To be the best, you have to beat the best: A regular season focus on Andy Reid

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

From the FanPosts -Joel

The offseason is a great time to evaluate your team; I mean really, what else is there to do? Given the Chief's poor record against high caliber teams since Andy Reid has come on board it may be a good idea to delve deeper into how well our coach does in comparison to his peers in games against top competition. We've all heard the old cliche, 'to be the best, you have to beat the best', but is this necessarily true in the NFL? Does beating the best teams during the regular season equate to a better chance of a Super Bowl appearance? Or is it more important to beat the weaker teams with high frequency? Where does our own Big Red stack up against the best coaches in the NFL in the past five years? How about the past two years?

The best way to view how well a head coach performed against top competition is to look at wins and losses against top competition. For the sake of this article, top competition is any team who made the playoffs that season. Wasting no time, below is a table that ranks 10 head coaches and their success against playoff teams over the past five seasons. The 10 coaches below were selected due to continuous employment by NFL teams over the past five seasons. It could be argued that these are 10 of the best coaches in the NFL today. These stats were gathered from Pro Football Reference.


.... Interesting. It would appear the teams who are the best at beating the best during the regular season, are also the best at winning super bowls. There is one outlier in the past five seasons -- Tom Coughlin; but everyone who saw the Giants win the Superbowl in the 2011 season knew they were outliers. Unfortunately for us Chiefs fans, Andy Reid is nowhere near the upper echelon of coaches in terms of beating the best. This is concerning. If these statistics hold true, and there really is correlation between Super Bowls and beating the best, then the Chiefs will have to begin winning more games against top competition to have any hope making it deep into the playoffs. Andy Reid is a great coach; one of the best ever. However, if he doesn't improve against top competition soon there will be some very serious questions that need to be answered -- let's hope it never gets to this point.

Now lets take a look at the success of these same coaches against weaker, non-playoff teams.


Please note that Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy both tied one game a piece. Once again our own Andy Reid is not in the top tier of coaches in the NFL over the past five years. An extremely fair question to ask at this point would be "How the hell does Rex Ryan still have a job?" Once again the teams that beat the worst teams also win Super Bowls. However, the correlation of beating weak teams is slightly less than beating the best teams. So maybe, and remarkably .... Winning correlates to Super Bowl wins. Ermahgerd.

The last two tables show where Andy Reid ranks in the past two seasons against his peers. These tables are included due to the NFL's 'what have you done for me lately' mentality. Below are the 'Beat the Best' rankings for the past two seasons.


Belichick and Carroll once again are the top dogs - what a shock. Perhaps a more shocking stat is how poorly Reid has done in the past two seasons against top competition. This will have to change if the Chiefs want to make noise next season.

Lastly comes the past two seasons against lesser opponents. This is where things get pretty interesting for us Chiefs fans.


Holy Peyton Manning! The Broncos have only lost one game in the past two seasons to a non-playoff team. Close behind them are the Andy Reid led Chiefs. Think about that. The Chiefs have lost 3 games in the past two seasons to teams who have not made the playoffs. That's 1.5 games per season. Andy Reid has been phenomenal against lesser opponents the past two seasons. This stat alone could and probably should cause these two questions to arise:

  • Why have we bemoaned the losses to poor teams like the Raiders and Titans in 2014 so strongly?
  • Why are we not more upset about losing the games against top opponents?

There has been a belief that Reid has the tendency to do poorly against bad teams. This simply is not true. Where Reid needs to get better is his performance against top teams. Sometimes the thought is that losing to the best teams is less of a detriment. Perhaps losing to the top teams is less of a 'moral loss.' However, if you want to be the best you need to beat the best.

Andy Reid and the Chiefs have to perform better against top teams this season if we want to have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. The Chiefs will have to ask themselves very hard questions if Reid cannot deliver in the next two seasons given the overall talent of this roster. I am a huge supporter of Big Red, but if he can't perform this year I would realistically expect that 2016 could be his final season to prove himself. What do you think Reid's outcome in Kansas City will be?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.