It’s time for fans to sit down and talk about a member of the Kansas City Chiefs organization. This man has brought a good deal of success to the team. In fact, he’s won over 57% of the games he’s been a part of, over his career. Not only has he brought stability to the QB position, but he’s also given the Chiefs their only playoff win in the last two decades. He’s not just a great part of the team though, he’s also a terrific person and an incredibly brilliant individual. His football IQ is highly spoken of around the league. If that was all there was to it, fans would love this guy, but there’s a problem.
Since coming to Kansas City, he’s posted a horrific 20% playoff win rate. That’s right, while he’s led the Chiefs to four playoff appearances, in 5 years, he’s only got one win to show for it. At first, fans were inclined to cut him some slack. The pieces on offense haven’t been ideal, the defense always seems to fold when it’s needed most, but fans have begun to turn on him. His tendency to play it safe has cost the team some big wins. He rarely seems to put together game winning drives. He sometimes fails to take advantage of obvious opportunities, in favor of less traditional means of gaining yards. All this adds up to one conclusion. The Chiefs can’t function with this individual, unless something changes in terms of his supporting cast.
Now the money question: Who is this guy? Am I talking about Alex Smith or Andy Reid? Unfortunately, I’m talking about both. Reid tends to sit on a lead, Smith tends to protect one by not taking risks. Reid tends to get cute with the play-calling, Smith often bails on clean pockets, trying to gain yards with his legs. Smith and Reid have both dealt with sub par OL play, and minimal support, at times, from the defense. Both are smart men, with great potential, whose fatal flaws prevent them from going the distance, come playoff time. Both are capable of reaching a Super Bowl with proper support, but neither will ever do so, in the company of the other. Reid loves Smith the QB, because they think the same, they act the same, but, unfortunately, that yields the same results, year after year.
Reid can succeed with a QB who forces him to call plays more aggressively. McNabb, over his career, posted a 56.2% win rate in the playoffs, almost all of that with Reid. Smith, under Harbaugh, posted three playoff wins to just two losses, for a 66.7% playoff win rate. Reid is a phenomenal coach, Smith is a great QB, but they’re a match made in hell. They bring out the worst in each other and Chiefs can never succeed with the two in tandem.
After his contract extension, the Chiefs can’t afford to fire Reid, at least, not yet. With their cap issues, the Chiefs can hardly afford to keep Smith. It seems obvious that Smith will soon be gone. If that occurs, one of two things must happen, for the Chiefs to reach a Super Bowl. Either Mahomes changes Reid more than Reid changes him, or the Chiefs fire Andy Reid. I’ll take either route, as long as it leads to the Lombardi Trophy. Go Chiefs.
Bonus Thought: In hindsight, this connection should have been much more obvious. Some fans kept saying “we’ll never win with Andy”. Others, kept saying “we’ll never win with Smith”. What never occurred to me, until recently is… that they may both be right.
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