clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Andy Reid praises PFF — but says that statistics are just one part of his decisions

On Monday, Kansas City’s head coach weighed in on the value of Pro Football Focus information.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Baltimore Ravens vs Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Recently, there’s been a lot of conversation among Kansas City Chiefs about grade information coming from the sometimes-controversial football analytics site Pro Football Focus.

The most recent eye-popping PFF number came out following Kansas City’s 44-21 defeat of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1. After Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions, PFF ranked him with Week 1’s eighth-highest quarterback grade.

That led to a remark Mahomes made following Thursday night’s 27-24 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, when the quarterback was speaking about his third-quarter pass that first appeared to have been intercepted by Los Angeles cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. — but upon review, was judged to be an incomplete pass.

“I don’t throw just straight to guys most times,” noted Mahomes, “and so [I] got lucky enough that it bounced around, hit the ground and I was able to get another chance at it.”

But then Mahomes’ eyes twinkled.

“I’m sure PFF will have me at a low grade for that — but I’ll keep rolling,” he joked as reporters laughed.

It’s not exactly news that Mahomes notices when it appears that his play has been criticized unfairly — as head coach Andy Reid observed during Monday’s Zoom briefing with the Kansas City press.

“He stays in tune with everything,” said Reid of his quarterback. “He’s pretty observant on things.”

But Reid stopped well short of criticizing either Mahomes or PFF.

Pro Football Focus has done a nice job with their stats and their analysis,” declared Reid. “I think they’re pretty accurate with things. That’s usable information — and if it drives you, it drives you. But it’s also pretty real.”

Then Reid explained that while the team does pay attention to what PFF says, they temper it with information from its own statistical analysis coordinator Mike Frazier.

“Mike Frazier deals in all of that,” said Reid, “so he can tell you what’s right and wrong — and he’s also putting information out there, too. We do use it.”

As he has often done in the past, Reid praised Frazier’s grasp of statistics related to the team and its opponents.

“He can give you just about anything statistically that you need, [along with the] percentage of success in certain areas in whatever situation that you’re talking about. It can be as simple as things that the team does on first-and-10, their success rate [between] run [and] pass [or] what personnel groups are best. He gives us quite a little book, there — stuff that we can look at.”

But whether or not Reid always acts on the information Frazier provides to him is another question. The most recent example came on the first play of Thursday night’s fourth quarter, when the Chiefs elected to kick a field goal on fourth-and-1 at the Los Angeles 1-yard line. In the last 10 seasons, NFL teams that have chosen to go for it in that situation have scored touchdowns 51% of the time.

Reid acknowledged that Frazier is on the headset during the game — and it’s a safe bet that in that moment on Thursday night, Frazier gave Reid that information. But as he has done before, Reid said that in such a circumstance, he also relies on his own intuition.

“That’s where I come in,” he remarked. “I’ve got 51% of that vote and I’ve got to make a decision on how I feel things are going at that time — the ‘what-ifs’ and all of that. But I would tell you statistically, that’s a time when you normally go for it — and you don’t end up kicking it.”

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.