It is a good thing Kansas City is returning some of these turnovers for touchdowns, because otherwise they may not be able to score.
Kansas City has scored 215 points this season, third most in the AFC and ninth in the NFL. However, 49 of the Chiefs points have come from return touchdowns from either the defense or special teams. Tamba Hali has two touchdowns this season, which ties him for second on the team in touchdowns with Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster. Take away the return touchdowns and the Chiefs offense is averaging only 18.4 points per game.
In Kansas City’s last five games the offense has managed to produce just seven touchdowns in 59 drives.
This highlights just how inept Kansas City’s scoring offense has been. Breaking things down by touchdown leaders help exemplify 1) how amazing Jamaal Charles is and 2) how difficult it has been for the Chiefs to get into the end zone on offense.
Rest of the Offense: 8
Defense and Special Teams Returns: 7
Or you can look at it this way…
Touchdown Leaders By Individuals
Nine other tied at 1
Or you can look at it this one final way…
Denver: 40 (8 games)
San Diego: 20 (8 games)
Chiefs: 16 (9 games)
Oakland: 15 (8 games)
All of this is to say two-thirds of the Chiefs scoring output is from Charles and return touchdowns. Counting on Charles to score is more reasonable than to think Kansas City will continue to produce touchdowns on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams.
The second half of the season is going to need to require a far more productive scoring offense – one that is definitively more potent than Oakland’s – for Kansas City to win the AFC West. Yes, the Chiefs are about ball control and field position, but one can have a time consuming drives that score touchdowns.
The Chiefs do not have to be some air it out offense to beat the Broncos, but they do have to be able to score with some kind of regularity. Otherwise, without more touchdowns from the offense, the Chiefs may find themselves as a 13-win wild card team.