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The first thing Andy Reid did the day after he and his team delivered one of the worst choke jobs in AFC Championship Game history en route to one of the worst postseason upsets in recent memory was declare he plans to keep coaching next year.
“Yeah, I think so,” Reid said. “That’s the way I’m looking at it.”
And as no one is going to fire Reid after he’s gotten his team to four consecutive AFC Championship Games … And as he’s decided to return for the 2022 season …
Reid was clearly doing something the entire club’s roster, particularly quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is going to appreciate:
Reid kept taking all the blame for the 27-24 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Obviously, our second half wasn’t good enough,” Reid said. “We’ll take it as a team, take responsibility for that. I heard some of the comments the guys made yesterday, and as a head football coach, as I mentioned yesterday after the game, it’s my responsibility that we do better.”
The self-flagellation wasn’t complete there because he was right back at it when he was asked what the 2021-22 Chiefs lacked that kept them from the Super Bowl after making it the previous two seasons.
“I thought we really stood a good chance,” Reid said. “We started off like gangbusters, even in this game, and we just let it get away from us. And I take responsibility for that.
“There’s no time like now that you question every call and every play. If you’re not hard on yourself about it, then you’re not going to get better. That’s as a player and a coach. So, we know there are certain spots we’ve got to do a better job, and it starts with me being the head coach.”
That established, let’s get a little deeper because this loss was most definitely not all Andy Reid’s fault.
The fault or responsibility for this game lay at the feet of quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Also at the feet of a defensive unit that blew an 18-point lead.
And also at the feet of an offensive line that didn’t give up a sack in the first half, but yielded four sacks in the second half.
But let’s begin with Mahomes because that’s where it always starts for this franchise. The truth is, he delivered a masterpiece performance the first 29:47 of this game.
In that time, he completed 17 of 19 passes for 219 yards with three touchdowns. His quarterback rating in the first half was 149.9, and that’s taking into account the incomplete pass and unwise completion for no gain he threw from the 1 yard line just before halftime that sent the Chiefs to their locker room without adding more points to their lead.
The Bengals, however, had figured out the Chiefs. They switched from man to primarily a zone defense, and the quarterback didn’t respond to the change.
Faced with this mountain of evidence — because after all, he was at the game — Reid still took blame when describing the seemingly two different quarterbacks we saw in the first and second half Sunday.
“One of my jobs is to make sure everyone is put in the right position to do things, and so you can always do a better job with that,” Reid said. “If you feel like things aren’t going your way as an offense, then you kind of give them things that the guys can go out and perform better.
“When you look at these types of things, that’s how you go about it, and each person does that and they stick together and hopefully you flip it around and get some positive gains.
“I’m not just sticking it on one person. It’s a true team sport, and we can all do our jobs a little bit better.”
Mahomes had some rough moments this season. He struggled against Buffalo, Tennessee and even Denver in the regular season.
But Reid believes his quarterback grew in 2021. Got better.
“Yeah so I thought he was way more patient this year,” Reid said. “Only because he had to be with the different looks we were seeing. I think this was a great year for him, career-wise. I think he worked his way through maybe some obstacles and turned them into good football.
“We’re very lucky to have Patrick, and I’m glad he and Joe Burrow are like a couple of months different in age. We don’t think of it that way because Joe is new in the league and Patrick’s
been in for a while, but they’re very close in age. We’re lucky to have him here.”
So forget the possibility that Andy Reid was ever going to throw Patrick Mahomes under any bus. Wasn’t happening, even when the QB deserved it.
And that’s almost definitely because, like he said, Reid will be back in 2022. And Mahomes will be his star.
“I think he was one half away from going to his third Super Bowl in a row, and that’s pretty
impressive,” Reid said. “You’ve been around this a long time, as a lot of us have. That’s pretty impressive, and most of these teams that are getting this far have good quarterbacks. So, that’s just how it works, and we’re fortunate to have him, and there’s nobody looking at Pat Mahomes cross-eyed from our side.”
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
Reid always shouldered the blame going back to his days coaching the Eagles. Never threw a player under the bus. It’s why his players love him. That, and he’s a great coach who wins.
Sports is a very tough unforgiving business with giant Jumbotrons that proclaim your success or failure. The ultimate quantitative measurement – The Scoreboard.
KC fans are probably a but more “understanding” than say Boston or NYC where it’s always “We’ when you win and “They” when you lose.
Joe Cool knows how to handle PAT 2-0