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How the Chiefs offense can score more points coming out of the Bye?

We need to score more points but how?

Mahomes And Rice
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (left) congratulates wide receiver Rashee Rice (right) on his touchdown against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 24 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by: Reed Hoffman/AP Photo).

The Chiefs are 7-2. They have the best coach in Andy Reid, the best QB in reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, and the best TE in Travis Kelce. Still one of the best offenses in the NFL. The only thing that is a major problem and it could be the factor that keeps us from returning back to defend our crown is the lack of production from the receiving group. 

This unit has been home to players from Dwayne Bowe, Jeremy Maclin, Tyreek Hill, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Chiefs don’t have any of those players. It was on display this last Sunday in the thriller Sunday victory over the Dolphins when the entire receiver core combined for 12 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown and the only receiver to step up big was rookie receiver Rashee Rice who had the lowest receiving yards of the season (2 catches for 17 yards), but the rookie wideout still made an impact by taking a screen pass from Patrick Mahomes for an 11-yard TD in the first quarter. Rice has three of his four touchdowns on the season in the last five games as he emerges as Mahomes’ most reliable option not named Travis Kelce, and his targets could begin to rise coming out of the Week 10 bye.

The Chiefs have a ton of versatility in the receiving group that features Rice, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, Mecole Hardman, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. These are players that teams besides the Chiefs would use. Each player deserves a shot to catch the ball but at least three of these six players must step up even if some blame the play calling, the execution hasn’t been there. With that in mind, I will explain 3 ways the Chiefs offense can score more points going forward or until the offense gets into the rhythm that they’re known for, especially with Mahomes under center.

Utilize the 12-13 personnel:

One way for the Chiefs can score more points is by using the 12 and 13 Personnel or just multiple TEs. 12 is the personnel grouping consisting of 1 RB, 2 TEs and 2 WRs.

The 13 personnel is a heavy or “jumbo package” grouping with 1 RB, 1 WR, and 3 TEs. This usage not only takes attention away from the Chiefs 11 personnel main focal point Travis Kelce but with the emergence of third-year tight end Noah Gray, the Chiefs have two athletic movers that teams have to gameplan for which will open up the receivers. In most of the Chiefs’ scores this season, they’ve lined up in more 12-13 personnel than in the 11 personnel.

You will see a lot of Gray lined up as TE while Kelce lined up in the slot or the outside like a receiver. These packages especially with the 13 personnel including Blake Bell have the benefit of making the defense force its hand. If they go against nickel/dime, you can take advantage of the bigger and more adept blockers and keep the ball on the ground. But should the opposing defense stay in base, you can attack through the air using some concepts in the hope of exploiting a defense focused on stopping the run.

Continue to use Pacheco and McKinnon in the passing game:

Another element of the Chiefs’ pass game could come from their running backs. Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon have made a great impact catching passes out of the backfield and splitting out wide so far this season. The two have combined for 41 receptions (combined they tied Kelce for the most catches on the Chiefs) and 307 receiving yards through 9 games.

Individually, Pacheco has caught 24 passes for 160 yards for a touchdown and McKinnon has 17 receptions for 143 yards for 3 touchdowns. Now, instead of Pacheco’s presence in the backfield being one-dimensional, teams must respect Pacheco’s presence in the passing game too after he finished second in receiving behind Kelce against the Jets in Week 3.

The two backs are matchup nightmares for opposing linebackers as they both possess good speed and route running ability for the running back position.

Get Rashee Rice the ball more:

I have been singing Rashee Rice’s praises all off-season. I have said he would be the future No. 1 receiver but he’s being utilized in a limited capacity. It’s probably due to the fact that the rookie out of SMU is still learning the system and adjusting to the play speed of the NFL. However, Rice in 9 games has shown enough to prove he’s in fact he is one of the Chief’s best receivers even in limited snaps. Rice has 32 catches for 378 and 4 touchdowns.

Rice just needs 3 more touchdowns to have the most TDs in a single season by Andy Reid rookie receiver. He will pass Mecole Hardman, Tyreek Hill, and Jeremy Maclin (Eagles, 2009). His 32 catches are the 2nd most behind Kelce but the most of any Chiefs receiver as of now. Skyy Moore in his first 9 career games only had 7 catches for 100 yards. That shows that Rice is already making an impact as a rookie than Skyy Moore did as a rookie. Rice still needs to work on polishing his route running and setting up separation better, but his catch radius, body control, and run-after catch are all excellent traits including being another strong blocker who attacks corners.

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