Well, the Good Chiefs turned up against Tampa Bay and they turned up in style. A fumble on the opening kickoff gave the Chiefs great field position which led to an early score. But just how important is a fast start for this Chiefs team?
Duncan pointed out in our chat group last week that it feels like if the Chiefs score within their first 15 scripted plays, it feels like they’ll probably win the game. Let’s see if that stacks up.
|Opening drive result||Record||Average points||Win %|
|Score a Touchdown||11-2||32||85|
|Don’t score a Touchdown||6-5||27||55|
|Score a FG||1-1||27||50|
|Drive of 10 or more plays||10-3||28||77|
|Drive of 9 or less plays||7-4||31||64|
Since the start of last season, if the Chiefs score a Touchdown on their opening drive, they win 85% of the time. If they don’t score a Touchdown, they win 55% of the time. That’s a pretty stark contrast between the two. Punt, Field Goal or Interception? Doesn’t really make a great difference to the win % which happens.
10 play or longer opening drive and there’s a 77% win rate. But as we saw last night, this can be a bit misleading when you start on your opponents 20!
The Chiefs got off to a fast start in this one and never looked back. It wasn’t a game where anybody created something much beyond the ordinary (apart from Patrick Mahomes of course), it was a game of having a very good game plan and executing it beautifully.
Take this play design for example. Kelce, MVS and JuJu all aligned to the left. Fortson on his own to the right. Pacheco in the backfield to the right of Mahomes. Pacheco goes left and the whole defence shifts to the left leaving Fortson 1 on 1 with the DB and Mahomes with a simple throw through a big gap for the score.
The Chiefs were balanced on offence, solid on defence and reliable on special teams. That’s a recipe to take this team a long way when the good Chiefs show up.