Let’s begin here: It’s been seven weeks. There is still plenty of time for the Chiefs to figure things out and get on a roll. Anthony Fasano is back, the full offensive line is healthy for what seems like the first time all season, and players are only going to get a better understanding of what Andy Reid is trying to do schematically.
So, no, this isn’t hopeless.
But it doesn’t change the fact that Kansas City’s offense is a liability to their postseason ambitions.
Much has been made about how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens each won Super Bowls with great defenses and below average offenses. While those teams did have great defenses – we’ll get to them later – they also had more efficient scoring offenses than what many would lead you to believe.
Baltimore in 2000 and Tampa Bay in 2002 each scored more points with their offense than what the Chiefs are on pace to do this season. And it is not really that close.
Percentage of Offensive Drives Ending in a Score (TD or FG)
- 2000 Ravens: 32.8% (29 TD, 35 FG)
- 2002 Buccaneers: 32.6% (29 TD, 32 FG)
- 2013 Chiefs: 28.9% (14 TD, 12 FG)
Since 2000, which is when Pro-Football-Reference started keeping track of the scoring percentage stat, only one team has won the Super Bowl with a scoring percentage below 30: 2003 New England Patriots, 27.9%.
If there was a team people should really be pointing to as a the bastion for Chiefs Super Bowl Hope it would be the 2003 Patriots. New England’s offense produced just 29 touchdowns and 25 field goals, turned the ball over at a 11.3% clip, and barely eclipsed 5000 yards (5039).
Kansas City’s current pace?
32 touchdowns and 27 field goals, 5291 total yards, 8.9% turnover percentage. However, keep in mind that the rates of these stats will have a tough time getting better as the Chiefs have the 7th ranked future schedule in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. There’s a very real chance the Chiefs will end up with offensive numbers similar to what New England produced in 2003.
So how did the Patriots win the Super Bowl? They were number one in scoring defense and number two in forcing turnovers. KC ranks first in both categories through seven weeks.
But that also shows you how small the margin of error is for the Chiefs. KC defense has to remain the best in the NFL all season, especially in the playoffs. If the ball stops bouncing their way on fumbles or if offenses decided to be more conservative on offense to limit the effectiveness of KC’s pass rush, turnovers are going to be harder to create.
Going and potentially winning the Super Bowl is going to require KC’s offense to start scoring more points. There is no two ways about this. Can the Chiefs win the Super Bowl under their current formula? Yes, however, the odds are extremely small. Improving the offensive output will go a long way towards improving those odds.