Inside The Numbers

The Chiefs continue to demonstrate they are effective against the run – except when they aren’t. They held the Texans to less than three yards per carry on 12 of the 22 attempts. But two runs of less than three yards were for touchdown, thus not successful defense against the run.

They were gashed twice by long runs. Derrick Ward scored on a 38-yard touchdown run, the longest run the Chiefs have given up this season. Arian Foster gained 21 yards on another, the third longest run of the year.

Chiefs against the run

Opponent 

Runs/Yds

3-less 

4-plus 

Success+ 

Avg 

San Diego 

29-109

20 

20 

3.7 

At Cleveland 

26-73

15* 

11 

14 

2.8 

San Francisco 

15-43

10* 

2.8 

At Indianapolis 

31-97

19** 

12 

14 

3.1 

At Houston 

22-132

12*** 

10 

10 

6.0 

(Success is defined by the Chiefs defense holding a runner to three or fewer yards unless that run resulted in a first down or touchdown.) * Includes 1-yard touchdown for Cleveland and 2-yard run for first down with San Francisco. ** Includes two “successful” runs for first down and three kneel-downs at the end of the game. ***Includes two runs of less than 3 yards for touchdown.


On first down

While the Chiefs have been fairly good on first downs most of the season, the Texans game was a step back – primarily because of the Texans success throwing on first down. The Texans averaged more than a first down every time they threw on first down. And when you throw three times as many passes on first down as you run, that’s not a good thing.

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said one of his team’s goals for the game was to get a sack in the regular 3-4 front. Ron Edwards accomplished that on a first-and-10 in the second quarter.

Of the Chiefs 11 sacks this season, seven of them have come in passing situations. So while the Chiefs have been effective in stuffing the run on first down (still one of my key criteria for a successful defense), they must also put additional pressure on the quarterback for a more efficient pass defense on first down.

First down run vs. pass breakdown

Opponent 

Runs

Avg. 

Pass* 

Avg. 

San Diego 

19

4.4 

12 

11.3 

@ Cleveland 

14

3.9 

11 

4.2 

San Francisco 

7

3.3 

15 

4.2 

At Indianapolis 

14**

3.5 

17 

6.0 

At Houston 

6

2.2 

20 

11.0 

* Includes sacks and QB scrambles as pass plays. ** One kneel-down at end of game

Sack breakdown

First down

Second down 

Third down 

Total 

Passing situation* 

4

3 

3 

10 

7 

*Passing situation defined as second- or third-and-long (more than 6) or second half when down by more than two scores.

OFFENSE

Matt Cassel had one of his best games of the season, spreading the ball around to a variety of receivers. His average-per-attempt numbers are in the acceptable range and his season average continues to creep up there.

Passing 

Total

Less 7

7-10 yards 

10-plus 

Avg/Att 

Cassel vs. Houston

20-29-201

7* 

6.93 

Season 

78-135-851

24** 

27 

6.30*** 

* Includes a 2-yard pass for touchdown. ** Includes four short-yardage first down or touchdown passes. *** Includes two spikes to stop the clock

Rushing

Both of the running backs were effective against the Texans, each of them knocking down successful runs more than 50 percent of the time (Jones 63.2 percent of the time, Charles 62.5 percent of the time.)

Player 

Tot.

3+/less

4+ 

Big plays 

Successful

Charles vs. Houston

16/93

10 

10 

Season 

66/418

28 

38 

13 

38 

Jones vs. Hou 

19/100

12 

12 

Season 

79/336

40* 

39 

7 

43 

* Includes three short-yardage runs for first down or touchdown.

Receiving

Dwayne Bowe seems to have made strides in becoming more consistent. He caught a pair of touchdown passes against the Texans, and finished with six catches of the nine balls thrown to him. He had no drops. For the season he is Matt Cassel’s favorite target, getting 32 balls tossed his direction.

But guard against this one game being any more significant than last week’s two-drop performance. He must demonstrate consistency over a period of time to believe he has turned the corner toward becoming an elite receiver in the league.

Receiver 

Target

Catches 

Bowe 

32

15 

Moeaki 

26

18 

McCluster 

18

10 

Chambers 

16

Charles 

15

12 

Castille 

7

Jones 

7

Copper 

5

Pope 

3

Vrabel 

1

Cox 

1

Horne 

1

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