One of the headlines going into Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida was whether or not Andy Reid could finally win the big one as a head coach in the NFL. After 21 years as a head coach in the league, holding second place among active coaches with 221 career wins, Andy Reid did just that, and led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
During Reid’s 14 years of head coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, he led them to five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in 2005. The Eagles lost that Super Bowl 24-21. After a 4-12 season in 2013, Reid was let go by the Eagles, only to sign on to coach the Kansas City Chiefs a week later. For the past seven seasons, Reid and the Chiefs franchise have built a team that has contended for the Super Bowl in past years. However, Super Bowl LIV would be the game that solidified Reid as a future Hall of Fame coach.
The question remains, how did Andy Reid do it? Here’s five reasons why Andy Reid hoisted the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night!
Mahomes ended the night completing 26 of 42 passes for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, while also rushing for 9 times for 29 yards and a touchdown. Those statistics are not as flashy compared to what we have seen from Mahomes this year, but that is not the focus here. The focus is how Mahomes played in the clutch. With 6:13 left in the fourth quarter, Mahomes found Travis Kelce wide open in the end zone to bring the lead down to three points. On the next drive, Mahomes went 5-5 passing for 60 yards, capping off the drive with a 5 yard touchdown pass to put the Chiefs on top for good. For the third consecutive playoff game, Patrick Mahomes was clutch when he needed to be for his head coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs.
Reid Aggressive on Fourth Down Early
Late in the first quarter, Andy Reid went for it on 4th and 1 on San Francisco’s five yard line. Damien Williams was able to rush up the middle for a four yard gain, setting up a Patrick Mahomes touchdown two plays later. This gamble put the Chiefs up 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Had it not been for Reid’s aggressive play calling early in the first quarter, we may not have had the outcome of the game that we did.
Early Interception By Garrapolo Results in Points
On the second drive of the game for the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo led his team to midfield after an 18 yard catch by Emmanuel Sanders. Only two plays later, and after the Chiefs pressured the Niners up the middle, Garoppolo threw a pass only to have it picked off by Bashaud Breeland. This gave the Chiefs fantastic field position and while the ensuing drive did not result in a touchdown, the early three points off the leg of Harrison Butker extended the early lead held by the Chiefs.
49ers Time Management at the End of the First Half
After the 49ers defense forced the Chiefs to punt late in the 2nd quarter, coach Kyle Shanahan decided against calling a timeout to give his team more time to drive before the half. While the 49ers did successfully complete a 20-yard pass to Jeff Wilson, the 49ers could not convert as a 42-yard reception by George Kittle was called back after an offensive pass interference penalty. Had the 49ers called a timeout, the offense could have had more time to score, but the choice not to call a timeout resulted in zero points to end that half.
Late Mistake Seals the Deal
The Chiefs needed a big play midway through the fourth quarter in order to set up a potential game winning drive, and they received that in form of a huge penalty by the 49ers. Patrick Mahomes, faced with a 3rd and 18 situation on San Francisco’s 21 yard line, threw the ball down field to Travis Kelce. While Kelce was unable to haul in the pass, 49ers safety Tarvarius Moore didn’t turn around to face the ball, which resulted in a pass interference penalty. That penalty resulted in an immediate touchdown for the Chiefs as Mahomes found Kelce in the end zone the next play.
In the end, Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs found a way to win, on the heels of the play of Patrick Mahomes, the mistakes on and off the field by the 49ers, and the defensive stops and forced mistakes by the Chiefs. With the win, Andy Reid finally gets the Super Bowl ring as head coach he was not able to with the Eagles in 2005.
Featured Image Credit: Chris O’Meara/Associated Press
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