Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid wasn’t a very happy man on Monday. He met with the media after his team’s 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
“[Sunday] wasn’t good enough,” he said in his opening statement. “I didn’t feel like we took advantage of opportunities, number one, from an offensive standpoint on the turnovers. We didn’t score touchdowns, which we pride ourselves in doing. We created too many negative situations for ourselves with penalties. We have to take care of that.”
In fact, the Chiefs had three turnovers against the Texans, scoring only three points on the resulting possessions — a field goal on a drive that began at the Houston 18-yard line that was blunted when right tackle Mitchell Schwartz was called for holding on a successful third-and-5 conversion.
But the one that really hurt was the interception by rookie safety Juan Thornhill with 39 seconds left in the first half. While Thornhill has (properly) received criticism for catching the ball in the end zone instead of simply batting down the fourth-and-1 pass — which gave the Chiefs the ball at the 20-yard line instead of the 40 — the real killer was the next play. Patrick Mahomes was strip-sacked for a 17-yard loss. The Texans scored on the next snap, taking a 23-17 lead to the locker room.
“Our time of possession is way out-of-whack,” said Reid. “When given opportunities to stay on the field, we have to make sure that we do that offensively — and get off of the field defensively. The fourth quarter is a great example of that.”
Indeed it was. The Chiefs held the ball for just 85 seconds in the last period, getting a three-and-out on their only possession. But it’s inaccurate to say the Texans simply ran the ball down the Chiefs’ throat to end the game. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson was brilliant in the dink and dunk game during the fourth quarter, completing 7 of 7 for 90 yards — while the Texans rushed for only 55 yards on five carries.
Reid was asked what the team could do on offense to improve the disparity.
“Without going through every play, there are certain things,” he replied. “Obviously, drops can become an issue — and so on. You run. You want to make sure that you gain more yards and stay on the field. We can all do better. I can do better calling the plays. We can do better executing.”
“I understand there is a small margin between winning and losing in the National Football League,” Reid said. “You see this every week. Teams come in when they might not be doing well, and they turn it around. It doesn’t happen automatically, though. There has to be hard work here. We have to fix the problems. As coaches, we have to do that. As players, we have to do that.”
Reminded of the 2015 season — in which the Chiefs started 1-5 and then won 10 straight on the way to their first postseason win since 1993 — Reid was asked what he needed to see from his team to overcome two consecutive home losses.
“That’s a good question. I appreciate that,” replied Reid, drawing laughter from the reporters. “I think staying positive is one of them — but also being real with the errors that are taking place. This is both coaches and players. Then you have to trust each other — and you can’t lose that. If we can all do that and learn from it to make ourselves better, that’s where you go from here. With all of the parity in the National Football League, it’s not always a huge thing. It’s the small things that add up on you. You have to fix those.”