KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If the Kansas City Chiefs have room for growth, it’s on offense. Other than a 45-point outburst in London against the Detroit Lions a few weeks back, the Chiefs have been doing most of their scoring either on field goals or on touchdowns with the benefit of a short field after a turnover.
That, in part, is because the Chiefs have played against a slate of opponents who are difficult to score against. The 4-5 Chiefs have played five games against teams in the top five in scoring defense: Cincinnati (No. 1), Minnesota (No. 2), Denver (No. 3) twice and Pittsburgh (No. 5).
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have played just one game against a team in the bottom five in scoring defense. The Chiefs had their highest scoring game of the season that day, against the Lions.
The average rank of the Chiefs’ opponents in scoring defense, counting Denver twice, is 11.
The defensive might of the Chiefs’ opponent changes over the season’s final seven games, starting Sunday against the Chargers in San Diego. Here are the defensive rankings of the Chiefs’ remaining opponents: San Diego (28), Oakland (27), Buffalo (15), Baltimore (25) and Cleveland (29). The average rank in scoring defense of the remaining Chiefs’ opponents, counting San Diego and Oakland twice because they still have to play them twice, is 26.
None of this means the Chiefs will pile up the points over the season’s final seven weeks. But it probably speaks well to the Chiefs’ ability to score more than they have (about 25 points per game, 10th best in the NFL) over the season’s first nine games.
The defense has been playing well enough to get the Chiefs to the playoffs. But if the Chiefs are going to claim a wild-card berth, the offense has to contribute more. In that regard, the Chiefs may soon be getting help from their opponents.