Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is one of the most successful coaches in the history of the NFL but his coaching style has left many fans not only ecstatic but also befuddled and downright upset. Offensively, Reid is touted as an innovative and brilliant coaching mind. At the same time, he has also been known to make head scratching game management decisions.
What if we were to create a grading scale to evaluate Reid and use it throughout the season? It may shed some insight into some of Reid's decisions. If we do this every week, we could see some trends come up. Or we could see nothing. However, it's worth a shot to try and track.
Since this is the first week of the Reid evaluation, let's lay down the grading scale. As a professor at a major university, I do have some grading skills but there is always room for improvement. In fact, I'll go ahead and be honest and say I've never graded an NFL head coach before - let alone a potential HOF head coach. So take these grades as they are and let's have a little fun evaluating Reid.
Here is the grading scale we will be using this season. (If we find flaws / improvements with our grading scale as the season goes we can adjust.)
|Grading Criteria||Points Possible|
|Offensive Play Calling||25|
|Game Altering Decisions||30|
There are a total of 100 points possible per game (how convenient.) Let's describe these in a little more detail.
Player Preparedness / Discipline: Some games the players come out flat (see: Titans, 2014 season opener). Some games players commit a number of sloppy penalties. These are all items that would fall under the Player Preparedness / Discipline criteria.
Challenges: This is simply an evaluation of Reid's success with coaching challenges.
Offensive Play Calling: Since Reid is calling the plays on offense, this is a very important factor for his coaching grade. Some games Reid seems to be on fire with his calls (see: Texans, first half) and other games the offense appears to have a hard time getting the offense to put points on the board (see: Texans, second half). Compared to other head coaches Reid is one of the best offensive play callers but the grade for the offensive play calling will be based on Reid's ability and results.
Game Altering Decisions: These include decisions that seriously alter the outcome of the game. The "big" plays each game. Choosing to punt on 4th and 1 instead of going for it, choosing to go for two instead of the extra point or deciding to kick a long field goal would all fall under this criteria.
Clock Management: Clock management has been one of Reid's biggest criticisms throughout his career. This grade will be based on his use of time outs.
Now that we have an explanation of all the grading criteria, let's take a look at how Reid performed in Week 1 against the Texans.
The Chiefs came out focused and well prepared for this game. Here are factors that show they were well prepared:
- The Chiefs did not turn the ball over.
- The Chiefs committed two penalties. One of the penalties was a fairly common pass interference The other was a holding call on Jah Reid who was facing JJ Watt - you're excused Jah, can't say we blame you. There were no sloppy penalties, false starts, offsides, etc. The team was prepared.
- The entire team came out passionately and played with visible high effort on both offense and defense.
- They also executed the offense well enough for a three score lead and appeared highly focused.
Offensive Play Calling
Game Altering Decisions
- 4th and 8 - 1st Quarter 11:23 on the HOU 43: This is borderline go for it land. Going for a 4th and 8 would have not been a great decision. Another alternative would have been a 60 yard field goal by Santos - also not a great idea. Ultimately Colquitt made an amazing punt and the ball was downed at the seven yard line. Reid made the right decision.
- Extra Point - 1st Quarter 10:27. With the Chiefs leading 6 - 0 Reid goes for the extra point and not the 2 point conversion. Makes sense.
- Extra Point - 1st Quarter 4:39. With the Chiefs leading 13 - 0 Reid once again makes the right decision by kicking the extra point.
- 4th and 7 - 2nd Quarter 10:29. The Chiefs led 14 - 6 and the FG was a 27 yard attempt. This is also an easy decision for Reid. The Chiefs made the FG to push it to two scores.
- 4th and 8 - 2nd Quarter 6:25. Leading 17 - 6 Reid chose to attempt a 48 yard FG. Santos makes the kick. This was once again an easy decision.
- Extra Point - 2nd Quarter 5:01. Up 26 - 6 the extra point attempt is a no-brainer.
- 4th and 7 - 3rd Quarter 8:25 on the HOU 37: This is once again a play in go for it land. Reid chose to punt the ball over going for it. He also chose to punt the ball over a 54 yard FG attempt by Santos. Colquitt punted and put the ball in a good spot but the play ended in a touchback. Choosing not to go with the FG may show Reid has limited faith in Santos (who did miss a 51-yard FG later), or maybe he didn't want to take a risk with a 27 - 9 lead.
- 4th and 1 - 4th Quarter 6:16 on the HOU 32. With the score 27 - 9 Reid chose to go with the FG. In a closer game Reid may have chosen to go for it. Ultimately Santos missed the FG. If Reid chooses to go for it and converted it would have put Houston in a bad spot. We'll take off a point for this because the results were not good.
- 4th and 1 - 4th Quarter 2:55 on the KAN 44. Once again Reid chose to be conservative with a 27 - 17 lead and punted the ball. Outcome: Houston starts on their own 10 yard line. Good decision with that defense and that lead.
Overall Grade: 91/100
- 'Go for it' represents going for it on a 4th and short in no mans land (anywhere between the opposing 30 and 45-yard line).
- Only punts where the field goal was between 50 to 55 yards were considered.
- FGs less than 50 yards are assumed to be taken.
- A two point conversion should be taken in instances where two points puts the team within a single score, or above a single score. For instance if the Chiefs are up by one point and have the choice for an extra point or to go for two - the score should dictate the Chiefs to go for two.