Going into April’s draft, it was no secret that the Kansas City Chiefs needed to get Matt Cassel some help at wide receiver. To show just how much someone like first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin was needed, Josh Looney looked at every red zone target from the 2010 season.
Bowe led the team in red zone targets (16), receptions (7), yards (56) and TDs (7). Nobody else, especially among wide receivers, came close to getting as many looks as Bowe.
Jamaal Charles caught the second-most red zone passes (5) via short routes out of the backfield and Tony Moeaki drew the second-most looks (9) as a tight end. Remove running backs, tight ends and defensive players from the equation and Bowe accounted for over 50% of the Chiefs red zone passing targets.
Terrance Copper drew the most looks (6) of any wide receiver outside Bowe – a hefty amount considering that Copper caught a total of four passes throughout all of 2009.
Limited options led Bowe to receive the third-highest percentage (27.7%) of total team red zone targets in the NFL last season – only Larry Fitzgerald (30.8%) and Roddy White (31.0%) drew more.
It’s both hilarious and sad that we need to remove “defensive players” from the analysis to get the best breakdown of the Chiefs wide receivers effectiveness. With that being said, the fact that Terrance Copper — Terrance Copper! — was the second-most targeted WR in the red zone should tell you how badly Matt Cassel and the Chiefs offense needed another weapon out wide.
Considering how much attention defenses will have to give Charles on the ground and Bowe on the outside, Baldwin will never see a double team or even a team’s best corner. That goes for the red zone or anywhere else on the field, giving Cassel a second receiver he knows can win a toss up for the first time since he arrived in Kansas City.