Always a good time for an experiment
There was a funny moment, perhaps the most memorable of the game, in the second quarter against the Falcons when the Chiefs undoubtedly got “cute” by anyone’s definition. It looked like this:
Go ahead if you need to rewatch that a few more times. We can wait.
Yes, that’s the Chiefs backfield spinning before Patrick Mahomes hands it off to Sammy Watkins who then goes to pass it to, er, Patrick Mahomes, who is, for some unknown reason, calling for the pass like he’s wide open. Yes, that’s the best quarterback in football being tasked with running a route in the red zone. Yes, that’s a pass across the field. No, the play was not called when the Chiefs were up by 30. No, this is not preseason footage.
You can hate it. You can love it. But what is clear is that these Chiefs are attempting all manner of gimmickry in the second quarter of Week 16 against a clearly inferior team. They didn’t save it for a high-leverage situation. They didn’t even save it for the postseason. This was a play that mattered in regulation. Yet at the same time, it also wasn’t in some desperate moment.
Here’s the primary takeaway: Andy Reid isn’t afraid to call anything at any time. The magic doesn’t have to happen with the game on the line. This offense doesn’t need to be mired in some epic postseason battle. Even on a vanilla Sunday afternoon with (really) very little at stake for the team, Reid up and decided to experiment.
Some fans will applaud this move. Other cringed the moment they saw it. Andy Reid will undoubtedly get asked about it. But what matters most is any opposing coach who watches this game is going to tell his defenders to be ready at all times for all things.