(COVINGTON, La.) — Andy Reid has had plenty of success as a coach in the NFL for decades, but his biggest criticism is that he has not won a Super Bowl as a head coach. Will this be the year to change that?
Reid first started coaching in various colleges in the 1980’s as an offensive line coach. He got his fist shot in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers as an offensive assistant in 1992. He left the Packers after the 1998 season to be the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his 14 seasons with the Eagles, Reid made five conference championships and had a Super Bowl appearance. Reid was fired from the Eagles organization after the 2012 season following the completion of his worst season as a head coach at 4-12.
Shortly before being released by the Eagles, Reid was given the news that his son Garrett had died suddenly from a heroin overdose. Garrett had reportedly dealt with drug addiction and was arrested numerous times. His son’s death, along with his dismissal from the Eagles made 2012 an exceptionally rough year for Reid.
A job opening with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, however, took him out of his low moment. The Chiefs had just capped off of a 2-14 season featuring quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn. Reid was hired as head coach of the Chiefs and immediately changed the culture in Kansas City.
Bringing in Alex Smith from the 49ers, the Chiefs started the 2013 season 9-0. However, they finished 11-5 and did not win a playoff game. The 2014 season was one to forget as the Chiefs finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs. The Chiefs went 11-5 in 2015 and finally won a playoff game for the first time since 1993. They lost in the next round. After 2016 and 2017, years of a successful regular season without a playoff win, the seat was starting to get hot for Reid again.
Then came the 2018 draft.
The Chiefs traded up to the 10th pick in the draft to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It could be seen from early in the 2018 season that Mahomes allowed Reid to call multiple different creative plays that he could not call with Smith. The Chiefs finished as the number 1 seed in the AFC at 12-4 with the best offense in the league. They lost in the AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots in overtime, falling one game short of the Super Bowl.
There were great expectations for the Chiefs’ 2019 season, however, a promising 4-0 start was halted by an injury to Mahomes. The Chiefs went on a 2-4 stretch, and the season appeared to be unraveling. Fortunately for them, they won their final six games and slid into a first-round bye after the Patriots inexplicably lost to the Dolphins in week 17.
Reid and the Chiefs fell behind 24-0 to the Houston Texans in their first playoff game but came back to win 51-31. They then fell behind 17-7 to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship before rallying again to win 35-24. The Chiefs earned their first trip to the Super Bowl in 50 years. It will be Reid’s first Super Bowl appearance since the 2004 season.
The fans in Kansas City chanted Reid’s name in the post game presentation. He was thanked by the Hunt Family, the owners of the Chiefs, and excitedly exclaimed “How about those Chiefs!” He later said that he celebrated the Super Bowl berth by “eating a cheeseburger and going to bed.”
The Chiefs are set to face the San Francisco 49ers in Miami on Feb. 2. For 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, it will be a revenge game, as he suffered a season ending torn ACL just last season against the Chiefs.
As for Reid, the well-respected coach and play caller will have a chance to erase the one big stain on his resumé.