The Kansas City Chiefs are continuing their preparations for Saturday’s Wild Card matchup against the Miami Dolphins on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. While those preparations are certain to refer back to the team’s 21-14 victory over the Dolphins in Frankfurt, Germany during Week 9, players like veteran safety Justin Reid know that this weekend’s game will be a completely different story.
“Previous games... wins... losses? They mean nothing,” Reid declared to reporters on Wednesday. “It has absolutely no bearing on what’s going to happen this coming Saturday. We’re preparing for what’s going to be a street fight.”
In his two seasons with the Chiefs, Reid has been the veteran leader of the team’s young defensive backfield. He played in 16 games this season, leading the team with 95 total tackles. Reid now has six games of playoff experience under his belt — and the team is once again counting on his leadership as it begins another postseason run.
“It’s just faster,” Reid said of the postseason. “It’s, ‘All chips are on the table.’ There’s no holding back. There is no worrying about next week if you don’t take care of business this week. [The] speed of the game is faster [and] the physicality is turned up a notch.
“The atmosphere? Mistakes are magnified. Big plays are magnified. So [it’s] just that confidence [you need]. Relying on your teammates is at a premium [when you] go out and play team defense, team offense — team ball in general — to go out and win a football game.”
But performing well in the playoffs is easier said than done — especially against the Dolphins’ talented offense. Miami’s unit features several game-breaking skill players — such as former Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill — capable of scoring at a moment’s notice.
“I don’t know if there’s a guy over there that runs over 4.35,” Reid said of the speed merchants his secondary will be facing. “So that speed is definitely one of the things that makes them so unique. It’s a challenge for us — but we’re ready to step up to the plate for it.”
Miami head coach Mike McDaniel has also designed his offense to maximize the talent of his players. By utilizing pre-snap motion in creative ways, the Dolphins keep opposing defenses off-balance — while taking full advantage of their offense’s elite speed.
“Coach [Mike] McDaniel over there seems like he is extremely creative with that amount of motions,” Reid observed. “The Y-across, the wide receiver across, the fake motion and comeback, the motion and insert at the line of scrimmage? There’s motion all over the place. A lot of it is a lot of the guys’ first time seeing it.
“So they were very creative on the offensive side of the ball creating plays, finding ways to get the balls to their playmakers. They’re the No. 1 ranked offense for a reason.”
Now that the playoffs are here, the Chiefs are hoping they can turn things on. They’ve made it to at least the conference championship game in each of the past five seasons — and haven’t lost in the Wild Card round since 2017. If the team truly wants to prove that it is a legitimate Super Bowl contender, it all starts with beating the Dolphins at home this weekend.
“We’re going to go out and play some good ball against a good football team,” predicted Reid. “The best team is going to come out on top.”