Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Another look at the turnover ratio and the Chiefs 2008 season.

In their last four games the Chiefs have finished even, plus-3, plus-3 and plus-2 in the turnover ratio. That’s four games and a plus-eight in turnovers.

Yet, they lost all four of those games, falling to Tennessee, the New York Jets, Tampa Bay and San Diego.

History tells us that should not have happened.

Over the 20 seasons prior to this one, Chiefs teams have won 75.5 percent of the games where they finished on the plus side of the turnover ratio. This year they have won 25 percent of their games on the plus side, as they are 1-3 in those games.

It’s just another example of how truly unusual this season has been for the Chiefs. Ask players and coaches about the turnover ratio not leading to victory and they are dumbfounded.

“You hear from the time you start playing football that turnovers are the key to victory,” said linebacker Rocky Boiman. “To get them and then not take advantage of the numbers is hard to understand.”

Over the 20 seasons (1988-2007) previous to this one, the Chiefs won 76 percent of the games when they were on the plus-side of the turnover ratio. They lost 75 percent of the games when they were on the minus-side of the ratio.

Here are the numbers:

Turnover

Ratio

Chiefs Rec.

1988-2007

 

%

Chiefs Rec.

2008

 

%

+7

1-0

1.000

   
+6

1-0

1.000

   
+5

7-0

1.000

   
+4

16-3

.842

   
+3

14-4

.777

1-2

.333

+2

43-9-2

.815

0-1

.000

+1

34-21

.618

   
E

35-25

.583

0-2

.000

-1

21-36

.368

0-2

.000

-2

7-27

.206

0-1

.000

-3

1-18

.053

   
-4

0-4

.000

   
-5

0-3

.000

   

 

The Chiefs have been plus on turnovers the last three games. At no other point in the past 20 years did the Chiefs string together three straight games on the plus-side without at least one victory.

“I know this, if we can keep taking the ball away, it will start to bounce our way,” said Herm Edwards. “There’s too much history there. We know how important turnovers are for a team.”

A LOOK AT THE WORLD OF LARRY JOHNSON

As he returned to the Chiefs this week, Larry Johnson has kept his mouth shut. He’s turned down interview requests, simply saying he’s better off not saying anything right now.

There’s plenty of truth to that. With two court dates approaching in less than a month, and now a civil lawsuit filed against him, there’s nothing much that can be gained from him speaking.

ESPN.com’s Jeff Chadiha posted a piece on Friday about L.J. that is a pretty good overall view of the situation. Chadiha has an interesting perspective, being a national football writer who lives in Kansas City.

Although it’s always dangerous for the media to play psychologist, there’s nothing in this story that hasn’t been spoken about publicly and privately about Johnson’s situation over the last few years.

Check it out right here.

FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY

On November 15, 1970, the Chiefs beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-14 at Three Rivers Stadium. Leading 10-0 at half-time, the Chiefs came out and scored 21 points in the second half as they dominated the home team in a light rain. TE Billy Cannon caught a pair of TD passes from QB Len Dawson from 20 and eight yards. Dawson had a third touchdown throw, a 42-yard toss to WR Otis Taylor. RB Robert Holmes added a two-yard TD run. The Chiefs defense picked off five passes from Pittsburgh QBs Terry Hanratty and Terry Bradshaw. S Johnny Robinson had two, with LB Bobby Bell, CB Jim Marsalis and S Jim Kearney getting one each.

On November 15, 1992, the Chiefs beat the Washington Redskins 35-16 at Arrowhead Stadium. A crowd of 75,238 fans saw the Chiefs jump out to a 28-0 lead at half-time and cruise to victory over Washington. RB Christian Okoye had a pair of TD runs, while RB Harvey Williams had his own rushing score. QB Dave Krieg threw a pair of touchdown passes, connecting for 35 and 44 yards to WR Tim Barnett. Krieg was 19 of 29 for 302 yards. The Chiefs defense picked off Washington QB Mark Rypien, as S Charles Mincy grabbed the interception, while DE Neil Smith had two sacks and DT Dan Saleaumua had one.

OPPONENT NEXT/NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Saints are struggling to gain an identity in a season where injuries have sapped a lot of players from the roster.

Reggie Bush is one of five Saints who will not make the trip to Kansas  City to face the Chiefs on Sunday.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Indications are that the Rooney Brothers have worked out an agreement to put the team in the hands of oldest brother Dan and his family.  The price apparently is in the neighborhood of $750 million for 64 percent of the team.

