KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs took the field Sunday prepared to battle both the Oakland Raiders and the elements, but neither opponent posed much of a challenge for the Chiefs in a 26-10 victory.
Coach Andy Reid’s offense pounded the ball on the ground 40 times with just 24 pass plays, on the way to tallying 406 yards of total offense.
“We thought that was a good way to go against the Raiders and then on the other hand we weren’t quite sure what the weather conditions were going to be,” Reid said.
The Chiefs controlled the ball for more than 36 minutes by eschewing the pass-happy mindset from the first four weeks of the season. Instead, Reid took his offense back to the basics, emphasizing scheme and execution in a run-heavy game plan that kept the Raiders off balance all day long.
Reid explained the shift in philosophy stemming both from game planning for the Raiders as well self-evaluation during the bye week. He said the coaches saw the Chiefs executing more efficiently utilizing two tight-end sets and employing fullback Anthony Sherman.
“Normally it’s directed toward the team you’re playing,” Reid explained. “The formations, motions and shifts looked good against them.”
The Chiefs snap counts reflected the change in offensive approach. Backup tight end Demetrius Harris played 56 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, compared to his season average of 24 percent. Wide receiver Albert Wilson averaged more than 40 snaps through the first four games; he played just nine Sunday.
Fullback Sherman played 21 offensive snaps through the first four games before playing 19 against the Raiders.
“It’s scheming things up,” Reid said. “That’s what we try to do and I think it’s what everyone tries to do.”
Despite the offensive turnaround, Reid still sees opportunities for his team to get better.
“You’re still coming out with plenty of room to improve,” Reid said. “The guys will look at it and they’ll see that there’s a ton of things that we can get better at and that we need to get better at as we go on.”
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.