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By the Numbers: Chiefs' Offense in 2017

Posted Feb 13, 2018

A look at the Chiefs' offense last season examined through the numbers

The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West for a second-straight season in 2017 due in part to a strong campaign on the offensive side of the ball.

The Chiefs ranked sixth in the NFL with 25.9 points per game, marking their highest average point total since Head Coach Andy Reid’s first season in Kansas City in 2013.

Here’s a deeper look at the Chiefs’ offensive production last season by the numbers.

The Chiefs achieved a statistical balance last season that has been matched only a handful of times in NFL history. Kansas City featured a 1,000-yard running back (Kareem Hunt), a 1,000-yard wide receiver (Tyreek Hill) and a 1,000-yard tight end (Travis Kelce) last season, joining the 2007 Cleveland Browns, the 1997 Denver Broncos, the 1981 Minnesota Vikings and the 1981 San Diego Chargers as the only five teams to ever have such a trio.

Hunt finished the year with 1,327 yards on the ground, breaking the franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie and becoming just the sixth rookie in the Super Bowl Era to lead the league in rushing. A third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Hunt is just the second player drafted outside of the first round to earn the rushing title in his rookie season.

Hill caught 75 passes for 1,183 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017, emerging as one of the league’s top receiving targets in just his second year as a professional. Hill finished seventh in the NFL in receiving yards and established himself as one of the league’s most dangerous deep threats, hauling in a league-most nine passes of at least 40 yards on the year.

Kelce, the veteran of the trio, amassed 1,038 yards through the air along with a career-high eight touchdowns. It marked a second-consecutive 1,000-yard campaign for the fifth-year tight end.

The efforts of all three players compiled a historic year on offense, and with each member of the trio under 28 years old, the best could be yet to come.

Getting Hunt, Hill and Kelce the ball was quarterback Alex Smith, who eclipsed the 4,000-yard passing mark for the first time in his career. Smith is just the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat, joining Trent Green (2003-05), Elvis Grbac (2000) and Bill Kenney (1983).

It also makes the aforementioned trio’s accomplishment all the more impressive, as the Chiefs are just the second team in NFL history to feature a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard running back, a 1,000-yard wide receiver and a 1,000-yard tight end, joining the 1981 Chargers.

Smith also threw for a career-high 26 touchdowns on the year and finished the season with a league-leading 104.7 passer rating. 

The Chiefs’ offense often showed up when the pressure was on, too. Kansas City scored 124 points in the fourth quarter this season, their fourth-highest output in the last 25 years.

Kansas City also scored 75 points in the last two minutes of each half on the year – the fifth-highest mark in the NFL.

No team was better than the Chiefs at protecting the ball in 2017, and few have been better historically. Kansas City turned it over just 11 times last season, just one shy of matching the NFL record.

Only the 2016 Patriots (11), 2016 Atlanta Falcons (10), 2011 San Francisco 49ers (10) and 2010 Patriots (10) have ever committed 11 or fewer turnovers in a single season.

Fun Fact

Kansas City racked up 6,007 yards of offense in 2017, the third-most in franchise history behind the 2004 (6,695) and 2005 (6,192) seasons. The Chiefs averaged 6.1 yards per play throughout the season, trailing only the New Orleans Saints (6.3) for the top mark in the NFL.

The Chiefs tallied at least 400 yards of offense in nearly half of their games (7), just one shy of the New England Patriots for the most such games in the NFL (8).  

That total output is equal to 3.41 miles, or in the spirit of the Olympic Games, 120.1 curling rinks.

That’s a lot of offense.

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