chiefs possess several wide receivers, few stand out as consistent threats beyond Kelce.
On a positive note, there have been some improvements in the Chiefs’ passing game. Players like Rashee Rice are becoming more involved, and the screen game featuring Jerick McKinnon has proven successful.
While this passing attack may not resemble the explosive offense fans have grown accustomed to during the Patrick Mahomes era, it still possesses the ability to win games, particularly with the defense’s current performance.
Chiefs Running Game
The Kansas City running game isn’t a major concern primarily because the Chiefs have never relied heavily on a strong rushing attack with Mahomes at the helm.
However, with the passing attack currently underperforming, it would be beneficial to have a reliable complementary piece on offense to lean on.
Isiah Pacheco has accumulated 525 yards and three touchdowns on 124 carries this season, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. While his statistics are decent, he rarely receives a significant number of carries.
In Week 4, he had 20 carries for 115 yards, but such opportunities have been infrequent. Granting Pacheco more chances, particularly on days when the passing game struggles, could provide a valuable boost to the offense.
Another area of concern for the Chiefs is their propensity for turnovers, which can potentially cost them games. Despite being known for their disciplined play, Kansas City is currently tied for second in the NFL with 17 giveaways. Their turnover differential of -4 also places them among the six worst in the league.
Mahomes, tied for the second-most interceptions this season with eight, needs to exercise caution to avoid jeopardizing the team’s success, especially in the postseason. While his playmaking abilities often compensate for these turnovers, they could prove detrimental if they persist.
Despite the offensive concerns, Chiefs fans can find solace in their team’s overall performance. Despite these perceived struggles, Kansas City boasts an impressive 7-2 record, with one loss occurring when Patrick Mahomes was battling the flu. While the Chiefs may not resemble the dominant force they once were, theyremain a top contender in the league.