KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Andy Reid provided the Kansas City Chiefs a look into his coaching philosophy with one of his decisions in Sunday’s win over the New York Giants. If this is indeed how Reid will coach the Chiefs over the long term, they will benefit.
The decision in question came with 9½ minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs leading 17-7. Ryan Succop kicked a 53-yard field goal that would have put the Chiefs ahead by 13 points. But a Giants penalty gave Reid the option of taking the points off the board and giving the Chiefs a fresh set of downs. He took the latter.
After some anxious moments -- the Chiefs were penalized 15 yards for clipping on their next play -- they eventually scored a touchdown to go ahead 24-7.
The fact that the decision paid off for Reid isn’t what makes it a good one. It’s that he’s coaching to the strengths of the Chiefs.
Those strengths are a ball-control offense (the Chiefs had possession for almost 36 minutes on Sunday) and a defense capable of controlling games (the Giants took just 10 snaps on Kansas City’s side of the field). Chances were the Chiefs were going to chew more time off the clock and still get points on the drive. If they didn’t, chances were their defense would stifle the Giants.
There was little risk by going against the book under such circumstances, and Reid recognized that. He and the Chiefs were rewarded for it.
“Maybe just a gut feeling that I’ve tried to trust,’’ Reid said. “I can’t tell you I didn’t have a little indigestion on that gut feeling with the [clipping] penalty right there. That bothered me a little bit, but we overcame that and we got rolling.’’
These decisions won’t always work out for Reid. That’s acceptable when there’s little downside to failure. All situations are different, and Reid will have many factors to consider the next time he’s faced with a dilemma.
But over the long haul, the Chiefs will prosper with a coach who not only has a killer instinct, but listens to it.