Chiefs favored behind Reid, Mahomes

by Gary Shelton on November 28, 2020

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

These days, the world counts the Super Bowl titles.

No one cares how many division titles you win, or even how many conference championships. No one cares how many winning seasons you have, or how many times you've had double-digit victories.

These days, it's confetti or concession. That's it.

And it the world is just now re-discovering Andy Reid, the best coach in the NFL who isn't named Belichick.

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Reid has his quarterback now in Patrick Mahomes, and the Chiefs are running a step ahead of the rest of the league. Reid won his first world title a year ago, and as such, he has graduated into the category of "coaches who have won one."

The truth, however, is that Reid was pretty darn good all along.

Remember 2012? The Chiefs won two ballgames that year (under Romeo Crennel). Across the country, Reid won only four games with the Eagles. The franchise and the coach were failing separately.

Together, they are something. Since Reid came to the Chiefs in 2013, they have made the playoffs in six years out of seven (and seem assured of it this year). Reid is a staggering 50 games over .500 (86-36) with the Chiefs.

Then, last year, his team won the title.

That's what the sputtering Bucs have to take on today. Mahomes and Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Matheiu and the rest. The most important, of course, is Mahomes.

"He’s a terrific player, obviously, being league MVP a few years ago," said Bucs' quarterback Tom Brady. "50 touchdowns is pretty hard to do – there’s not many guys who have done that. To continue that last year with the Super Bowl championship and playing at an extremely high level this year – he’s just getting more and more comfortable. So much about playing quarterback is having experience, learning from year-to-year [and] improving your routine. He’s just doing a tremendous job. They’ve got their offense rolling – they’ve got, obviously, a lot of talented players. On defense they have some talented players too that make a lot of plays. It’s a really well-balanced team. We know we’re going to have to play really well to beat them. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. Watching the last time he was out there playing, you give him a chance to win and he takes advantage of it and leads the team down there. He does a tremendous job.

"They’ve had some continuity with that system, with those coaches [and] a lot of their key veteran players. That’s always important – I feel continuity is the most critical aspect to consistent performance because you have to build on year after year, not just game after game or week after week. They’ve been in that system for a while – Coach Reid’s been there for a while [and] he’s a great coach. They do a great job. They’ve got a lot of good things going [and] they’ve been tough to beat for a lot of years now, including when Alex Smith was there. They were pretty good too [and] I played them all those years, as well. They’re doing a good job and they have some dynamic players. Obviously, Patrick [Mahomes] at quarterback being a tremendous player that he is, they always have an opportunity to win.”

The Bucs, meanwhile, have struggled. Brady has been horrible throwing deep, and the team's running game comes and goes, and the defense can't stop anyone.

Against the Chiefs defense, it will be hard to maintain crispness.

"They have a really good scheme – they challenge you in a lot of different ways," Brady said. "They have a lot of veteran, core players that know how to play in that scheme and play well. [Daniel] Sorensen is really good, [Tyrann] Mathieu is a hell of a player, [Bashaud] Breeland is a hell of a player. They’ve just got a lot of good guys in the secondary, some really good, athletic linebackers – [Anthony] Hitchens [and Damien] Wilson play in there a lot, [Ben] Niemann’s in there a lot. They’ve got Frank Clark who is a hell of a player, Chris Jones is a great player, so a very stout D-line with some really explosive players. A lot of veteran core guys at linebacker, some very good players in the secondary that are dynamic, and they play well within the complementary offense that they’re playing with.

"They’re playing with leads, they play well from ahead [and] they’ve come back on offense playing from behind. They haven’t lost many games over the last couple of years and they win them in different ways. Sometimes they win them with defense at the end [and] sometimes they win them on offense at the end. That’s what good teams do and they’re certainly one of the best ones in the league.”

The Bucs will try to coordinate their offense enough to threaten the Chiefs who have given up 30-plus points in two straight games (both wins)

Game time is 4:25 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

Prediction: Kansas City 33, Tampa Bay 24.

Elsewhere in the NFL:

Atlanta 28, Las Vegas 24.

Green Bay 31, Chicago 17.

New Orleans 20, Denver 14.

In Colleges

Florida 34, Kentucky 23.

Alabama 37, Auburn 14.

Virginia 24, FSU 16.

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