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Key Area of Offense that Needs to be Better

Posted Aug 18, 2014

On Monday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid talked about the lack of success in the screen game against the Panthers

The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Carolina Panthers 28-16 Sunday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

With Jamaal Charles not making the trip to Carolina because of a foot issue, which was strictly a precautionary move, second-year player Knile Davis and third-year player Cyrus Gray were given the workman’s share of the load at running back.

One area Charles and the Chiefs offense had a lot of success with last season was the screen game, which helped Charles lead the team in receiving yards.

Charles had 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven touchdowns last season, many of which came on screens.

On Sunday against the Panthers, Davis and Gray were asked to step into that role and with new faces along the offensive line, this combined for a result that didn’t sit well with Reid.

“I thought our screen game needed to be better,” Reid said. “That’s always been a plus for us and minus numbers in our screen game—these are all things we can learn from and become better.”

The first team offense ran three screens in the first half of the game: one to Davis (-1), one to Gray (-2) and one on the outside to receiver Kyle Williams (1).

These three plays combined for a loss of two yards, something that will need to improve moving forward.

“It’s a big part of our offense,” Reid said. “We’ve got to do a better job of turning up field with the offensive linemen, getting them going north and south and likewise with the backs and just get that in sync. We’re a step off there. If you’re a step off in the screen game, you’ve got problems and that’s what happened last night.”

The good news is that the sample size is small, the offensive line is young and developing and the best player on the Chiefs roster in terms of finding success on these plays in Reid’s offense wasn’t even in the stadium.

While fixable, it’s something to keep an eye on moving towards the Chiefs next preseason game on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings.

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