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pbatrucker
11-22-2010, 08:41 AM
Chiefs Wrap: Bowe, Balance and Home Sweet Home


http://uponfurtherreview.kansascity.com/files/images/Arrowhead.preview.jpgArrowheadCOOL FACTOID: Iím guessing you donít know that Dwayne Bowe Ė yes that Dwayne Bowe - leads the entire NFL in receiving touchdowns. If you didnít know it, then donít feel bad. Who would have ever guessed such a thing? Bowe added two more Sunday onto what has become a common Sunday occurrence. Expectations have increased substantially. As has been the case his whole career, itís anyoneís guess whether he will be able to meet those expectations.
Considering Cassel doesnít throw the ball much and considering the wrap on Bowe, his 11 TDs may rank as one of the more improbable marks in the NFL this season.
Just two weeks ago, I was pointing out that he was at the bottom of the list of WRís based upon catch rate (receptions as a percentage of passes thrown to him). I also pointed out that Moeaki, Charles and McCluster had catch rates well above average for their positions. So, it was hard to blame Cassel for Boweís problems.
At that time, Boweís catch rate was 43.7%. Over the last two games (Denver and Arizona), Cassel has thrown 26 times to DB, completing 19. Thatís a 73% catch rate and would be sensational if it were over the entire season.
Here are the NFLís leaders in TD receptions in 2010.

Receivers
Team
TDs
Dwayne Bowe
Kansas City
11
Calvin.Johnson
Detroit
10
Antonio Gates
San Diego
9
Hakeem Nicks
N.Y. Giants
9
-
Thatís impressive enough, but Bowe now has a streak of six consecutive games in which heís had at least one TD reception. Thatís a Chiefsí record. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the players who have the most TD passes over their last six contests. Bowe is, arguably, the best. Say WHAT!?!?!?
Last Six Games

Receivers
Team
Rec.
YDs
TDs
Dwayne Bowe
Kansas City
36
563
10
Terrell Owens
Cincinnati
38
523
7
Calvin.Johnson
Detroit
35
488
7
Kenny Britt
Tennessee
23
434
7
Mike Wallace
Pittsburgh
24
545
6
Antonio Gates
San Diego
30
530
6
-
What was that about KC not having any receivers?
Ok, I realize this six-game run includes a freak game in Denver and games against some questionable defenses. But, thatís part of the deal. Every receiver, rusher or QB racks up stats against poor defenses at a higher rate than good defenses. The only question that matters today is whether or not Bowe (himself) looks different. Is his head into the game? Is he hanging onto the ball? Does he care?
I canít answer any of those questions anymore than anyone else. But, he appears to be more energetic Ė as though he realizes that even on a rushing team, thereís room for an outstanding receiver to have an outstanding year.
And, of course, that leads into the next question Ė did the Denver game act as kindling to ignite the passing attack? How much confidence did it instill within Cassel and Bowe Ė even if it was in a hopeless cause, even if it meant almost nothing, even if it was possibly artificial due to the 35-0 Denver lead?

BALANCE
Balance is a huge issue in the NFL. KC has had decent balance in most of their games, but you always felt as though the passing part of the equation was forced. Yesterday, I didnít feel that way at all. It seemed perfectly natural.
Both Oakland and Denver shut down KCís running attack. Perhaps if KC played the Denver game again from scratch, this new-found passing attack would expose Denverís excessive attention to KCís rushing.
I indicated once before what I feel is a reasonable formula to measure balance. That was based upon the idea that if you rush for 200+ yards and pass for 200+ yards, you probably wonít lose very often. Here is a little table showing you the NFL winning percentage (since 2000) of teams that pass/rush for at least the amounts shown. In all cases, it adds up to 400 total yards.

Rush
Pass
Win%
250+
150+
100% (40-0)
200+
200+
90.4%
150+
250+
82.3%
100+
300+
70.5%
-
Itís pretty obvious that, everything else being equal, teams that have a higher percentage of rushing to passing will win more often.
Kansas City has had one 200/200 game this season. Actually it was 250 rushing and 207 passing (net) (457 total). Since the year 2000, there have been 16 teams that have met those levels in a game. Their record is 16-0 and the average winning margin is +26.5.
On the other hand, KCís lopsided game against Denver was 433 net yards passing and 51 yards rushing (484 total). Since 2000, there have been eight times when a team had those stats. The record of those eight teams is 1-7 (average margin of defeat -12.3).
So, although 484 is more total yards than 457, the exclusively passing teams were 1-7, while the balanced teams were 16-0. The Chiefs won their balanced game by 21 and lost their imbalanced game by 20. Seems pretty simple. Itís not just a question of total yards, but a balance between the two.
Take a look at the first five games vs the second five games for KC.

Passing
Rushing
First five
164.2
164.6
Last five
230.6
164.8
-
As you can see, passing and rushing are identical except for the last five games in passing. You canít have more perfect balance than the first five games. But is that optimal?
I did a quick search since 1990 of all games when a team passed and rushed for 160-170 yards (first five) as well as when a team passed for 225-235 and rushed for 160-170 yards (second five). Teams that fit into the category of the first five, win 67% of the time. Pretty good. Teams that fit into the category of the second five win 80% of the time. Better.
So, although the success of running the ball is proven to win more games than the same success passing, the point of all this is that itís probably a good thing if Cassel passes a little more. Having said that, it shouldnít be done to minimize the running, but rather to make it an even more valuable weapon.

HOME SWEET HOME
There are only four teams remaining that are undefeated at home. Here are their average points scored, points allowed and scoring margin in those home victories. As you can see, KC has the lowest defensive scoring average and the highest average margin. Does this mean Kansas Cityís home field advantage is starting to regain the value it once had?

Team
Rec.
Off.
Def.
Margin
Kansas City
5-0
27.6
13.4
+14.2
Indianapolis
4-0
27.5
14.3
+13.2
Atlanta
5-0
29.8
19.0
+10.8
Baltimore
4-0
29.5
19.5
+10.0
-
Kansas Cityís remaining home games are Denver (3-6), Tennessee (5-5) and Oakland (5-5). One would sure like to believe they could go 8-0 in KC. If they do, the club would likely make the playoffs and host a first round game. What that means is thisÖ It could be the first playoff game Kansas City has won since the playoffs for the 1993 season. Do you remember that long ago?

macdaddy123
11-22-2010, 08:54 AM
Trucker that was a great post, keep it up, Go Chiefs