While there were plenty of things that went wrong in the game against the New York Giants, a team that was 1-8, Andy Reid’s playcalling sits at the top.
The Kansas City Chiefs, once the last remaining undefeated team and the franchise that staredt the season beating the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in back-to-back weeks, went on the road to take on the New York Giants after a bye week only to look like they learned nothing in their week off. We all have heard about head coach Andy Reid lead teams being 16-2 after the bye week and yet they lost to the 1-8 Giants which should have been a blowout without an extra week to prepare.
Many of us laughed or joked about how the Chiefs were getting a second bye week with this game and yet here we are, wanting to rip our hair out and scream at our televisions. All of the cracks in the foundation that surfaced over the last four games—ones we were hoping to be resolved over the bye week—came out looking even worse against the Giants.
We can talk forever how the offensive line is still not looking good after getting everyone back, the offensive penalties that took place every time rookie running back Kareem Hunt made a big gain, or how quarterback Alex Smith continues to get happy feet and play conservatively. All of those things can be discussed at length, but the bigger problem is the playcalling from Andy Reid. The coach that everyone raves about being one of the best coaches in history continues to make the same mistakes when calling the shots.
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We’ve seen what this offense can look like in the first five weeks of this season with good playcalling from Reid. We saw this team look like a completely different one for the first part of the season. Yet with every week that passes, we watch our Chiefs revolt back to their 2016 ways of conservative and gimmicky plays.
In a game that shouldn’t need consistent trick plays and gimmicks, that’s what we got. The Giants defense gives up on average 40.3 yards per game this year, but the Chiefs somehow only scored 9. They also average giving up 26.4 points per game which rank second to last before this week. So why did Reid feel the need to call the game like he did instead of just letting his players make plays?
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, names leading the race for the rookie of the year award Kareem Hunt has been completely underused, especially over the last few games. While Hunt ended the day with 17 carries, every time he broke loose for a big gain, it was either called back due to a holding call that wouldn’t have mattered anyway or Reid went to pass the ball right after. In fact, interceptions from tight end Travis Kelce interception and Smith (his second) came after Hunt and the run game finally showed some momentum.
We saw what happened when Reid decided to let wide receiver Tyreek Hill throw the ball in the red zone earlier this year and now we got to see a designed play where Kelce is throwing the ball. Both plays ended the same way: interceptions. I continue to be absolutely lost as to why the playcalling has become so gimmicky. When you are playing one of the worst teams in the NFL and the wind has been a huge factor in a game that renders deep passes inaccurate, why are you having your tight end throw deep down the field!
One of my biggest issues with Reid is the fact that he continues to go away from the run the second it gets going—especially when you have a running back that has been breaking records the first five weeks. Hunt has been one of the biggest names in the league and Reid tends to continue to go away from him and the running game overallm especially in contests where the running game is the clearest path to victory.
Another one of my biggest concerns is the playcalling we see in third-and-long situations. Numerous times on Sunday in that very situation, Reid called plays designed for back-up tight ends Ross Travis and Demetrius Harris. Both of whom have had issues with dropping the ball all year. Why are we not getting the ball to our biggest playmakers on big downs like these?
While Andy Reid can be a genius in drawing up plays like what we saw in the first game against the Patriots, but at this point, he needs to hand off the responsibility to an offensive coordinator. He continues to go away from what works and call plays that are very predictable, ones that have proven time and time again to not work.
While Andy has given the Chiefs some really good regular seasons since 2013, his playcalling could most likely be the biggest issue when it comes to winning a playoff game. His clock management continues to be a joke in Kansas City as he is too focused on what plays to call and loses track of the clock.
If the Chiefs don’t get back to being aggressive and creative in ways we saw in the early part of the season, this will be another good regular season, that could have been a dominant one, that will end with a first-round loss in the playoffs.