I keep hearing from the national sports media that the Chiefs can't score enough points to win in the playoffs, but is this true? We are giving up an average of 12.3 points per game, the best in the NFL. As far as I know we still get to use the same defense in the playoffs. Why is it assumed we will suddenly have to score more points?
I love to crunch numbers, so I looked at our first 8 games and did some analyses. Here is what I found:
1. In the Chiefs worst offensive performances they scored 17 points (twice). In the Chiefs worst defensive performances they gave up 17 points (twice). If the Chiefs only scored 17 points in every game this year, they would have won 6, lost 0 and tied 2 games (not taking overtime into account). If the Chiefs had given up 17 points in every game, they still would have been 6-0-2. To put it another way, our offense has never scored less points than our defense gave up in their worst games!
2. None of the teams we have played this year has scored more points than their season averages! Here are the numbers:
Team Average PPG Points scored
% of Average Jax 10.8 2 19% Dal 28.8 16 56% Phi 22.0 16 73% NYG 17.9 7 39% Ten 20.7 17 82% Oak 18.0 7 39% Hou 17.9 16 92% Cle 18.5 17 92% Cumulative
% of Average
154.1 91 59%
3. The Chiefs are averaging 24.0 points per game. I looked at the likely and possible AFC playoff teams we might face and calculated what they would score if the Chiefs defense held them to 59% of their average points per games.
Team Average PPG Expected Points
Den 42.9 25 NE 22.4 13 Cin 24.6 14 Ind 26.7 16 SD 24 14 Ten 20.7 12 Bal 21.4 13 Mia 21.7 13
Notice that among these 8 teams only Denver would score more than the Chiefs average of 24 points per game and that is only by one point!
3. There are only 3 teams in the AFC that are scoring more points per game than the Chiefs.
1. Den 42.9
2. Ind 26.7
3. Cin 24.6
4. Chiefs 24.0
4. SD 24.0
The Chiefs are scoring almost as much as the next 2 teams ahead of us. Only Denver outscores the Chiefs by a wide margin.
Barring injury, the Chiefs offense should continue to improve in the 2nd half of the season, but even if they don't, their defense is good enough to win or at least keep the games competitive. I reject the argument that the Chiefs can't score enough to win in the playoffs. They are already doing it.