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Andy Reid on Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s big game: ‘Don’t ever question little guys’

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes discuss the significance behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s big game against the Patriots.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 27-17 win over the New England Patriots. While it wasn’t the team’s cleanest game, the Chiefs could still secure the victory at the end of the day, thanks to several players stepping up with big performances.

Among them was Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who led Kansas City’s backfield with 101 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

“He has a smile on his face and comes to work every day trying to get better,” head coach Andy Reid said of Edwards-Helaire during his postgame presser. “He doesn’t ever complain. He just goes out, if you give him two snaps, he’ll take the two, make it the best he can. If you give him 30, 40 snaps, he’s going to do great there, too.”

As a former first-round pick for the Chiefs in the 2020 NFL Draft, Edwards-Helaire came into the league with big expectations. However, after a successful rookie season, he saw his numbers drop in each of the next three subsequent seasons. Injuries, along with the rise of Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco, are mostly to blame for Edwards-Helaire’s lack of production.

Regardless, the fourth-year pro stayed ready, patiently waiting for that opportunity to prove himself again.

“I really was just able to take a step back and realize what’s business and the things that I can control,” Edwards-Helaire told reporters after the game. “It is just as simple as that. I knew once I was able to get my opportunity and showcase the things that I know I need to showcase. Just go out there and play the game. Never batted an eye and knew at some point the opportunity was going to show up again and it’s a matter of how you conquer that opportunity and take advantage of it.”

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was thrilled to see Edwards-Helaire have a big day. He has heard all the criticism towards Edwards-Helaire throughout his career but noted how the veteran running back never let any of it affect his approach to the game.

“When you get a lot of people piling on you, and you’re not having the success you want, you could be down,” Mahomes began to explain. “He has a smile on his face, he comes to work every single day and I think that’s special about him. That’s why we want him to succeed as much as everybody else and himself. It’s because he has that workman, that ethic of just coming in and putting in whatever he can to help the team and today was a great day for him. Hopefully we get Pop (Pacheco) back and we’re able to utilize everybody and go out there and be a better team for it.”

Although Edwards-Helaire wasn’t particularly efficient on the ground against the Patriots (13 rushes for 37 yards), he produced several big plays through the air, which led to critical scoring drives. In the first quarter, he took a screen pass 45-yards down the field which would eventually set up rookie receiver Rashee Rice for the four-yard touchdown.

His next play was arguably one of the most impressive catches made by a Chiefs player this season. On second-and-goal, early in the third quarter, Edwards-Helaire adjusted his route and utilized all of his 5’7” frame to moss a Patriots defender for the six-yard touchdown.

“Initially, the guy had outside leverage, and so I initially broke it in to get that inside option for that touchdown,” Edwards-Helaire said while breaking down the thought process behind his second touchdown of the season. “I think five ended up coming down so after that I kind of knew who was on the outside and so my goal was to get to the back of the end zone. From that point, I kind of knew Pat [Patrick Mahomes] was going to roll my way since I was the hot answer.

“I told him last week he kind of just gave me the opportunity on the sideline on the belly route, and I rarely drop passes and is just one of those things where it was a bitter taste in my mouth so I just told him even when I got the opportunity last week and opportunities at practice this week, I said we are going to come down with it no matter the situation.”

Meanwhile, when asked about his take on the touchdown play, coach Reid kept it simple and sweet.

“I just said, Don’t ever question little guys,’” he said.

With the Chiefs still in the hunt for the number-one seed in the AFC, they now look ahead to next week’s divisional matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. For Edwards-Helaire, he looks forward to contributing to the team in any way he can during these final three weeks of the regular season.

“It’s the end of the year, and we’re trying to go on this push, but I kind of kept my head down but always brought the energy when I needed to. Always showed up for practice, always did the things when my number was called even if it was having enthusiasm in meeting rooms for everyone else.”

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