After recent struggles with scoring touchdowns in the red zone, the Kansas City Chiefs found a way to do so against the New Orleans Saints in their 32-29 win on Sunday.
Before Sunday, the Chiefs ranked 22nd in the league in red-zone scoring percentage. Kansas City's 57.14% conversion rate is 3% lower than last season.
In the Chiefs' last three games were the worst in the league at turning red-zone trips into touchdowns as they only scored on 11.11% of their trips.
On Sunday, the Chiefs successfully converted on four of their five trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Head coach Andy Reid said it all came down to execution.
“Things worked in the simplest form," Reid said. "We were able to capitalize on it. I wish we would have gotten a touchdown on the last one. It worked out the ones before. I think the guys did a nice job with execution. Patrick [Mahomes] made some really nice plays. I thought the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage very well.”
Kansas City scored a touchdown on its first four drives into the red zone. Creative playcalling, like the touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce and the option run with Le'Veon Bell, helped the Chiefs break their dry spell.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also attributed his team's ability to find the endzone from close range to the team's execution. Mahomes had three touchdown passes on 26 completions for 254 passing yards. All of Mahomes' scoring throws came inside the red zone.
“It’s just execution," Mahomes said. "Being able to run the ball and executing. I thought we did a great job of both of those today. When you play a defense like that, you know there are going to be few opportunities. You have to make sure that you execute when you are down there. I think the guys did a great job executing the game plan. The coaches called great plays and we ran the ball whenever we needed to.”
After Sunday's game, the Chiefs' red zone conversion percentage rose to 59.26%, good enough for 17th in the league.