Reviewing the Kansas City Chiefs 2009 Season

DENVER - JANUARY 03: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Next up on my continuing 2009 NFL Season Reviews is the Kansas City Chiefs, who have the 5th pick this year’s draft. Like the Rams, Lions, and Buccaneers, the Chiefs entered the 2009 season with a new head coach. They also had a new GM who brought in Matt Cassel to be his quarterback. While KC did get a signature win this year by knocking off the defending champs, they still lost many games to finish at 4-12. Still, that was a two game improvement over their previous year. Three of those four wins came after releasing Larry Johnson, who was probably their most famous player at that time. Jamaal Charles, shown above, filled in very nicely for the departed Johnson. With those signs of improvement and with changes that they made at the top of the organization, there is hope for a return to glories past.

In this post, I will follow the same format as with the first four season review posts. The formula is described in this paragraph. First, we will look at the team’s Offensive and Defensive values and ranks for total yards, points, passing and rushing. This will give a general feel for the team’s season. Next, we have a set of tables that compares the team’s points scored and allowed as well as their total yards, and passing and rushing yards, gained and allowed for each game. These values will be compared with the respective opponent’s corresponding averages, with the differences between the team’s value and the opponent’s average calculated. Finally, I included a sum of the differences for the entire season. This should give a good indication of how the team’s various units performed with respect to their opposition as well as which units performed better or worse. (Note: All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference.com)

With that background description, let’s see how the Chiefs performed this season. First, we’ll look at their raw numbers in terms of offensive and defensive yards and league rankings.   

Team Offense Value Rank   Team Defense Value Rank
Points 294 23   Points 424 29
Yards 4851 25   Yards 6211 30
Cmp 296   Cmp 302
Att 536   Att 509
Pass Yards 2922 25   Pass Yards 3707 22
NY/A 5 29   NY/A 7 28
Pass TD 18 21   Pass TD 25 20
Pass INTs 17 17   Pass INTs 15 16
Rush Yards 1929 11   Rush Yards 2504 31
Rush TD 8 25   Rush TD 18 26
Y/A 4.4 8   Y/A 4.7 31
Sacks 45 27   Sacks 22 31

Table 1

As one would expect for a 4-12 team, KC ranked pretty poorly in many categories. There were a couple of bright spots in the rushing game and in passing defense. The Chiefs were 11th in rushing yards gained and 8th in yards per attempt. They were  also 16th in defensive interceptions. But, it seems that their two biggest weaknesses were in passing offense and rushing defense.

Now that we’ve looked at the general overview, let’s look at the game by game statistical tables. Table 2 contains the Chiefs’ points scored and allowed in each game next to the opponents’ average defensive points allowed and average offensive points scored. It also shows Kansas City’s points scored minus the opponent’s average points allowed and their  points allowed minus the opponent’s average points scored. For the Diff1 column, a positive number would be good, while for the Diff2 column, a negative number would be good.


KC Pts Opp D
Opp Pts Opp O
Opp Score Avg Pt Diff1 Score Avg Pt Diff2
Baltimore Ravens 24 16.31 7.69 38 24.44 13.56
Oakland Raiders 10 23.69 -13.69 13 12.31 0.69
Philadelphia Eagles 14 21.06 -7.06 34 26.81 7.19
New York Giants 16 26.69 -10.69 27 25.13 1.88
Dallas Cowboys 20 15.63 4.38 26 22.56 3.44
Washington Redskins 14 21 -7 6 16.63 -10.63
San Diego Chargers 7 20 -13 37 28.38 8.63
Jacksonville Jaguars 21 23.75 -2.75 24 18.13 5.88
Oakland Raiders 16 23.69 -7.69 10 12.31 -2.31
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 20.25 6.75 24 23 1
San Diego Chargers 14 20 -6 43 28.38 14.63
Denver Broncos 13 20.25 -7.25 44 20.38 23.63
Buffalo Bills 10 20.38 -10.38 16 16.13 -0.13
Cleveland Browns 34 23.44 10.56 41 15.31 25.69
Cincinnati Bengals 10 18.19 -8.19 17 19.06 -2.06
Denver Broncos 44 20.25 23.75 24 20.38 3.63
Sum Difference     -40.56     94.69

Table 2

This table indicates that the defense was more of a problem than the offense, although both units scored or allowed worse then their opponents averages for the season. The differential in defensive points allowed was more than twice that of the points scored. Looking at Table 3, below, we see almost the exact same story.


