Patrick Mahomes was the NFL MVP last season, but Andy Reid is the person most responsible for the Chiefs’ success in 2019.
Andy Reid can’t throw pinpoint touchdown passes like Patrick Mahomes or scamper away from opposing defenses like Tyreek Hill. Still, he’s every bit as valuable.
In fact, he’s the man who deserves the honor of being called the team’s MVP this season.
Sure, the “P” stands for player, but Reid’s brilliance this season should earn him an exception. At worst, he should be strongly considered for Coach of the Year. That praise seems somehow insufficient for a man who has been a genius on the sidelines this season.
Some fans in Kansas City might be disappointed with the team’s 6-3 record. In fairness, it will be exceedingly difficult for the Chiefs to catch the Patriots in the race to win the AFC. That record doesn’t tell the real story for this team’s regular season to date though. Reid’s magical offensive gameplans have allowed the Chiefs to seize control of the AFC West despite playing multiple games without some of their most talented offensive players.
Mahomes figures to return in Week 10, but he’s already missed two full games due to injury. That doesn’t even take into account the struggles he endured early in the year when his mobility was clearly limited due to persistent ankle injuries.
The Chiefs have also been forced to play roughly half their season to date without their most dangerous wide receiver. Hill is a threat to turn short passes into long touchdowns every time he touches the football. Losing a talent like that would cripple numerous offenses around the NFL. It would be an exaggeration to say that Kansas City didn’t miss him while he was unavailable, but Reid made sure his offense kept operating at a high level all the while.
Currently, the Chiefs offense checks in at No. 2 in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. To the surprise of no one, the team’s offensive success is primarily driven by their devastating pass attack.
With Mahomes at the controls it’s unstoppable to every defensive coordinator not named Bill Belichick. Some skeptics might be tempted to downplay Reid’s brilliance because of the generational talent he has at the quarterback position. The way the Chiefs have played without Mahomes on the field shows just how vital Reid is to the team’s success.
Matt Moore was coaching high school ball this summer. This before Reid made the call to bring him back to the NFL to serve as the team’s starter during Mahomes’ absence. All the journeyman did in his two starts was complete just under 65% of his throws for 659 yards and four touchdowns. That wasn’t good enough to earn him a perfect record in terms of wins and losses, but losing to the 7-1 Packers without Mahomes is hardly a reason to criticize Moore and his offensive mastermind.
Reid’s most impressive accomplishment might be his ability to recreate his offense on a weekly basis. Opposing defensive coordinators spend countless hours watching tape of what Kansas City likes to do on offense. Somehow, Reid still manages to unveil new concepts and packages to throw opponents off the scent every week. Yes, the Chiefs have exceptional talent on offense, but Reid’s coaching is the catalyst for the best things that happen for the Kansas City attack.
It’s become almost hip to criticize Reid for his questionable in-game coaching decisions or even his sloppy outward appearance, but he is the single most important person in the Chiefs’ football building every day he goes to work. Kansas City fans would do well not to forget that reality anytime soon.