This is not the only reason the Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots on Saturday because defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and the defense didn’t come through either. However, it’s the most glaring issue that needs to be addressed because it appears that the clock mismanagement issue by coach Reid is a vortex that he can not return from… and consequently all of us Chiefs fans are stuck in there with him.
In a piece by Chris Korman for USAToday called, “Everyone was exasperated with Andy Reid as he meandered his way through another playoff loss” saying,
"“Andy Reid is one of the best regular-season coaches in NFL history and yet late in important games he becomes your 6-year-old nephew — or your drunk college roommate or a person who has never observed a game of American football — trying to play Madden.”"
So, how does “one of the best regular-season coaches in NFL history” morph into this “6-year-old nephew — or your drunk college roommate” as Korman suggests?
Perhaps Andy Reid has glossophobia, which is a social phobia which includes, performance anxiety.
Brian Wilson, Adele, Rod Stewart, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Carly Simon are a few stars who have to deal with stage fright, also known as performance anxiety. It’s entirely possible that Andy Reid suffers this same malady. That might explain how he could sail through 9 straight wins in a row in 2013 and then 11 straight wins in a row in 2015 by beating easy opponents… but then wilting on the big stage of the playoffs. Once those “big moments” arrive he gets overwhelmed.
Possible? Sure, I guess.
However, I’m just projecting a possible answer to what is clearly a problem that needs addressing at the highest levels within the inner sanctums of Arrowhead One Way.
Was this team simply not talented enough to beat the New England Patriots last weekend? That’s absurd. I still think this team has the talent to take it all the way. But now, they’ll never get that chance.
Dan Wetzel, a writer for Yahoo Sports, tweeted out during the game,
Everyone I’ve spoken to about it knew… what to do… at the end of that game. However, the head coach didn’t? The people of Kansas City, expect the coach of their professional football team that bears that name, to be as smart as they are? So, what’s up with that?
Let’s examine the primary example of what I’m talking about.
When asked about clock management before the two minute warning at the end of the game, Andy Reid said “I wanted to make sure I got our best personnel in for that play.”
Next, is a rhetorical question that needs no answer so don’t all raise your hands all at once: what should Andy Reid have been focusing on in that moment before the two minutes warning?
Obviously, Andy Reid wasn’t focused upon the right thing… but he was zeroed in on “players” instead of the “clock”… so the next question is, why?
Since we all know that this kind of clock mismanagement has happened before — here and in Philadelphia — then, can we assume there is a pattern, or a pathology, and an actual reason that this is happening? From Philly.com comes this quote from an article by Zach Berman called, “Patriots win as time management again haunts Reid and Chiefs,”
"“Saturday offered a reminder of what Philadelphia once had with Andy Reid. He coached deep into the playoffs, as he often did with the Eagles. And he answered questions about his time management, which he also did often with the Eagles.”"
I have no idea if “stage fright” is the real reason why Reid, a 6 million dollar coach of the Hunts, 1.53 billion dollar team, was fixated on the wrong issue at the most critical moment of the game… and season. However, it does seem a bit like parachuting from a plane but somehow obsessing about the “pretty clouds” so much that you forget to pull your ripcord.
Next: So, who gets sacrificed because of this loss?