KC Yds Opp D
Opp Yds Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Yd Diff1 Gained Avg Yd Diff2
Baltimore Ravens 188 300.5 -112.5 501 351.19 149.81
Oakland Raiders 409 361.94 47.06 166 266.13 -100.13
Philadelphia Eagles 196 321.06 -125.06 420 357.88 62.13
New York Giants 212 324.88 -112.88 429 366 63
Dallas Cowboys 304 315.88 -11.88 498 399.38 98.63
Washington Redskins 268 319.69 -51.69 265 312.38 -47.38
San Diego Chargers 203 326.88 -123.88 403 360.06 42.94
Jacksonville Jaguars 301 352.31 -51.31 426 336.56 89.44
Oakland Raiders 318 361.94 -43.94 272 266.13 5.88
Pittsburgh Steelers 282 305.31 -23.31 516 371.31 144.69
San Diego Chargers 284 326.88 -42.88 426 360.06 65.94
Denver Broncos 222 315 -93 413 341.44 71.56
Buffalo Bills 354 340.56 13.44 273 273.88 -0.88
Cleveland Browns 491 389.31 101.69 417 260.19 156.81
Cincinnati Bengals 295 301.38 -6.38 274 309.13 -35.13
Denver Broncos 524 315 209 512 341.44 170.56
Sum Difference     -427.5     937.88

Table 3

Again, both units performed poorly with respect their opponents’ season averages. But, again the defense gave up over 930 yards more cumulatively than opponents’ averages while the offense gained about 430 yards less than opponents’ averages. As with points, the defensive differential is about twice that of the offense. So, now that we know that the defense was worse than the offense, let’s break it down a little further. The two tables below show differentials broken down by passing and rushing offense and defense.


KC P-Yd Opp D
Opp P-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Pa Diff1 Gained Avg Pa Diff2
Baltimore Ravens 159 207.25 -48.25 303 213.69 89.31
Oakland Raiders 236 206.44 29.56 99 159.81 -60.81
Philadelphia Eagles 97 216.38 -119.38 327 255.56 71.44
New York Giants 88 214.06 -126.06 273 251.19 21.81
Dallas Cowboys 232 225.38 6.63 348 267.94 80.06
Washington Redskins 158 207.25 -49.25 147 218.13 -71.13
San Diego Chargers 82 209.25 -127.25 268 271.13 -3.13
Jacksonville Jaguars 241 235.88 5.13 253 209.75 43.25
Oakland Raiders 206 206.44 -0.44 90 159.81 -69.81
Pittsburgh Steelers 214 215.44 -1.44 402 259.25 142.75
San Diego Chargers 170 209.25 -39.25 332 271.13 60.88
Denver Broncos 128 186.31 -58.31 168 226.69 -58.69
Buffalo Bills 202 184.25 17.75 73 157.19 -84.19
Cleveland Browns 323 244.69 78.31 66 129.75 -63.75
Cincinnati Bengals 172 203.06 -31.06 130 180.63 -50.63
Denver Broncos 207 186.31 20.69 428 226.69 201.31
Sum Difference     -442.63     248.69

Table 4 


KC R-Yd Opp D
Opp R-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Ru Diff1 Gained Avg Ru Diff2
Baltimore Ravens 29 93.25 -64.25 198 137.5 60.5
Oakland Raiders 173 155.5 17.5 67 106.31 -39.31
Philadelphia Eagles 99 104.69 -5.69 93 102.31 -9.31
New York Giants 124 110.81 13.19 156 114.81 41.19
Dallas Cowboys 72 90.5 -18.5 150 131.44 18.56
Washington Redskins 110 112.44 -2.44 118 94.25 23.75
San Diego Chargers 121 117.63 3.38 135 88.94 46.06
Jacksonville Jaguars 60 116.44 -56.44 173 126.81 46.19
Oakland Raiders 112 155.5 -43.5 182 106.31 75.69
Pittsburgh Steelers 68 89.88 -21.88 114 112.06 1.94
San Diego Chargers 114 117.63 -3.63 94 88.94 5.06
Denver Broncos 94 128.69 -34.69 245 114.75 130.25
Buffalo Bills 152 156.31 -4.31 200 116.69 83.31
Cleveland Browns 168 144.63 23.38 351 130.44 220.56
Cincinnati Bengals 123 98.31 24.69 144 128.5 15.5
Denver Broncos 317 128.69 188.31 84 114.75 -30.75
Sum Difference     15.13     689.19

Table 5

 Looking at these numbers, it appears that the biggest weakness is in rush defense, while passing offense is a not too distant second. Big-time Chiefs fans will know better whether this is a reflection of injuries or youth at certain positions, but with the number 5 pick, KC should probably look into improving their defensive line. Unfortunately for them, it’s entirely possible that the Rams and Bucs take the best DTs in the draft. If so, they could look to impove the pass rush, as they only had 22 sacks last season (ranked 31st in the league).

Since they just brought in Cassel last year, I doubt they go QB, and I don’t think that there are any WRs that warrant a top 5 pick. Now, they could look at upgrading the OL, maybe. Cassel was sacked 45 times last season. Or, it may just make sense to take the best player available in their situation. I would certainly like to hear the thought of Chiefs fans on this.

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