Veteran safety John Lynch will formally announce  his retirement on Monday in Tampa.

It appears that Kyle Orton will return this Sunday to quarterback the Chicago Bears.

AROUND THE AFC WEST

Notes from ChargersLand, including the inside story on that Nike ad where L.T. runs into Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu.  They’ll see each other again on Sunday.

The Raiders will be paying the price for signing DeAngelo Hall and Javon Walker well into next season.  Hall is gone and Walker  is facing major surgery and his ’09 future is in doubt.

Injuries have the Broncos shuffling the deck at linebacker in their defense.


17 Responses to “Saturday Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 15, 2008  - Byzkit says:

    the chadiha article is great love or hate lj its a must read for every chiefs fan


  • November 15, 2008  - ED says:

    I’m just hoping LJ gets his life together. Hopefully if he can do that it will equate to him being back successful on the football field. The most important thing though is for him to grow up and mature as man.


  • November 15, 2008  - Uncuffed says:

    Does Herm actually not understand there are other correlations at work with win/loss than just turnover ratio? His comment below is awfully short sighted.

    “I know this, if we can keep taking the ball away, it will start to bounce our way,” said Herm Edwards. “There’s too much history there. We know how important turnovers are for a team.”

    Doesn’t he realize that we’re much worse than most teams (i.e. the ones the stats are based off)? You could spot a high school team 10 turnovers, but I bet an NFL team would still beat them.

    This is typical Herm “Things are not my fault and are beyond my control” Edwards. Like after last year when he said that awful years happen to every team given enough time, as if it had nothing to do with the decisions made by management and coaching and was just handed down by the nfl gods.

    …and here comes Ed to talk about his favorite word “agenda”, as if I make this stuff up.


  • November 15, 2008  - Rich says:

    I agree that this is an excellent review of the time and trials of Larry Johnson both as a player and private ciitzen. Hindsight is always 20-20 but I was stunned when Peterson gave LJ that huge contract before the 2007 season given his past behavior to that point AND the huge number of carries the guy racked up in 2005-06.

    Given those two factors, we could almost see what was coming: A more surly Larry and one who’s best days as a NFL RB were behind him and yet, CP uncharacteristically (for him) caves in and offers the big $$ contract.

    Given the current team W-L record and the rebuilding going on, I’m wondering what the upside of having Larry on the team for the remainder of 2008? Yeah I know, the MASH unit for Chief’s RBs at present, but still. This guy is a bad actor, a smoldering powder keg sure to explode again in some fashion and not doing the team chemistry any favors.

    I say, adios Larry. Be sure and write if you find work.


  • November 15, 2008  - ILChiefsFan says:

    It does seem pretty obvious that when your defense is giving up over 400 yards per game the impact of takeaways will be diminished.

    It’s interesting to note that the bulk of Chiefs recent takeaways have been in their own end. Takeways in the opponents end have been converted into points. This points to the need for further improvement in offensive consistency (i.e., the ability to consistently get multiple 1st downs on drives).

    By the way, I was at that Chiefs-Redskins game in 1992. What a glorious day. The Chiefs just dominated a Redskins team that was pretty solid.


  • November 15, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Keep up the great work Coach Edwards. All of KC is behind you and we know that you will lead us back to glory very soon now.

    AND NOW, Clark Hunt has RE-affirmed Herm’s The Man!

    :-)


  • November 15, 2008  - findthedr says:

    Great posts uncuffed. I know it can get frustrating, but keep up the good work!

    Rin, your posts are straight up spam.


  • November 15, 2008  - BlakeB says:

    Uncuffed,
    I was unaware that the Chiefs stats don’t matter in the NFL. I’m curious how you came to that conclusion.
    Yes, great post…Keep up the good work.
    Also, I just heard that Herm has released the entire offense because they can’t take the ball away from the opponent. And like you pointed out, he doesn’t understand there are other things that contribute to a w/l record.


  • November 15, 2008  - Tim says:

    FIRE GUNTHER CUNNINGHAM!


  • November 15, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    What is he, a missle?

    :-)


  • November 15, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    A loose cannon?

