It was a win the Chiefs had to had, and when it mattered most, the whole team performed at a high level and came away with an impressive win on the road.
Winning on the road is never easy in the NFL, and even though the Redskins looked bad, the Chiefs did beat a team some talent. Throw in the snowy weather and the possibility of a four-game losing streak, and there’s certainly a lot of good to take away from Kansas City’s win.
The Chiefs won 45-10 and all three phases of the team were clicking. Head coach Andy Reid addressed that with the media on Monday, saying, “I thought it was a good win. Every win you can get in the National Football League is a good win. This one, I thought all three phases functioned well and that’s probably the first time this year that that’s really taken place to that extreme. That’s a good thing.”
Not to leave anybody though, Reid also mentioned someone who never gets any glory on an NFL team, but plays a huge role each and every week: The equipment manager.
“I would like to give just a mention, Allen Wright our equipment guy ended up changing the studs on all the cleats just before the game,” Reid said. “I mean it looked like an assembly line in there just taking the shorter studs out and putting the longer ones in. I think that was a factor,” he said of the cleats.
“We were able to function at a high level in bad weather conditions and a field that was, just from the weather, a bit soft and still maintain our speed, balance and moving abilities.”
Personally, it’s great to see a big time coach like Reid give credit to someone who truly deserves it, and those quotes there really go a long way towards proving just how much of a family feel this locker room really has.
“Also, the fans, they amaze me that they show up in the places that they do, in the conditions that they do and they stay throughout the duration of the game,” Reid said. “The other fans leave, they stay and they bring it. It was impressive.”
Finally, Reid turned his attention to the football game, and it was a darn good one the Chiefs played.
“It was good to win the turnover battle. I think turnovers obviously are big. It was good to capitalize on seven points off of turnovers,” he said. “We were able to keep the penalties down. We only had three penalties in this game which I thought was big.”
“We need to do better in third down situations offensively. I thought we did a good job defensively, but offensively we were two-for-11, and we need to do a better job there,” Reid explained.
Kansas City’s coach then went on to break the game down in more depth, and of course, he gave credit to his coordinators. Without a doubt, this was the most complete game the Chiefs had played all season, and they deserved their moment in the sun this week.
“I thought the coaches and the coordinators had good game plans, offensively, defensively and on special teams. I think it’s important, particularly as you go down the stretch here, that your offensive line and defensive line produce at a high level. I thought they did that,” Reid said. “Obviously, by Tamba (Hali) and Tyson Jackson and then a guy who probably doesn’t get enough credit is (Dontari) Poe, he had another tremendous game. But the two sacks by Tamba (Hali) and Tyson (Jackson) I thought were big,” he said.
“Then, the offensive line, I thought with as young of a group as we had in there, I thought they played well and they played aggressive. Was everything perfect? No, it wasn’t perfect. You don’t come out of anything perfect. But they played, I thought, at a very high level,” Reid said of the road graders up front.
The offense, while not dominant, continued to find ways to get on the score board and Jamaal Charles, once again, was a huge reason why. Charles rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown, and also added a touchdown through the air against the Redskins.
Overall, he and the offense put up 347 yards, and controlled the ball for 34 minutes and 10 seconds of the game.
Not to be outdone though, Dave Toub’s special teams unit was simply on fire, and both Dexter McCluster and Quintin Demps found the end zone on punt and kick returns respectively.
Not surprisingly, Reid spoke highly of his skill players.
“Jamaal (Charles) and Dwayne (Bowe) and Alex (Smith) had good games as did Dexter (McCluster) and Quintin Demps with their returns,” he said. “I thought those were big plays and defeating to the opponent. One of which happened right after a score by the Redskins, we were able to capitalize on the return. That’s tough to overcome.”
“I mentioned the defensive line, but DJ (Derrick Johnson) really had his hands on three balls and ended up intercepting the one,” Reid said. “I thought our secondary flew around and made plays, particularly in the run game. They filled in and tackled very, very well, which can get overlooked.”
While there’s a ton to be excited about even just by listening to Reid rave about his team, it was good to hear the coach stay humble and stay focused on the task at hand.
The Chiefs have a lot to play for in the next few weeks and the playoffs are looming. Finishing strong will be important, and Reid is just the guy to prepare this team to do so.
“Anyways, all in all it was a good win,” Reid said. “We know that we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re not where we need to be yet. We’re headed back in the right direction here,” the coach explained.
“We know we have a big game coming up this week against the Raiders on the road at the Coliseum out there. We’ll get ourselves ready to go here on Wednesday and have a good week of practice to get ourselves ready for the Raiders.”