Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media over Zoom conference call Monday, less than 24 hours after the team’s 31-13 win over the Washington Football Team.
In his opening statement, Reid said he was proud of the team for battling through first-half defensive struggles and turnovers to pull out the win. Then the head coach took questions. Here are four takeaways:
The difference in the second half ended up being Kansas City playing complementary football.
In the first half against Washington, the offense and defense had great starts to the game before both faltered, with the offense giving up turnovers while the defense allowed significant gains.
Then, both sides cleaned it up in the second half, leading to a 21-0 run — and the win.
“We need to build on it — and we will,” said Reid. “And special teams, I thought did a good job there, which also becomes important. If you can get the offense and defense playing well, then you see what you got to see that second half. It’s important that we keep growing there and that we do eliminate the turnovers, and we create turnovers — all of those things that you’re supposed to do to win football games and then have a solid special teams unit. That’s what we’re striving for — and I know our guys are hungry to do that. And so we’ll keep working at it.”
A key to the win was the Chiefs’ success rate on third down. They were 11 of 17 for 65%.
“We are doing a good job of that,” said Reid. “I would tell you the execution has been good. We’ve been able to keep — for the most part — our third downs at a reasonably manageable position — and that helps, whether it’s the first, second-down calls... the guys making plays on those downs. That always helps, normally; your percentage [goes] up. And then I think the coaches have done a nice job with that — Mike Kafka, EB (Eric Bieniemy). These guys work on that like crazy, so I think they’ve done a nice job there, too.”
Reid described what happened on Patrick Mahomes’ second pick.
In what was very clearly a wrong decision, the Chiefs quarterback threw his second interception right before Kansas City went into the halftime locker room.
“He was trying to make something happen,” said Reid. “There was a fumbled snap, he picks it up. Now it’s one of those deals. [Travis Kelce] kind of flashed there for a second. I would put it in that category.”
Reid added that the Chiefs need to continue working to take care of the football better. At this writing, Kansas City leads the league with 14 turnovers.
“They kill drives, obviously — if you’re not on the end of recovering a fumble,” said Reid. “And then I’d tell you, at times — I mentioned this last week — guys will press and try to do too much. You do that, and that’s a problem. If you’re concentrating on not doing the fumbling part as opposed to practicing it all week and making it a habit of covering the ball in traffic or making the right throws — all the things, like looking the ball way into the tuck. All those things.”
In addition to Mahomes’ two picks, wide receiver Mecole Hardman also fumbled a ball away.
“If you don’t make those a habit and you’re concentrating on them on game day, then there’s a problem there. That can be a problem. So we just go back, and we try to focus in on the positive part of catching the football. Those fundamental things.”
Mike Remmers replaced Lucas Niang at right tackle in the game.
Having watched the game film, Reid had good things to say about the 10-year veteran, who made his first start of 2021 on Sunday.
“I thought he did a good job,” said Reid of Remmers. “He was solid in there. I thought he really held his own. That defensive line, I have a lot of respect for — there’s a lot of first-round picks on that defensive line. I thought for his first outing, he did a real nice job.”
As Reid noted, Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat are all former first-round picks.
Though it sounded like he would get more playing time, wide receiver Josh Gordon played in just 11 snaps.
After Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills, Reid seemed disappointed the wide receiver only played nine snaps. The head coach noted that the plan was for Gordon to see around 20 snaps, but since the Chiefs were down, the hurry-up offense prevented that.
Therefore, it was thought that Gordon would see more time against Washington, but he only saw 11 snaps.
“Yeah, it just didn’t work out that way, but we’ll keep bringing him along,” said Reid. “I think he’s just starting to get comfortable with this whole thing. We had him in for a couple few plays. I don’t know what it totaled out, but he’ll be fine. We just keep working through everything.”
So perhaps there will be more playing time for Gordon against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.