    :-)


  • November 15, 2008  - Carlm says:

    Just some quick comments for findthedr. One, I am not a Peterson supporter. The first 9years he was with KC I was. But for the last 10, I have been really sick of his plug and play ideals. Two, I’m still not sure whether I support Herm. But, I am going to give him a chance. My thing is. I was fan in the late 70′s and 80′s when most all of you wouldn’t even be commenting on anything because they lost a lot. I like Marty shottenheimer his first 5 years but Marty ball got old. I liked Gunther when he was the head coach. I even liked the first 2 years of vermeil. After a while you just get sick of 13-3 seasons and no superbowl. None of us know the future. They have gone to a younger team. Let us see what happens. We could all disappear in the next 30mins and none of this would matter. Enjoy the team for what it is. We don’t own the KC Chiefs. Clark Hunt does. The family has been in the business of football for a long time. Lamar was a very sentimental person. Hence 20 years of Peterson. I’m patient, I wish some of you were too.


  • November 15, 2008  - findthedr says:

    CarlM,

    a very reasonable, well-thought out and written, and polite post! I will try to respond in kind.

    I judge the orginazation on actual production. You have been a fan of the team during very dark days, and the chiefs under Herm have (statistically) been equally as bad:

    -The Chiefs had 127 yards of offense against Carolina, their lowest total since losing 20-7 to Marty’s Browns in 1986. At least in that game, Kansas City was able get a touchdown.
    -Fewest rushing yards in a non-strike season.
    -Fewest rushing yards in a game (10) in 42 years, vs. the Jags.
    -Fewest points in a season.
    -Longest losing streak in a season.
    -Currently 1 wins in the last 18 games.
    -Most losses in a season.
    Edwards now has three of the seven worst regular season, non-strike losses in Chiefs history, more than any other Chiefs coach, including Paul Wiggin.

    1976. 45-0 vs Pittsburgh. Paul Wiggins.
    1984. 45-0 at Seattle. John Mackovic.
    2006. 45-7 at Pittsburgh. HERM EDWARDS.
    1977. 44-7 at Cleveland. Paul Wiggins.
    1994. 44-10 at Buffalo. Marty Schottenhiemer.
    2007. 41-7 at Denver. HERM EDWARDS.
    2008. 34-0 at Carolina. HERM EDWARDS.

    Herm’s coaching record with the Jets and KC:
    2001. 10-6 third. 0-1 playoffs.
    2002. 9-7 first (3 way tie). 1-1 playoffs.
    2003. 6-10 third.
    2004. 10-6 second. 1-1 playoffs.
    2005. 4-12 last.
    2006. 9-7 second. 0-1 playoffs.
    2007. 4-12 last.
    2008. 1-7

    His record speaks for itself. But, I’m going to add to it anyway. His teams are wildly inconsistent, and THAT is coaching. He has only had two consecutive winning seasons. TWO! And those were his first two coaching seasons, when he was still using someone else’s players.

    Current Chiefs team stats:
    Scoring Defense: 27
    Total Defense: 32
    Passing Defense: 23
    Rushing Defense: 32
    Scoring Offense: 29
    Total Offense: 25
    Passing Offense: 26
    Rushing Offense: 16

    The only reason the team has been competitive the last 3 wks is because Herm was forced to go away from his R2P2 ‘smashmouth, I-formation, ball controll’ offense and into a spread ‘college ball’ offense that more closely resembles the chiefs ‘greatest show on turf’ under the vermiel era which Herm has been on record (over many interviews) as saying negative things about.


  • November 15, 2008  - findthedr says:

    There are probably other Herm Edwards ‘records’ that I forgot, but here is one that comes to mind CarlM,

    -21pts is the largest blown lead in chiefs history (against tampa bay). Coincidentally, it was also Tampa’s greatest come from behind win.


  • November 15, 2008  - ED says:

    Turnovers is a good thing. The defense needs to continue that trend,but what they don’t need to do is depend on that to stop the opposing team’s offense. You can’t create turnovers on one possesion and then give up touchdowns on the next. You have to get off the field on 3rd downs. The Bengals defense was like that back in 2005 they created alot of turnvers but dat was the only way they could stop the opposing offense they still gave up too many yards and touchdowns.

    I give Herm and Gunther credit they did play better last Sunday despite all the injuries on defense. Hopefully they can continue that this Sunday against another high powered offense.


  • November 16, 2008  - findthedr says:

    KC record is 1-9 and 1 win in the last 19 games. Worst record in that span.




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