Coming into the season, most analysts thought the Kansas City Chiefs would be sitting well above 6-4 at this point in 2019. Unfortunately, Patrick Mahomes has been hampered by various injuries, and the KC defense is giving up an average of 29.7 points per game (PPG) during Kansas City's current 1-2 skid.
However, with the right adjustments, this team could be back into championship contention in no time. With that in mind, here are the three key areas Kansas City needs to improve in order to gear up for a Super Bowl run this season.
1. Run Defense
The Chiefs have been among the worst run defenses in the NFL this season. Kansas City is surrendering an average of 148.1 rushing yards per game, which is the second-worst mark in the NFL. Kansas City's top interior lineman, Chris Jones, has missed three games, but he was back last week and the team still gave up 188 rushing yards on 23 carries to Derrick Henry. This unit isn't going to suddenly become elite, but a marginal improvement would go a long way, as they'll likely have to contend with top-tier rushing offenses in the AFC postseason race, like the Baltimore Ravens (No. 1 in the NFL) and Houston Texans (No. 4 in the NFL).
2. Rushing Offense
The Chiefs' offensive attack hasn't quite reached the highs that it hit over the first half of last season. A lot of that has to do with the loss of Kareem Hunt, as Kansas City's rushing attack hasn't been the same since he was released. Hunt averaged 74.9 rushing yards per game in 2018, and no RB on the Chiefs is currently averaging more than 45.0 rushing yards per game this season. Kansas City needs someone to take control of this backfield down the stretch to avoid becoming too one dimensional in the postseason.
3. Get the Offensive Line Healthy
The Chiefs' offensive line has been ravaged by injuries this season. Kansas City has lost Eric Fisher, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Andrew Wylie at various points this season, and it's been hard for this line to get in a groove. In fact, it's gotten so bad that Mitchell Schwartz, who had played 7,894 consecutive snaps coming into Week 10, even had to come out of the game for a bit. The injuries have certainly contributed to Kansas City's struggles establishing the run, keeping Mahomes healthy has to be this team's top priority, and that's a lot harder to do with a banged-up offensive line.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.