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Kansas City Offense Now Carrying the Load

Through the first 12 weeks of the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs were considered a team with a great defense and an offense that was below average. However, over the past month, that has reversed itself. The offense has produced like a top ranked NFL offense, which is positive as the Chiefs head toward the postseason.

One of the biggest reasons the offense has shown great production of late is Andy Reid the head coach has finally started trusting his offensive players.

Reid is considered a guru when it comes to offense, but earlier in the season, the Chiefs offense was one of the most conservative in the league. While Kansas City was winning, the production on offense seemed to be lacking, especially when it came to Alex Smith the quarterback and Dwayne Bowe a wide receiver.

However, over the past month, Reid has opened his offense and that is seen most notably through the play of Smith and Jamaal Charles, the best player on the Chiefs offense.

After 10 games of the season, Smith only had 11 touchdown passes and 2,149 yards with 5.97 yards per pass attempt. At that time, his skeptics seemed correct in the fact that he was only a game manager, who did not lose games, but could not carry an offense.

However, Smith from nowhere has shown an offensive rebirth the past four games with 1,011 yards and 12 touchdowns. His yards per pass attempt have jumped to 8.43, a figure more consistent with top NFL quarterbacks.

Bowe has been helped by Smith’s improvement. During the first 10 games this season, the wide receiver averaged 3.7 receptions per game and 11.5 yards a catch. Over his last four games, Bowe averages about the same receptions per game, but his average per catch has increased to 13.4 yards.

The biggest factor however in the change shown in the Chiefs’ offense is Jamaal Charles. In the first 10 games of the season, Charles had 1,186 yards from scrimmage or an average of 118 per game, while scoring 8 touchdowns.

Over his past four games, Charles has accumulated from scrimmage 650 yards for an average of 162.5 yards per game, while scoring 10 touchdowns.

This season as in the past, Charles has been the team’s focal point in offense. He has accounted for over 38% of the team’s total yards on offense.

Reid has been able to get Charles the ball in open space, which has led to him getting longer gains on passes. Of course, it is easier said than it is done. Early in the season, the Kansas City had troubles with its screen passes.

The play was slow in developing as Charles would have to turn and face Smith, which brought him to a complete stop. The play was easily read by defenders and snuffed on more occasions than not.

Other plays also made the talented Charles come to a complete stop or slow down.

Reid has changed that by moving Charles to different locations on the line a scrimmage. Charles even lined up wide on one occasion.

Screens are now executed quicker getting Charles the ball while in stride which has given defenses less time to react. Just ask the Oakland Raiders who watched Charles scamper for five touchdowns.

With the big improvement in the offense, the Chiefs look much stronger heading into the last two games of the regular season and the playoffs.

If the defense can become healthy once again and make some adjustments in the secondary, the Chiefs could be one of the teams to beat on the road to the Super Bowl.

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