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Grading Andy Reid: Week 11

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Quite the season we're having eh?  Who would have thought the Kansas City Chiefs would lose five straight, and then win at least four straight. If the Chiefs end up making the playoffs, they will be the second team to do so after starting 1-5. This is quite the accomplishment. However before we all start celebrating prematurely, head coach Andy Reid had a pretty good quote earlier this week:

You get the fish in the boat before you say 'I caught it.'

This is a great analogy from Reid, because there is still plenty of work to be done for the Chiefs. They can't quit now. How the Chiefs finish the season will say a lot about their ability to be consistent and whether or not they make the playoffs.

We'll be using the same grading criteria as before:

Grading Criteria (Points Possible)

  • Starting Roster (15)
  • Player preparedness / discipline (15)
  • Offensive play calling (30)
  • Game altering decisions (25)
  • Clock management (15)
  • Challenges +/- a range of 5 points.

Starting Roster

With Grubbs still unable to play Reid has chosen to stick with an offensive line of Eric Fisher, Jeff Allen, Mitch Morse, LDT, Jah Reid. This lineup has continued to work. Another interesting roster move by Reid, even though it doesn't involve the starting roster per se, is not having Knile Davis play a role. This move is continuing to look like a good one as Spencer Ware had a huge game after Charcandrick West tweaked his hamstring in San Diego. It appears as though Reid has found the proper starting roster and things are going smoothly.

Starting Roster Grade:  15/15

Player Preparedness / Discipline

I have no complaints with the Chiefs preparedness and/or discipline in this game. The Chiefs committed only five penalties that were upheld, which is a fairly low number. The Chiefs also didn't turn the ball over -- something they haven't done much during their winning streak.

Player Preparedness / Discipline Grade:  15/15

Offensive Play Calling

We'll break things down like we did last week.

Run/Pass Ratio: 24 rushing plays, 35 passing plays.  41% rushing plays, 59% passing plays. This passes the litmus test of the 40/60 run/pass ratio.  Reid needs to continue to run the ball at least 40% of the time as the season progresses.

Third Down Conversion: 5/12 - 42%.  This is OK.  Not great, not awful, just OK.

Red Zone TD Rate: 3/5 - 60%  We're considering the Red Zone to be a fresh set of downs that starts within the opponents 25 yard line. The Chiefs scored a TD 60% of the time in the red zone. This is a pretty good number.

TD to FG Rate: 3 TDs and 2 FGs. The Chiefs didn't have to kick a zillion field goals in this game as they were able to score multiple touchdowns. Awesome job by Reid.

Screen Play Rate: I took the liberty to count the number of screen plays. I hope I didn't miss one. (I have a one-year-old son who likes to catch my attention during the games.)  Of the 59 plays the Chiefs ran on offense, only three of them were screen plays. One of the screens was a bubble screen to Albert Wilson for no gain,  another was a screen on the outside to Travis Kelce for a roughly 7-yard pickup, the last was a quick out to Jason Avant with Wilson blocking that went for 20 yards.  5% of the offensive plays were screens and the average gain on the screen plays was 9 yards.

Let's use 5% of the plays as screens as the litmus test for Reid.  If he runs screens less than 5% of the time, then maybe he'll catch the opposition off gaurd, who knows? Of course watch the screen game go off against the Bills next week and I'll have to completely change how I grade the screens. This should be interesting to track as the season goes on with all of the comments about Reid's use of screen plays.

Offensive Play Calling Grade:  27/30

Game Altering Decisions

  • 1st Qtr, 2:13, 4th and goal, SD 1.  Reid elected to go for it here with a run play to Poe.  Give me a hell yea. Do I even need to comment on whether or not this was the right move?
Other than the run play to Poe, there weren't many tough decisions to make in this game.  It's what happens when you are beat your opponent by a multiple of 11.

Game Altering Decisions Grade:  25/25

Clock Management

Nearing the end of the first half the Chiefs had the ball with 2:17 left on their own 14-yard line. After the two minute warning, Reid elected to run the ball with West. The play took about 30 seconds off the clock before the ball was snapped for the next play. Throughout the season the Chiefs have not looked very good when attempting to move the ball quickly down the field. I am going to make an educated guess as to why this is: Andy Reid will not let Alex Smith make the play calls during the two minute drill.

This could be why the offense seems to be a slight bit sluggish during the two minute drill. If Smith were given the power to call the plays the offense may move much quicker when time is of the essence. This is just a theory, but one I have given a lot of thought. That being said, the Chiefs did a poor job of managing the clock before the half.

Clock Management Grade:  7/15


Reid went 1/1 on challenges in the game. During a pass play to Stevie Johnson, Reid challenged the first down ruling and the ruling was overturned.  The challenge forced a 4th and 1 for the Charges which ultimately led to a turnover on downs. Three bonus points for Reid.

Week 11 Grade:  92/100

2015 Average Grade:  74.4%

Next Week vs Buffalo

Below are a list of things I'd like to see against Buffalo next Sunday.
  1. DO NOT let the Bills push you around.  They are physical, be physical back.
  2. Designed runs for Alex Smith.
  3. 20+ carries for West/Ware.  Hopefully West is healthy by then.
  4. Take care of the ball.  It will be of utmost importance to take care of the ball in this game.  Turnovers could play a huge difference in this one.
  5. Get Maclin involved in the passing game.  Where has he been lately?
  6. Keep Alex Smith upright.  Short passes, extra blocking from TEs, FBs, and RBs, running the ball often, and preparing the OL for the Bills front seven will all help with this.
I'm not too sure what the Bills have in terms of glaring weakness on defense. They appeared to do a pretty good job against the Patriots on Monday night. Does anyone have any pointers on how they'd like to see the Bills defense attacked by Reid and the Chiefs?

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