The Chiefs' scoring struggles are a feature of the new offense, not a bug.
While mistake like Patrick Mahomes' interceptions and the Week 1 drops against the Lions obviously aren't intentional, Kansas City is purposefully throwing shorter passes to control the clock and provide yards after catch opportunities to its receivers.
As a result, the offense relies on sustained drives instead of huge chunk plays. The Chiefs are scoring less points overall, but Andy Reid is still masterminding an excellent, effective offense that will prove it's among the NFL's best by season end.
Let's look at why the Chiefs offense is better than you think. It's not time to panic quite yet, folks.
Shocking Stats Prove Chiefs Offense is Still Elite
Previous iterations of Patrick Mahomes-led offenses relied on chunk plays and quick scores. With an aging Travis Kelce and a group of young, unproven wide receivers, Andy Reid adjusted his plan to take advantage of his personnel's skillset and a dominant defense.
The Chiefs are averaging just 24.5 points per game this season after putting up at least 28.2 every year of Mahomes' career, but a few key indicators suggest Kansas City's offense is simply a more mature version of previous iterations.
Kansas City is the only team in the NFL with four players in the top 25 in yards after catch per reception (Isiah Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon, Rashee Rice and Noah Gray). That doesn't even include Kelce, who routinely ranks among the league's best tight ends in yards after catch.
This Chiefs team is loaded with players that are excellent in space but struggle to make contested catches. Letting those players break tackles and add yards that way is a logical, purposeful decision by Reid and Matt Nagy.
Chiefs' Time of Possession Indicates Excellence
Through six weeks, Patrick Mahomes has the lowest average depth of target (6.5 yards) in his career. His average depth of target was 9.1 yards in his first season starting, so we're seeing a completely different Mahomes.
As a result, the Chiefs are controlling the clock more. Kansas City ranks fifth in average time of possession (32:33) after ranking in the bottom half of the league for most of Mahomes' tenure.
By controlling possession with shorter plays, the Chiefs are maintaining effectiveness while keeping their defense off the field and putting pressure on opposing team's offenses. If you have a rested defense unloading on a pressing offense, you're going to find success.
Brett Veach, Reid and the rest of the decisionmakers understand how good this defense is. They're maximizing the Chiefs' defensive excellence by adjusting the offense. If not for the baffling Week 1 drops and a few ill-timed Mahomes interceptions, we'd be talking about this offense in a completely different light.
This has a chance to be Kansas City's best team under Mahomes. It's certainly the most balanced and the Chiefs are doing a terrific job maximizing the abilities of the roster.
Stay patient, Chiefs Kingdom. The offense is still elite and these scoring struggles are part of the process. When the season is over, we'll look back and laugh that we ever freaked out about an offense led by Mahomes and Reid.
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