Coach of the Year candidate: Andy Reid builds unstoppable offence

Kansas City Chiefs
"Kansas City Chiefs, right next door" by jimcchou https://flickr.com/photos/jimchou/246154391 is licensed under CC BY

The Chiefs were an offensive juggernaut this season. I must admit I was a tad wary when Kansas City traded Alex Smith to Washington in the offseason, wondering whether one season of riding the bench would be enough to help second year quarterback Patrick Mahomes lead the team.

Mahomes, however, was absolutely dominant this season. We already knew about his arm strength, but that isn’t enough on its own to be a successful quarterback in the league.

Mahomes looked assured and reliable in Reid’s creative offensive scheme, not just relying on those incredible downfield bombs (though there were plenty of those!). The Kansas City quarterback led the league with a remarkable 50 touchdowns and was second among starting quarterbacks in passer rating (behind veteran Drew Brees), indicating his efficiency as a passer.

In addition to that Mahomes was voted to the Pro Bowl and as a first team All Pro in his first full season as a starter in the NFL. That is remarkable given the amount of pressure placed on quarterbacks in the league both physically, mentally and in a leadership role. A good chunk of the credit for this rests with Reid who helped tutor the 10th overall pick from Texas Tech, enabling the Chiefs to rely on Mahomes like a seasoned veteran.

Reid had no problem putting the ball in his quarterback’s hands, passing on 61% of Kansas City’s plays, placing them 10th in the league, per Team Rankings.

In addition to Mahomes, on offence Travis Kelce broke the league record for receiving yards for a tight end (though was later beaten himself on this by San Francisco’s George Kittle), while Tyreek Hill went for over 1,400 yards, receiving 12 touchdowns.

It’s common knowledge that Hill and Kelce are the focal points of Reid’s passing attack, yet the head coach has commonly found ways to ensure they continue to pile up yardage whilst coming up with innovative ways to get the ball to Hill in space where the speedy wide-receiver can cause the most damage to defences.

The main mark against Reid, though, would be the pretty porous Chiefs defence, which despite stellar individual performances from outside linebacker Dee Ford and defensive lineman Chris Jones, forced Kansas City to outscore opponents consistently.

This was shown as a potential weakness in the touchdown fest against the Rams in November, when arguably the Rams (slightly) superior defense tilted the game in their favour. The Chiefs also lost 40-43 to the Patriots back in week 6, and this traditionally stronger phase of Kansas’ game, could be what holds them back from a successful run to the Super Bowl.

About Mark Gill 34 Articles
I'm a Bears fan for my troubles meaning I approach each Chicago NFL game with a mix of hope and pessimism.

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