KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Doug Pederson dropped an interesting bit of news at his introductory press conference as Philadelphia Eagles head coach: He called the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive plays in the second half of every game the second half of the season, including Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots.
The Chiefs’ deliberate offensive pace in the fourth quarter was a key factor in their 27-20 defeat to the Patriots.
“It took us time because, No. 1, we did not want to give Tom Brady the ball back," said Pederson, the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for the past three seasons before being hired by the Eagles. “We knew we were going to score. We knew we had timeouts and time. We were also limited with the number of receivers. Jeremy Maclin was out of the game at the time. We were down numbers. We felt like at that point (it would have been a mistake) to give the ball back to Tom Brady.
“We still had timeouts and time even with the onside kick to put ourselves in a position to win the football game."
Pederson’s explanation mirrored that of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who said at his season-ending news conference Sunday that he was satisfied with the Chiefs’ time management toward the end of the game.
Pederson said he took over play-calling duties from Reid at halftime of every game beginning with an Oct. 25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium. That victory, by a 23-13 score, started the Chiefs’ winning streak that reached 11 before it was snapped by the Patriots.
The Chiefs that day led 9-3 at halftime by kicking three field goals. But they scored two touchdowns in the second half to pull away from the Steelers.
The Chiefs were also more productive offensively in the second half Saturday against the Patriots, scoring six points in the first half and 14 after halftime.
But they went three straight games late in the regular season where they were shut out in the second half.