There was good news and bad news in a recent Wall Street Journal story about the Chiefs’ offense.
Let’s start with the bad.
The Journal story, which has the headline “How the Chiefs Offense Fell Into a Slumber,” looked at the team’s offensive woes in the month of November. Author Mike Salfino noted that the Chiefs averaged 29.5 points in their first eight games through October. They averaged just 12 points in November.
The article notes that the November decline of 17.5 points per game was the third largest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger*, behind the 2002 Bills (18.1) and the 2011 Bills (17.6 points).
*Not including the strike years of 1982 and 1987
So what’s the good news?
Well, there are 10 teams on the list of the biggest scoring declines, and all but one* averaged more points after the November slump. The Chiefs and Cowboys are on the list, so they are not included. Of the other eight teams, the average scoring increase was 10.1 points per game.
That bit of historical analysis seems like a good sign for the Chiefs, who have lost four games by fewer than 10 points this season. After starting the year with five straight wins, the Chiefs have dropped five of six and have a 6-5 record. Their lead in the AFC West is down to one game over the Raiders and Chargers.
Here is a snippet of what Salfino wrote about the Chiefs offense:
“Kansas City’s biggest problem is that their entire running game has been missing in action. When their offense was rolling, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid used motion and misdirection to open up holes for Hunt, who set a rookie record by compiling at least 100 yards from scrimmage in his first seven games. But Hunt hasn’t hit the century mark since and generated only 26 scrimmage yards in the team’s 16-10 loss to the Bills in Week 12. Buffalo followed the script teams have recently used to shut the Chiefs down: a zone defense that simply ignores whichever players happen to be racing across the formation just prior to the snap.”
You can read the entire story and see the other teams on the list here.