The Kansas City Chiefs Work To Improve Woeful 2011 Red-Zone Play

Two developments that were technically unrelated took place this week for the Kansas City Chiefs, although each ties in to a longer-term problem the team must fix if it wants to reach its potential in the coming NFL season. Kansas City spent considerable time this week working on its red-zone offense, and they signed fullback Patrick DiMarco to come in as a backup.

It’s purely coincidental, as DiMarco is not likely to play a significant role in the Kansas City offense for 2012, and in fact might not make the team. But he’s being signed because the Chiefs are worried about their depth at fullback, and are adopting the same approach they are in the secondary—bring in a lot of bodies and see what sorts itself out. The secondary needs depth because of Kansas City opponents. The backfield needs the same because of who the Chiefs are themselves, and they can’t run into the same red-zone problems that plagued them in 2011.

Kansas City’s red-zone efficiency was the worst in the NFL a year ago. No team is going to win games or make the playoffs when that’s the case, and certainly not a team built around the run the way the Chiefs are. Even the team’s finest hour in ’11—the taking down of the then-undefeated Green Bay Packers in Week 15 should have been easier than it was, except for the fact Kansas City kept bogging down in the red zone.

If all goes according to plan, the Chiefs will have Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis to bang down close to the end zone, particularly Hillis who was signed expressly for that purpose. But over a 16-game NFL season how much actually goes according to plan? Not a lot, and that’s why the Chiefs need someone like DiMarco to be able to help as a blocking back over the long haul.

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