Chiefs fans should appreciate Andy Reid this season
Battling injuries and inconsistencies, Andy Reid has led this Chiefs team to a record of 10-3 and are in position to be a top-two seed in the NFL playoffs.
Andy Reid has not always been the most popular guy in Kansas City.
“Big Red” has taken some heat this season from Chiefs fans, sportswriters and the like for his playcalling and coaching style.
Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio said the Chiefs rely on “gimmicky things” on the offensive side of the ball after the Chiefs beat the Raiders in Week 6, although that “gimmicky” offense is 2-0 against the Silver & Black this year.
After last week’s Chiefs victory, Reid has his team at 10-3 and in control of their own destiny. The Chiefs are the real deal right now, and they are starting to garner some well-deserved respect around the rest of the NFL.
To put things into perspective, Reid has dealt with a ton of serious injuries in 2016. Here’s a list:
- Aug. 30: Linebacker Josh Mauga (shoulder) is declared out for the season.
- Sept. 5: Linebacker Justin March-Lillard is said to be out for the season, although he may return toward the end of this season.
- Oct. 18: Defensive lineman Allen Baily (pectorals) is out for the season.
- Nov. 1: Chiefs announce guard Parker Ehinger is out for the rest of the season with an injured knee and Jamaal Charles is out indefinitely, requiring knee surgery.
- Dec. 1: Chiefs say defensive lineman Jaye Howard (hip) will miss the rest of 2016.
- Dec. 8: Linebacker Derrick Johnson tears achilles and will be out for the season.
That list doesn’t even include the off-and-on injuries that has handicapped Jeremy Maclin this year, and without the consistent presence of Maclin, Alex Smith has struggled for a lot of the season. But Tyreek Hill has emerged as a premier rookie in the league; Maclin’s ability to draw in defensive attention should only help the effectiveness of Hill the rest of the way.
So, what does all of this mean? It means that Reid has taken a Chiefs team that has struggled immensely with injuries and distractions and has still found a way to have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
Sure, Reid was criticized for his playcalling in the loss to the Buccanneers a few weeks ago. (News flash: maybe Tampa Bay isn’t so bad after all.) But after the team’s game in Atlanta two Sundays ago, fans appreciated Reid’s playcalling that included a fake punt for a touchdown.
By no means am I saying Reid has been Vince Lombardi-esque, but we should take a moment to appreciate what he’s done with this franchise in 2016. The offense has struggled and the defense has been decimated by injuries. In fact, the defense has been statistically not-so-good in terms of yards given up.
This Sunday’s game against the Titans is just as big as last week’s against the Raiders. It’ll be a cold one, too, with temperatures in the mid-teens. Tennessee is fighting for the AFC South, and the Chiefs could clinch a playoff birth. There’s no doubt in my mind that the big guy on the sideline will have his team ready to play.
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