Was Matt Nagy responsible for the Chiefs offensive success versus Jets?

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Alex Smith /

Chiefs twitter blew up when the news broke that Matt Nagy would be calling the plays instead of Andy Reid. How did he do?

When the news broke that head coach Andy Reid was handing off playcalling to offensive coordinator Matt Nagy for the game against the New York Jets on Sunday, fans were excited. What many fans are failing to realize is that Reid still was very involved when it came to this weeks game plan.

While Nagy was calling the plays, with Reid having veto power if he didn’t like the play call, Reid was also the one that put together this week’s game plan of plays for this game. It’s also important to note that the first two drives are almost always scripted. That means that Reid was most likely the one that put together the first two drives in which the Kansas City Chiefs offense scored their first two touchdowns on.

We have seen this system work in 2015 when now head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was our offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson, would call plays for the offense. Reid believes that Nagy has potential to become a head coach someday and he is giving him opportunities to show what he can do. While it’s still nice to have someone else call the plays, Reid won’t allow this unless they are like-minded coaches.

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I’m not trying to bring down Nagy and say that he had nothing to do with the success of the offense on Sunday by any means. In fact, he’s very involved in the offense every week. I think that he and Reid sat down this past week and decided they had to get back on track and push quarterback Alex Smith to get back to throwing the ball down the field.

Leading up to the game the announcers discussed how the Chiefs offense practiced all week the aggressive and downfield plays that made them so successful in the first five games of this season to get Smith his rhythm back. Fair to say it worked. In the very limited amount of time, Smith threw 19/33 for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns.

All four of Smith’s touchdowns were passes over 20 yards. It was a complete turnaround from the Smith that we have been used to watching since week 6. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce both ended up having big days as well. Hill had 6 catches for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns while Kelce had 4 catches for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Something that was interesting to me was that Kelce was really involved in the first two drives where he had 3 catches for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. After that, we didn’t see Kelce get the ball till the final drive under the two-minute warning. Of course, that didn’t seem to slow down the offense as Hill had a big game as well.

Like Reid, Nagy tended to stray away from the run game as rookie running back Kareem Hunt only had nine carries on the day.

Like Reid, Nagy tended to stray away from the run game as rookie running back Kareem Hunt only had nine carries on the day. Back up running back Akeem Hunt only had one carry. This might be something that is being overlooked.

I’ve been criticized on Twitter since the game for complaining about the offense scoring too fast now. The fact of the matter is, I blame the defense for this game with no doubt in my mind, but I also believe that the offense didn’t do the defense any favors either.

While the defense struggled to get off the field on third down allowing the 23rd ranked Jets offense to pick up 13 of 20 first downs, the Chiefs offense didn’t exactly keep them off the field. Neither defense could stop the opposing offense on Sunday, but the Jets offense limited the amount of time the Chiefs offense would have the ball and did so pretty well.

The Jets offense was in control of the ball for 42:49 only leaving the Chiefs 17:11. How you can expect to win a game like that I don’t know. Now is it the offenses fault that the defense struggled to slow down anyone? No. The defense should take all the blame for their lack of play on Sunday. However, look at what the winning team did to come out ahead.

The Jets defense couldn’t handle the Chiefs offense by any means. Alex Smith, a quarterback that has been absolutely dreadful for over a month now, just threw for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns in only 17 minutes against this team. The Jets responded by running the ball 42 times if you don’t include quarterback scrambles.

Once again, they limited time that the Chiefs offense was on the field and it worked. The team that was in control of the clock won the game. The Chiefs only ran 46 plays to the Jets 85. The defense had no time to rest on a day that they looked gassed from the beginning.

A great example of this was coming out of halftime the Jets ran 9:31 off the clock before kicking a field goal. The Chiefs offense responded in one play, 79-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill. The defense was forced right back onto the field. With no time to sit and take a breath, the Chiefs defense struggled more as the game went on.

Next: What we learned from the Jets loss

I’m very excited from what I saw from the passing game yesterday, but the lack of an attempt to use the run game just like we have all criticized Reid for is concerning. We have talked about how the deep passing game is what’s needed to open up the run game, and while the Chiefs continued to throw deep, they failed to hardly attempt the run. The offense has to find more of a balance and have the ball more than 17 minutes if they expect to win any of these last four games.