Andy Reid roundup: 4 takeaways from the Chiefs’ head coach
In his opening statement, Reid said he felt like his team did some good things overall, but the mistakes down the stretch ruined its day. He added that mistakes become magnified when it is a game between two good football teams, highlighting the Chiefs’ opportunity to go up multiple scores before the costly fourth-quarter turnover. Reid then took questions, which we have rounded up in four takeaways:
Reid explained what he saw in his film review of the defensive pressure of Joe Burrow.
Though Pro Football Focus had them down for 11 total pressures, the Chiefs only managed one sack of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
“We got around [Burrow],” said Reid. “We just didn’t get him on the ground, which we’ve got to do a better job with. He has a knack for getting out of there, and he did a good job. It wasn’t that we didn’t have people around him. That wasn’t the case. The majority of time, there were people there. He just slithered underneath them.”
The Chiefs defense has 36 sacks on the year (sixth-best), whereas the Bengals have allowed 36.0 sacks (seventh-worst).
Reid noted the Bengals showed some defensive looks they expected but did add a new wrinkle.
In the past, Cincinnati has shown a tendency to drop more men into coverage than other teams against the Chiefs, something that has led to success.
“They added a little bit more just straight zero [blitz] in there,” said Reid. “They’d pop with it normally, but they showed us a couple all-out blitzes, and I thought, [Patrick Mahomes] and [wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling] did a nice job working that the field, so they did a good job against it. “But they did the drop-eight against us. I thought we were productive against it.”
Tight end Travis Kelce was held to just four catches for 56 yards on the night, which is low for him.
The Bengals actually blanked Kelce on two targets in the first half. “They did a good job,” said Reid of their defense on Kelce. “It left other people open. Let me start that with this: I could have dialed up more things that were a little bit more friendly for him, too — and got him into space a little bit more. Some of that is on the calls; the other was they had a plan for him — where they were going to double him, in-and-out him and take him out.
“Now, listen, it opened up things for the other guys to be productive, but we take a lot of pride in being able to get guys open when somebody has a plan on him. Then [in the] second half, we did a little better with it — and Trav did better.”
One positive from the evening is the Chiefs’ young secondary continuing to get reps in a big game.
The Chiefs are rolling with two rookie cornerbacks — first-rounder Trent McDuffie and fourth-rounder Joshua Williams — in their nickel sets. Reid believes they will be better for playing in a playoff-style atmosphere that was Cincinnati in Week 13.
“I think that — as hurt as they are — I think that that’s going to help them grow,” started Reid. “Whether it’s a leverage thing, whether it’s not having to strike hard at a ball, but just getting your hand on the ball is good enough, your footwork and how you handle that — all those things against good players.”
The Chiefs were up against three taller wideouts: the 6-foot-4 Tee Higgins and the 6-foot-1 Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd. “You had a variety of sizes you’re going against and speed. I just think that, if they look at it properly, which they’re pretty good that way, if they look at it properly, they can grow from that.”