Alex Smith hasn't looked downfield to his wide receivers much this season.You might have noticed that the Kansas City Chiefs are succeeding in an unusual way this season. They’ve somehow managed to win without getting a single touchdown reception from a wide receiver.
Let’s examine this more closely from a statistical perspective.
The lack of WR scores
The Chiefs have no touchdowns from their wide receivers. Every other NFL team has at least three such touchdowns.
Chiefs' Offensive TDs In 2014 Season
No Chiefs wide receiver has gained 100 yards receiving in a game this season. Only three other teams (Rams, Dolphins, Titans) have no 100-yard games from their wide receivers.
Dwayne Bowe has accounted for 55 percent of the Chiefs' wide receiver yards this season, the highest percentage in the NFL. But 31 wide receivers have more yards than Bowe this season.
Why the Chiefs' offense doesn’t need them
Alex Smith’s average pass has traveled 5.6 yards past the line of scrimmage this season, shortest in the NFL (the league average is 8.1 yards).
The Chiefs are averaging 135.8 rushing yards per game this season, the fifth most in the NFL.
The Chiefs average 3.4 yards before contact on rushes this season, second best in the NFL.
Jamaal Charles is averaging 7.8 yards per rush in the fourth quarter, the best average in the NFL.
The Chiefs are converting on third down at the third-best percentage (47.8 percent) and converting in the red zone at the fourth-best percentage (69.0 percent).
The Chiefs' defense makes up for it
One reason the Chiefs have been able to get away without their wide receivers contributing scores -- their defense has put them in position to win regardless.
Chiefs opponents are scoring 16.8 points per game this season, second best in the NFL.
The Chiefs have recorded a sack on 8.2 percent of dropbacks, the third-best rate in the NFL.
The Chiefs are allowing touchdowns on 42.3 percent of red zone trips this season, the second-best rate in the NFL.
The Chiefs have not allowed a rushing touchdown this season. Every other NFL team has allowed at least four.