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Grading Andy Reid: Rough night for the Chiefs vs. the Packers

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night against the Packers was somewhat of an odd situation for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. The Chiefs were coming off a heartbreaking loss the week before and they were also playing their second straight prime time game.  Reid had a few extra days to prepare against one of the best, if not the best, home teams in the NFL.  Winning the game against the Packers in Lambeau would have been an exceptional feat, but the entire team from top to bottom would have to perform at their very best.  As you all know, that is not how things turned out.  Without further ado, let's grade Andy Reid in week 3 against the Packers.

Once again we will touch on the grading criteria.

Grading Criteria (Points Possible)

  • Player preparedness / discipline (10)
  • Challenges (15)
  • Offensive play calling (30)
  • Game altering decisions (30)
  • Clock management (15)
The grading scale has not changed from last week. We will most likely keep this scale moving forward. If there are any objections please speak up!

Player Preparedness / Discipline

If the Chiefs came out with too much energy on the Thursday night game against the Broncos - the game in Lambeau was the polar opposite. From the start of the game the players appeared to be flat and lacking energy on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs were also caught with their pants down twice on Aaron Rodgers induced defensive false start touchdowns. The Chiefs also made a number of sloppy penalties, none of which hurt more than Marcus Cooper's illegal contact which negated a turnover. Below are factors that played into Reid's grade.
  1. The Chiefs committed seven penalties that were upheld. Most of the penalties were holding penalties or illegal contact on the secondary.
  2. The Chiefs twice fell for Rodgers' false start antics. This wasn't something that Aaron Rodgers has just started doing; the team should have been more prepared.
  3. During the game the Chiefs players were blatantly sliding around on the turf. I didn't see anywhere near the amount of difficulty maintaining traction for the Packers players. One could wonder if the Chiefs weren't wearing the proper footwear.
  4. Jamaal Charles himself said the team lacked energy.
  5. One positive for the Chiefs player's discipline is that the team did not lose any fumbles, even though they did put the ball on the ground twice.
Player Preparedness Grade:  1/10

Challenges

Similar to last week Reid didn't throw any challenge flags. Amazingly throughout the game there were no situations that came about where Reid needed to throw the challenge flag. We won't deduct any points for challenges.

Challenges Grade: 15/15

Offensive Play Calling

I have really been dreading writing this part of the post. This is always the most difficult part to offer a grade. There are so many criteria involved in calling plays, and honestly I'm not anywhere near qualified to grade Reid on his play calling. All disagreements are welcome, and I'll always provide reasoning for why I came to my conclusions. Let's look at a list of items that affected Reid's grade.
  1. The game got out of hand fast, but asking Alex Smith to pass the ball 40 times versus running with Jamaal Charles 11 times spells for disaster. Charles had three carries in the second half. There was no balance to the offense.
  2. There is a massive problem with Alex Smith and the two minute offense if the best choice for moving the ball downfield quickly is a run play with Charles. Down by 17 with 0:56 left in the second half Reid chose to run the ball three times out of five plays. This does not make sense to me.
  3. The Chiefs first three drives of the game ended in three and outs. These are plays Reid had ample time to script given the extra days of preparation. There is little to no excuse for this, especially when Green Bay isn't known for their defense.
  4. The Chiefs continue to be miserable on third down. The team went 2/10 on third down. The third down calls lacked the creativity that Reid is known for.
  5. With the Packers blitzing so much in the early portion of the game, Reid has to adjust on the fly and call plays that can hurt teams for blatantly overloading the line of scrimmage.
I'd like to add that several of the Chiefs players on offense flat out did not execute their assignments. The blocking was not very good, especially on the edge. However Reid needs to step up his game with the play calling. The success of the play calling towards the end of the game was better than success of the play calling at the start of the game, but that is most likely attributed to the Packers playing soft prevent defense. The success of the offense towards the end of the game should be noted, but the awful performance when the game mattered most can't be ignored.

Offensive Play Calling Grade: 11/30

Game Altering Decisions

Given the nature of the game, there were few game altering decisions Reid was exposed to. Below is a list of the game altering decisions that Reid faced during the game.
  1. With 1:00 left in the third quarter the Chiefs scored a touchdown to bring the score to 13 - 31. Going for two would have put the Chiefs within two scores. Instead Reid elected to go for the extra point. Perhaps Reid felt the game was still early but the score dictated Reid should have gone for two.
  2. With 10:01 left in the fourth quarter the Chiefs scored a touchdown to bring the score to 20 - 38. This time Reid elected to go for two and the Chiefs converted. This was the right decision.
  3. With 1:30 left in the fourth quarter the Chiefs scored a touchdown (deja vu anyone?) to bring the score to 28 - 38. Once again Reid made the correct decision to go for two. Even though they didn't convert it was still the right decision.
  4. Reid elected to onside kick down by eight with 1:30 left in the game. This was also the right decision.
As far as the game altering decisions are concerned, Reid generally made the correct calls. Some points were taken off for not going for two when the score was 13 to 31 (not that it would have mattered).

Game Altering Decisions Grade:  28/30

Clock Management

When it came to clock management during this game, there were two very troublesome issues that came about. Sadly these issues are re-runs that continue to affect the Chiefs.
  • As mentioned earlier, with 0:56 remaining in the first half Reid chose to run the ball on three out of five plays. This is not the way to conserve the clock or timeouts.
  • With the Chiefs needing two quick scores they gained possession of the ball with 5:48 remaining in the game. It took the Chiefs 4:18 seconds to march the ball down the field - this is probably on Alex Smith as much as it is on Reid. Kudos to the Chiefs for scoring the touchdown but the hurry up offense needs to, well, hurry up.
Aside from these two items, below are the notable comments regarding some of the timeouts that were called during the game.
  1. Timeouts two and three in the first half: Both of these were used after Jamaal Charles runs on the last drive before halftime.
  2. The Chiefs called a timeout with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter. They were able to run two plays after this timeout. I would think with 39 seconds before the two minute warning an offensive unit should be able to get more than two plays off immediately following a timeout. It's little things like these that cost the Chiefs precious time when they need to be in hurry up mode.
  3. The remaining two timeouts in the second half were used to stop the clock after runs by the Packers.
The Chiefs really need to improve on their clock management.

Clock Management Grade: 6/15

Overall Grade:  61/100

2015 Average Grade:  69.7

One would have to think given Reid's track record his grade should improve. Hopefully we've seen the worst of Reid in 2015. Going forward after Week 4 I will incorporate some graphs now that we are gaining more data.

Season Stats

Chose to 'go for it' - 0 out of 2 opportunities
Chose to 'go for it' with the lead - 0 out of 2 opportunities
Chose to 'go for it' without the lead - 0 out of 0 opportunities
Chose to punt within FG range - 1 out of 2 opportunities
Chose to punt within FG range with the lead - 1 out of 2 opportunities
Chose to punt within FG range without the lead - 0 out of 0 opportunities
Chose to kick 50+ yard FG vs punt - 1 out of 2 opportunities
Chose to kick 50+ yard FG vs punt with the lead - 1 out of 2 opportunities
Chose to kick 50+ yard FG vs punt without the lead - 0 out of 0 opportunities
Chose to go for two when the score dictated to do so - 2 out of 3 opportunities