For the fourth straight week, we saw Kansas City Chiefs first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire's ineffectiveness against opposing defenses. Whether on the ground or through the air, Edwards-Helaire has yet to match the single-game production he had Week 1.
To me, that brings up the question, "Are the Chiefs using Edwards-Helaire properly?" In short: no, they aren't.
This was one of the many topics discussed on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast with Arrowhead Report's Conner Christopherson. We dive into the Chiefs' interior offensive line problems, Patrick Mahomes' pocket presence and what to do at wide receiver in addition to this conversation.
The Chiefs' rushing attack has been less than stellar through the first five weeks of the season and for some reason, they keep trying to "establish the run" early in games. That could possibly be effective if defenses decided to empty the box and secure the threats at wide receiver and the offensive line blocked well — spoiler alert: they did not do that Sunday.
What constantly confused Conner and I when assessing Edwards-Helaire's production just a week ago was the lack of play calls to the left side of the line, which had the Chiefs two best run blockers in Kelechi Osemele and Eric Fisher. Instead, whether it was Edwards-Helaire's decision or head coach Andy Reid's, inside zone runs seemingly went to the right side, behind Andrew Wylie and Mitchell Schwartz.
This is probably because Edwards-Helaire had no OTA's or offseason to prepare and learn the Chiefs offense so they are going a bit vanilla in run calls with him. But now with Osemele potentially out for the rest of the year, the Chiefs will need to get creative with run calls, going outside the tackles, like the speed option plays that were run against the Raiders this past week.
Another aspect of Edwards-Helaire's game that has been underutilized is his receiving threat. We haven't seen many designed passing calls for the rookie and the one we did see was called back on a Travis Kelce offensive pass interference call.
Especially with wide receiver Sammy Watkins reportedly missing a "couple of weeks," Edwards-Helaire has the potential to become Kansas City's third target and finally make an impact on a game. Designed passing plays to the rookie could improve his role as his potential effect running the ball dwindles greatly with Osemele out.
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