Chiefs: Maclin reunites with Reid

| 2 years ago

Chiefs: Maclin reunites with Reid

PFF-headlinesThe Kansas City Chiefs’ struggles at wide receiver in 2014 were well-documented and they have acted fast in free agency adding Jeremy Maclin in the hopes of upgrading an underwhelming group. Re-united with former head coach Andy Reid, Maclin is coming off of a career year in Philadelphia where he earned a +9.1 overall grade to finish inside the top 15 wideouts.

What Chiefs fans will hope to see Maclin repeat in Kansas City is his touchdown total of 10 from a year ago after they saw their own receivers snag precisely zero touchdowns last season. Maclin produced big games in 2014 against the Cardinals, Texans and Redskins, topping 150 yards in each contest and collecting five of his touchdowns in those efforts.

Kansas City fans will hope that the Maclin we saw last season is the one they are getting moving forward after he underwhelmed from a performance stand point early in his career under Andy Reid. Maclin bucked a career trend by dropping only one pass last season having averaged at seven during his four years under Reid in Philadelphia.

One key to the Chiefs maximizing their investment in Maclin will be opening up the offense down the field. In five seasons in Philadelphia Maclin has caught 16 touchdown passes on deep targets and been targeted at least 20 times down the field every season since his rookie year; the Chiefs, however, didn’t target a receiver deep last season more than five times. Maclin is not a tackle breaker who can convert short passes into long gains (last seasons’ eight forced missed tackles were a career high thanks to five in one game against the Cowboys), so if they are to make the most of their investment they must open up the passing game.

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| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    How many receivers did the Chiefs have in 2014 who could get open down the field?

    • JAbbs

      That would be zero…if you don’t count Albert Wilson who didn’t really catch on until late in the season

    • Spellchecker

      Apparently you didn’t read the column above–specifically the part where it says the Chiefs, however, didn’t target a receiver deep last season more than five times. Donnie Avery is one of the fastest guys in the NFL. That goes for De’Anthony Thomas, Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Or perhaps I was subconsciously calling your attention to the fact that there was a lack of receiving talent capable of stretching the field. Donnie Avery was targeted only 26 times ALL season long. He spent most of the year injured. Thomas was targeted only 30 times. The ONLY other receiver capable of downfield separation was Albert Wilson and he was targeted just 28 times in 2014. That’s a total of 74 targets between the only three receivers who have any real chance of getting open vertically.

        I watched every snap of every Chiefs game in 2014, but I’m sure my question made that anything but obvious.

        • Spellchecker

          That NFL replay is great, isn’t it? If you have that I might actually believe you watched every snap like me. You might want to take a gander over to Profootballfocus and read their article “Chiefs: Maclin reunites with Reid.” It disputes the numbers you quoted. Either they are lying or you are.

          The main reason the Chiefs did not have a lot of downfield passes is not due to either Alex Smith’s reluctance to throw downfield or Dwayne Bowe’s supposed loss of speed. Instead, the primary factor was the poor play of the offensive line.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            You’re welcome to fact check me. Don’t take my word for it. There are a number of sites that track receiver targets.