The Kansas City Chiefs RPO Offense

If you follow my Facebook page, you’ll notice I include several Kansas City Chiefs highlights.  Andy Reid is turning the NFL upside down running a college-style RPO offense.  With the weapons Alex Smith has at his disposal, this offensive attack is putting points on the board at a crazy rate.

Here we see Alex Smith running the true inside zone read with Travis Kelce arc releasing for the overhang defender in case Smith keeps the ball.

On this play Smith has the option to give to Kareem Hunt on the tackle zone or throw the quick out to Kelce if he’s in one on one coverage.  You’ll also notice the slot receiver up top running the bubble screen. This is straight out of a college offensive playbook.

Arizona Even X Snap


And then there’s the inverted veer shovel pass of fly sweep action.  This is just filthy stuff.

The Eagles are in man coverage.  The nickel DB flies across the formation with Tyreek Hill in jet motion, opening up the outside to the left.  Alex Smith flat meshes with Kareem Hunt, reading the wide nine technique on his left.  Kelce runs the shovel pass path and Smith decides if he’s going to give the ball to Hunt on the sweep or pitch it to Kelce on the shovel. When the end attacks up field, Smith shovels the ball to Kelce who gets into the end zone behind the pull of the right guard.  The double team from the left tackle and guard on the 4i technique really opens this up for the inside shovel pass.

Duece H-mo Baylor Shovel Odd



The Eagles aren’t the only team the Chiefs have victimized with their RPO schemes.  In this clip, the Chiefs line up in an empty set, with Kelce set as a wing and Hill in the slot.  The Steelers line up in a 4-4 defense with a single high safety.  James Harrison is the read here.  When Hill runs his jet motion Harrison widens to keep contain.  Kelce runs the shovel pass path behind the pulling guard.  When Harrison widens Smith pitches the ball to Kelce for a big gain.

6 Glock Rt R-mo Baylor Shovel Odd


Reid uses the Power G scheme in a multitude of ways.  Empty Jet Sweep with the Shovel Pass, Inverted Power with the Shovel Pass, and the traditional Power G out of 11 personnel.


The Chiefs line up in a traditional 11 personnel 2×2 set.  They run the Power G with Kelce as the kick out blocker with Hill running the bubble screen to the back side.

Double Left Buffalo Odd Key 2.JPG


It’s the exact same blocking scheme the Chiefs used for the Kelce shovel passes, but they block the end instead of reading him.  This shows the versatility of the Power G scheme when it’s used by a creative offensive mind.

The Chiefs has also utilized the speed option.  Most people won’t remember this, but Alex Smith was a read option QB for Urban Meyer at Utah.  He’s very skilled at this sort of scheme but hasn’t gotten to show it off often in the pros.


Skip to thirteen seconds in and you’ll see Smith running another classic RPO scheme against the Broncos.  The Broncos are in dime personnel to defend the speed of the Chiefs offensive players. This time the Chiefs run the speed option to the right with the “now” screen to the backside receiver.  Smith options the play side end and gets Hunt out in space right now.

Speed Option

Andy Reid is taking the multi-talented athletes on his roster and using them to attack NFL defenses like no one has seen before.  With jack-of-all-trades burners like Tyreek Hill and De’Anthony Thomas, a mismatch nightmare in Travis Kelce, a banger running back in Kareem Hunt, and a mobile, athletic QB who can run and pass, the spread RPO game is ideally suited for the Chiefs roster.




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