Analysis

Chiefs have a history of taking their foot off the gas with big leads

The Chiefs seem to have an issue with letting teams back into games that have been on the verge of defeat. We’ve seen it too many times this season, the Chiefs will get out to a big lead, usually around the second quarter, then they seem to relax and let their guard down allowing the opponent an opening to scratch and claw their way back into the game.

It’s not just this season either; the Chiefs and Big Red have a history of taking their foot off the gas and almost refusing to, it seems, bury the opposing squad in a barrage of points. They need to find a way to keep their guard up and foot down or else it could end up costing them one of these Sundays.

It’s hard to argue that the Chiefs have a problem with complacency or letting their foot off the gas when they are 14-2, but that is exactly what seems to happen more often than not. Instead of games ending with the Chiefs easily handling their business, there have been a handful of close games. Out of the 16 games that the Chiefs have played, eight of those have been close.

This season the Chiefs have scored 29.6 PPG (Points Per Game) and their opponents have scored 22.5. Andy Reid said, “You have a tendency to let up and you have to fight that on both sides of the ball. That’s human nature but you have to fight that sort of thing. You’ve got to power through that and learn as you go, how to finish.” Learning how to finish is extremely important and it seems like the Chiefs have gotten into a bad habit of letting big leads slip away. 

With the abundance of talent the Chiefs have at the running back position, this would seem like a good approach, but the running backs can’t gain much ground if they don’t have any holes to run through, no matter how talented they may be.

With the banged-up and piecemealed together offensive line the Chiefs have, the running backs didn’t have any openings through which to run, which allowed the Dolphins to put up 17 unanswered points in the 4thquarter alone and drag themselves, kicking and screaming back into the game. Unfortunately, this has become a recurring theme that Chiefs fans have become all too familiar with.

It is no secret that the Kansas City Chiefs have a common theme of establishing an early lead only to then let off the gas a little bit in the second half of the game. Establishing early leads is part of Mahomes’ make-up.

He is an explosive quarterback paired with an explosive offense, as well as an offensive mastermind in Andy Reid. With both the Eagles and the Chiefs, Reid has had his offenses finishing in the Top 10 13 different times. That is extremely impressive, but the Chiefs cannot lose their focus and they have to stay aggressive the entire game.

One thing that seems to come up again and again is the aspect of wanting to run the clock down, but the running game is not the strongest part of this team or this offense, especially with Clyde potentially out for the rest of the season. Our run game has been successful when the running game is sprinkled in on top of the passing game, not when it is the go-to.

As we enter the playoffs, hopefully the Chiefs can remedy this problem as they did in last years playoffs. The Chiefs never had the chance for this issue last year, as they let the opponents get out to the big leads first, then came storming back time after time. This was most notable in overcoming a 24 point deficit against the Texans in last year’s divisional round.

Hopefully, the Chiefs can come out of the gates strong this year and save everyone, including themselves, the heartburn of having to scramble from behind and keep their foot down and blow their opponents out like they are fully capable of doing.

With the weapons this offense possesses, it is easily doable. If Andy can pass first, and sprinkle in the rushing attack second, I think the Chiefs will be sitting pretty. However if Andy gets too rush happy in an effort to run out the clock, we could be in for some blood pressure raising contests. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen this year.

2 comments

  1. Another great article, with good insights. Indeed the Chiefs have not been very good this year covering ATS (against the spread). Although on their behalf, some of the spreads have been pretty large.

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