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Does Andy Reid have a problem starting slow with the Chiefs?

A look at his coaching numbers

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re on Twitter enough as much as me (you may have a problem if you are) you might find that some people get cranky easily. This probably isn’t news to you, though.

Occasionally, I come across “that one guy”—you know, the person that complains about everything—who says Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a problem starting slow out of the gate at the beginning of the season.

It got me thinking.

Does Reid really have a track record of starting slow?

The start to an NFL season is so important. Some may say it’s easy to rebound from a 1-3 start, but I wouldn’t bet any money on that unless your team is led by Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan or Jay Cutler ... okay, maybe not Cutler.

So, what constitutes a “successful start” to a season? Most reasonable people would suggest a .500 or better mark in the team’s first four games would be considered a good start to a season. An exceptional mark to a season would be a 3-1 record or undefeated in the first four matchups.

I’ve seen enough of this so called “slow starter” sentiment about Reid, so I figured I’d dig into the numbers on his head coaching career. I divided the stats into four categories: Reid’s record through his team’s first four games, first six games, the team’s final record and whether or not the team made the playoffs.

Does Andy Reid start slow?

Year Team Record in First 4 Games Record in First 6 Games Final Record Playoffs?
Year Team Record in First 4 Games Record in First 6 Games Final Record Playoffs?
1999 PHI 0-4 2-4 5-11 No
2000 PHI 2-2 3-3 11-5 Yes
2001 PHI 2-2 3-3 11-5 Yes
2002 PHI 3-1 4-2 12-4 Yes
2003 PHI 2-2 3-3 12-4 Yes
2004 PHI 4-0 6-0 13-3 Yes
2005 PHI 3-1 4-2 6-10 No
2006 PHI 3-1 4-2 10-6 Yes
2007 PHI 1-3 2-4 8-8 No
2008 PHI 2-2 3-3 9-6-1 Yes
2009 PHI 3-1 4-2 11-5 Yes
2010 PHI 2-2 4-2 10-6 Yes
2011 PHI 3-1 2-4 8-8 No
2012 PHI 3-1 3-3 4-12 No
2013 KC 4-0 6-0 11-5 Yes
2014 KC 2-2 3-3 9-7 No
2015 KC 1-3 1-5 11-5 Yes
2016 KC 2-2 4-2 12-4 Yes
Stats: Pro Football Reference

Let’s break down the numbers:

  • Four games into the season, Reid has put together a record that is .500 (2-2) or better in 14 of his 18 seasons as a head coach in the NFL. So, 78 percent of the time Reid puts his team in a good position for the rest of the season.
  • But Reid’s better than .500 39 percent of the time in his team’s first four contests.
  • Through his team’s first six games of the season (so a bit more than one-third of the schedule), Reid is .500 or better 78 percent of the time. That’s even more impressive.
  • In eight of his 18 NFL seasons, Reid has been better than .500 through the team’s first six games.
  • How many of those 14 seasons with at least a record of .500 through the first four games of the schedule did Reid’s team make the playoffs? Ten times. If Reid starts the season with at least a 2-2 record, he’s got a 71 percent shot of extending the team’s season into the postseason.

Why does all of this matter? Because the Chiefs schedule in 2017 is no walk in the park. Kansas City’s first four opponents in 2017 were a combined 34-29-1 last season. Take it a step further, and things get even more daunting for the Chiefs.

KC’s first six opponents of 2017 tallied a combined record of 54-41-1 last year. That’s ... a bit terrifying, if you ask me. These opponents for the Chiefs include: New England (14-2), Philadelphia (7-9), Los Angeles Chargers (5-11), Washington (8-7-1), Houston (9-7) and Pittsburgh (11-5).

Uh ... should we be concerned?

Yeah, it’s okay to be a bit worried. It’ll be tough for the Chiefs and when you’ve got to open the season on national TV against New England, well, you take what you can get. I’d say most KC fans would be happy with a 2-2 start to 2017. Anything better would just be icing on the cake.

So, does Reid have a “slow start” problem? Speaking strictly on terms of his record, no, he doesn’t. Now, if you want to argue that he’s slow to make adjustments and changes early in the season, that’s an avenue worth going down.

But not today.

Thanks for reading. Shameless ask for attention: you can follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page.

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