The Chiefs’ wide receiver woes – do they matter?


Most Kansas City Chiefs fans are well aware that the Chiefs wide receivers have the fewest receiving touchdowns in the NFL, by a wide margin. The Chiefs wide receivers have not caught a touchdown since December 8, 2013 against the Redskins (seen below).

Kansas City Chiefs v Washington Redskins

The overall production of Chiefs wide receivers includes 110 receptions for 1,370 yards. ESPN currently projects the Steelers’ Antonio Brown to surpass the production of the entire Kansas City wide receiving corps. Brown has 11 touchdown receptions himself.

In fact, JJ Watt, the Houston Texans defensive end, has 3 receiving touchdowns this season, and Chiefs running back Joe McKnight who is out for the season after tearing his Achilles and being active for only 2 games this season, has two receiving touchdowns of his own. Not only are the Chiefs current wide receivers not producing, they are not producing at a historically low pace. Only 3 teams in NFL history have finished a season without a single touchdown by a wide receiver, with the last team to do so being the 1964 NY Giants. Nine teams have finished a season with only one receiving touchdown by a WR, but the last occurred in 1977.

QB Alex Smith has thrown for 18 touchdowns so far in 2014, with not a single one of them going to Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, AJ Jenkins, Junior Hemingway, Albert Wilson, Frankie Hammond, or recently signed Jason Avant. Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles are tied for the most receiving touchdowns on the team with 5 each, and fullback Anthony Sherman has even chipped in a single receiving touchdown of his own. In addition, Smith is on pace for a career high in passing yards but the only Chiefs receiver with more than 200 receiving yards is Dwayne Bowe. Four wide receivers selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft (Mike Evans – TB, Odell Beckham – NYG, Sammy Watkins – BUF, and Kelvin Benjamin – CAR) would all rank first on the Chiefs in receiving yards, and the four have a combined to score 34 touchdowns between them. Although Andy Reid’s offense is designed to spread the ball around and make defenses cover everyone, it is clear that the Chiefs missed out on several playmakers that might have helped them get an additional victory or two this season (in particular, Kelvin Benjamin was still on the draft board when the Chiefs selected Dee Ford). Without a doubt, the Chiefs need to address their receiving needs after this season.

In my personal opinion, I could care less (and the same goes for Andy Reid) if the Chiefs’ receivers catch a single touchdown this season, just as long as they make the playoffs. That means winning the next two games (at Pittsburgh, and home against San Diego). This weekend, the Chiefs secondary will have its hands full against Brown and Martavis Bryant of the Steelers, and the defensive front four will be facing a dual threat running back in Le’Veon Bell, meaning the Chiefs will need to score lots of points to keep up with them. They just might need their first wide receiving touchdown (or two) of the season to have a chance.

Go Chiefs!



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