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Rapid Reaction: This AFC championship belongs to Andy Reid

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The Chiefs head coach entered the 2019 season with no more safety net, and up against the loftiest of challenges, he succeeded.

AFC Championship - Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs ridded themselves of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton on January 22 — 362 days ago. And with his departure went the final excuse for why Andy Reid’s team could not advance to a Super Bowl.

Reid signed off and selected the quarterback of his dreams in Patrick Mahomes. He fired then-general manager John Dorsey, and promoted someone who started his NFL career as his intern in Brett Veach. With Sutton’s dismissal, he would be able to bring in his own defensive coordinator.

Reid chose his old friend, Steve Spagnuolo, who switched the team to a 4-3 defense, a scheme with which Reid saw success during his winning seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Chiefs released Eric Berry and Justin Houston, and Veach outbid the Houston Texans for safety Tyrann Mathieu — who may wind up being the most important free-agent signing in franchise history. Veach traded Dee Ford away and traded for Frank Clark, signing him to a long-term contract.

Reid arrived in 2013, and he turned the Chiefs into a playoff team. After missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record, Reid made the playoffs again in 2015. Then the Chiefs won three straight division titles, reaching the conference title game last season.

After winning the division for a fourth-straight season in 2019, there was only one step left to take — and without any excuses left to fall back on.

Advance to the Super Bowl.

On Sunday night, Reid and the Chiefs accomplished the one, single goal that could deem their season a success by defeating the Titans 35-24 in the AFC championship. They should be favored in the Super Bowl against the winner of the NFC title game — whether it be the Green Bay Packers or San Francisco 49ers.

For the first time ever, the Lamar Hunt Trophy is home. And Reid deserves all the credit, because had the Chiefs lost again, he would have undoubtedly received all the blame.