Andy Reid’s Success with the Kansas City Chiefs

By Stephen Juza

February 16th, 2024

With the Super Bowl now in the books, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has led his team to their third Super Bowl victory of the last five years. Reid’s third championship puts him in rare company within NFL history. Since the inception of the Super Bowl era, only Bill Belichick and Chuck Noll have won more Super Bowls than Reid. While success is not guaranteed in the NFL, the Chiefs are as well positioned as any prior dynasty to continue their run.

While the NFL season is over, fans may be looking for offseason entertainment. Many may turn to playing poker online with states relaxing gambling laws, some may tune in to watch the newly merged spring football league, or begin following the constant stream of NFL draft news on what their team can do to improve in 2024.

2023 Season

In a challenging season that witnessed the first road divisional loss of the Patrick Mahomes/Reid era, the Chiefs managed to pull it all together in time for the playoffs. Throughout the playoff run, the Chiefs faced a more challenging road than the past - having to win the conference on the road. Despite the road challenge in Buffalo, the Chiefs were able to prevail over the Buffalo Bills yet again.

The uphill battle continued through the Super Bowl. During the game, the team quickly found itself in a deficit against the San Francisco 49ers, trailing 10-0 in the first half. However, with second half adjustments, the Chiefs came out strong in the third quarter, taking their first lead toward the end of the third quarter on a touchdown reception by Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Mecole Hardman’s game-winning touchdown reception in overtime clinched Reid’s latest championship and elevated the Chiefs to one of the greatest sport dynasties of all time. While he is getting up there in age (he will be sixty-six next month), he is at the pinnacle of his coaching game.

With Mahomes at quarterback, the most critical position is filled for as long as Reid wants to coach. However, questions will soon arise regarding other positions on the team.

Chiefs Offense

While Mahomes will provide stability, his security blanket since he came into the league has been tight end Travis Kelce. Despite his remarkable durability throughout his career, never missing more than two games in a season since becoming a starter, this season might signal the beginning of a downward trend. He will turn thirty-five next season. He posted his fewest receiving yards since 2015 and his fewest touchdowns since 2019. However, he is still the clutch, go-to person for the Chiefs when they need a pivotal reception.

With all the mishaps with the Chiefs wide receiver core this season, Kelce was a key person for the team. If the Chiefs cannot upgrade their receiving weapons this offseason, they may not be able to withstand another year of decline for Kelce.

While the Chiefs won two Super Bowls after trading away the best wide receiver in the league (Tyreek Hill), the struggles may be too much for Mahomes to overcome next year unless they get more receiving threats.

Chiefs Defense

General manager Brett Veach will have a tough decision to make this offseason: re-sign either defensive tackle Chris Jones or cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to a big free agent contract.

Chris Jones has been as crucial to the defense over the years as Mahomes has been to the offense. Jones is coming off his fourth consecutive All-Pro season and will be looking for a major raise. The average salary of the top defensive tackles is north of $22 million, and Jones has proven to be in that company.

Meanwhile, Sneed is finishing his rookie contract and has made crucial plays at pivotal moments along this playoff run, such as forcing a pivotal fumble at the one-yard line against the Ravens to prevent a touchdown. He was a crucial player for the fourth-ranked passing defense in the league.

Reid’s Legacy

Five years ago, it seemed as if Belichick was the coach most likely to break Don Shula's wins record. However, since then, Belichick posted his worst seasons ever in his career, leading to his firing by the Patriots this offseason. Meanwhile, Reid has averaged more than twelve wins a season since Mahomes has taken over at quarterback.

While it is still a longshot for Reid to break the record, he sits seventy away from Shula. At his Mahomes-rate, he would need six more seasons to break the record. Not many coaches continue into their seventies, putting the threshold possibly out of reach for Reid. However, if the Chiefs can maintain their franchise icons or replenish playmakers through the draft, Reid might find that he is enjoying too much success and fun in winning games to consider retirement.

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