Chiefs vs. Raiders: The mastery of Andy Reid and other lessons learned
By Byron Smith
Give the Chiefs time to adjust
As the big, bold letters on the back of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy taught millions: “Don’t Panic”
This was the message that Chiefs Kingdom desperately needed to hear Sunday afternoon as many panicked when the Raiders went up 10 points in the first quarter. Oakland’s defense appeared to be clicking just as their offense moved the chains at will. Meanwhile, Kansas City could not get something going on offense.
This lasted 10 minutes and 49 seconds.
Yes, it could be argued that the panic lasted until the opening seconds of the second quarter, when Patrick Mahomes put up a deep touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson, but the Raiders’ success and Chiefs’ desperation only lasted until Kansas City’s third drive.
When this drive started, it was clear from the start that something had changed, as the offense found a rhythm and drove the ball all the way from the five yard line to score. The defense was losing the ball carrier, committing unnecessary penalties, and opening up the space behind them for longer plays.
Then the defense figured it out. The Raiders did not score another point for the rest of the game. They were forced to punt five more times and also turned the ball over twice. The quick, short passes that worked for them through last week and a quarter of this week started to fall short of the first down marker. Rookie back Josh Jacobs started to find extra linebackers hanging out in the flats waiting for him to bounce to the outside and stop him for a short gain.
After figuring out the game plan of Jon Gruden, Steve Spagnoulo and Andy Reid were able to adjust the gameplan and find success, and it took them less then a full quarter to get it done.