KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you want one statistic that more than any other explains why the Kansas City Chiefs are 4-0, you can’t do any better than this one: The Chiefs have started 13 drives in the opponents’ end of the field. Their opponents have started one drive in Kansas City’s end, and even that was at the Chiefs’ 49-yard line.
Clearly, the Chiefs are consistently winning the field position battle. Don’t underestimate how important that is to both their offense and defense.
The Chiefs don’t have a quick-strike offense. They have done a nice job putting together long, sustained, clock-eating scoring drives. But only three of their 12 touchdown drives have consisted of less than eight plays and in each of those cases, the Chiefs started well beyond the 50-yard line. So they have the type of offense that would benefit from favorable field position more than a team that gets a lot of big plays.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs lead the league in scoring defense in large part because they haven’t been put in many stressful situations. In the opener against Jacksonville, the best starting field position for the Jaguars was their 26. No wonder they managed just a safety.
Two weeks later, the Eagles started once with better field position than their 25. Last week, the Giants never started better than their 37.
The Dallas Cowboys managed to start twice beyond their 32, once at the Kansas City 49.
It’s a simple formula for the Chiefs: No damaging turnovers and strong in the kicking game. It’s one that will carry them a long way as long as they're able to maintain.