Was Andy Reid Distracted In Super Bowl LV?

The Kansas City Chiefs were blown out in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of thirty-one to nine in what was the Chiefs worst loss of the Patrick Mahomes era; and, was one of the worst losses the team has suffered since Andy Reid has been the head coach. The team was outplayed in every facet of the game, and for the first time in a long time, didn’t reach the endzone.

In his post-game press conference, Reid said he:

Could have done a better job of putting our guys in a better position”, and also said, “You just can’t do the things we did and beat a team at their level”. This was the story of the game, where dropped passes, penalties, and the Tampa pass rush doomed the Chiefs.

The Twenty Second Episode – AFC North Breakdown Go Run A Route Podcast

In this episode, Keaton and Byron breakdown the teams in the AFC North. They give their predictions for the team record, their favorite offseason acquisition, and try and make sense of Lamar Jackson's contract situation.  — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
  1. The Twenty Second Episode – AFC North Breakdown
  2. The Twenty-First Episode – Packers President comments on Rodgers, Le'Veon cost himself employment, NFC East Breakdown and Predictions
  3. The Twentieth Episode – Julio Jones is a Titan, AFC East Breakdown and Predictions
  4. The Nineteenth Episode – In celebration of the NBA Playoffs
  5. The Eighteenth Episode – Julio Jones is on the move, Making fun of fans

An eerie state

While this was what we saw on the field earlier in the week the Chiefs organization as a whole found themselves in an eerie situation due to the traffic accident that assistant coach, and son of Andy Reid, Britt Reid suffered this past week. The accident involved three vehicles and left five-year-old Ariel Miller in a comatose that she remains in today. The extent of her injuries is severe as she has swelling and bleeding around her brain.

Britt Reid had admitted at the scene of the accident that he had been drinking before he drove his car as well as was on prescription drugs at the time, which was said to be Adderall. He was transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention and was given a search warrant and was requested to give a blood draw for toxicology reports. The results of the test are still pending.

A check for the warrant also revealed multiple prior DUI contacts for Reid. It should also be noted that in 2007 Reid was sentenced up to 23 months for possession of controlled substances, and later in the year, charged again with a DUI. This was all while Andy Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, which at the time left a stain on his career.

Britt Reid did not travel with the team to Super Bowl 55, and he will likely never coach at any level ever again. He was not on the field, but his presence was still looming on the team, and it was apparent with some of the decisions that were made by Andy Reid in the game.

Players can block out distractions or off-field issues and let their bodies take over in circumstances to perform to the best of their abilities. This is not the same for coaches, who have been involved in mental warfare the entire game. Coach Reid said the game plan was already set, which I believe given the timeline of events as well as how the Chiefs install plays for the week.

Game-plan failures

A game plan is only one part of coaching a game, however, and there were key situations where Reid was beaten by Bruce Ariens. The decision to call timeouts when Tampa had the ball late in the first half saved the Buccaneers time to run plays and directly lead to the pass interference penalty on Bashaud Breeland that lead to a Tampa touchdown, putting them up to two possessions at half time. The timeouts gave them a chance to run plays and it was not a great decision overall.

Another huge factor in the game that is directly related to Reid was the fact that he was quoted saying they “didn’t think they would see two high safety defensive looks” from Tampa, which the Bucs lived in all night long. No adjustments were made by Reid, to either look to throw quicker passes in the eight to ten-yard range, and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was underused the whole game.

It is understandable for these things early due to the game plan, but the lack of adjustments all game was not what Chiefs fans have been accustomed to. It seemed that as the game went on, the Chiefs kept with the same plan they had all game, and time and time again, Tampa found their way to hit Patrick Mahomes. All season, the Chiefs have utilized sprint outplays, and another outside pocket pass plays to utilize Mahomes legs, and also give him time to throw; we saw none of it in the Super Bowl.

This was far from Reid’s A-game, and one of the worst overall performances the Chiefs have had under Reid. The backup offensive line didn’t help things offensively but his play calling did not reflect what we had seen all season, and it didn’t appear the Chiefs had multiple options for how to protect Mahomes or get Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill free. It was an uncharacteristic performance on the biggest stage, so the question is raised:

Was Reid distracted?

It’s a simple question but it is much more complex than it seems. On one end he is a professional, and in everyone’s work-life, they have to put aside private problems and personal issues to get the job done; but, this is a personal problem for him that is not private at all.

Reid is a family-first kind of guy, and since he has been in Kansas City we have heard dozens of players and coaches refer to the team as a family but now Reid again finds himself in a situation where he can only watch as a member of his actual family is under investigation for an auto accident that has left a child critically injured, in which alcohol was involved.

It is a horrendous situation overall, and its timing couldn’t have been worse. It is hard to imagine that Reid didn’t have it on his mind heading into the game, and as a matter of fact, it was the first thing he mentioned in his post-game press conference where he said his, “heart bleeds for all those involved”. Those words sit heavy as an investigation is still underway, and Ariel Miller remains unconscious.

To donate to Ariel’s mother, Felicia Miller, for medical bills, this link will take you to their Go Fund Me page; every bit helps:

Fundraiser for Felicia Miller by Tiffany Verhulst: Ariel(5yrs) critically hurt in suspected DUI crash (gofundme.com)

Andy Reid is a good man, a beloved head coach, and a role model for the NFL; but, the adversity he faces now is out of his control. It played a role in changing Super Bowl 55, but more importantly, it will change the lives of all involved forever.