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Chiefs coach Andy Reid named among most likely to win first Super Bowl

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NFL.com picked Reid as one of five head coaches most likely to win their first Super Bowl in the coming season

NFL: AFC Championship Game-New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, NFL.com published an article where five of their writers each identify an NFL head coach most likely to win their first Super Bowl in the 2019 season — and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is one of them.

Seven current head coaches — Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers — have already won Super Bowls. Now entering his 21st season as a head coach, Reid has the most experience of the 25 coaches who have not yet won an NFL championship.

Along with Reid — chosen by Shaun O’Hara — the article names Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears (Adam Rank), Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams (Jeremy Bergman), Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts (Marcas Grant) and Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings (David Carr) as the coaches most likely to notch their first NFL championship this season.

Regarding Reid and the Chiefs, O’Hara said it is finally Reid’s time.

Andy Reid’s Lombardi drought will finally end in February

Andy Reid’s squad will have a chance for as long as Patrick Mahomes is under center. The reigning MVP made it all look so effortless in 2018. Even taking into account Tyreek Hill’s uncertain future with the team, the Chiefs’ offense has enough talent to light up scoreboards. Now, they struggled all season long on defense last year, ranking in the bottom third of the league in most statistical categories, but the Chiefs have made huge strides on that side of the ball this offseason. They brought in several notable defensive players via free agency, trades and the draft, including Frank Clark, Emmanuel Ogbah, Darron Lee and Tyrann Mathieu. Reid has been so close to a title in the past. His team gets it done this time around.

Why I agree (John Dixon)

O’Hara gets credit from me for being one of the few national analysts who avoids predicting the fortunes of the Chiefs entirely on the loss of Kareem Hunt and the potential unavailability of Tyreek Hill.

Hunt was a perfect running back for Reid’s offense, but after the shock wave of his sudden dismissal diminished, Reid was able to get solid production from Damien Williams; there’s a reason Reid has always had productive running backs — and it’s not because they have always been the most talented players. I can’t argue that Hill won’t be missed if he’s unavailable, but after what we saw in 2018, I have faith that Patrick Mahomes can be effective in Reid’s offense with the remaining wide receivers — whomever they turn out to be.

O’Hara has correctly identified the main problem with the 2018 team, along with most of the offseason steps to correct it. The defensive coaching changes are underappreciated; new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has brought in a top-quality staff. The big question is whether returning players who were ineffective under Bob Sutton can quickly thrive in Spagnuolo’s 4-3 Under scheme; how quickly can the new staff turn the defense around?

Why I agree (Pete Sweeney)

Andy Reid has a well-deserved reputation as a quarterback whisperer, as he always seems to get the absolute most out of the position. Names like Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and even Alex Smith are often brought up in the conversation.

But none of those names are Patrick Mahomes—who already has made me, through one year of play, believe he will trump them all both now and in the end.

Mahomes is the best quarterback Reid has coached since his days with Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers (1992-98), and his excitement for the 2019 season is palpable. Back in mid-April, prior to the NFL Draft, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach explained how he found Reid in his office with index cards “that thick,” as he held up his hand.

“[Reid] called them, ‘My new Pat plays,’” Veach said. “He was excited. It’s fun to see him get excited like that.”

Even with the unknown status of the Chiefs’ No. 1 receiver Tyreek Hill, the team is currently favored in the first eight games of the season, and they trail only the New England Patriots in odds to win the Super Bowl.

I am a bit higher on the defense as it stands today than most, and that is because I believe Reid believes Steve Spagnuolo will get the most out of the individuals currently on the roster. And safety Tyrann Mathieu has been brought aboard to hold them accountable.

I said it many times last year and I’ll reiterate—if the defense is average, the Chiefs should win the Super Bowl.

If the defense is good? Miami may prove to be the perfect place to end the season.