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Andy Reid Comments on Chiefs' Clock Management in Loss to Patriots

Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid looks on from the sidelines against the New England Patriots during the first half in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2016

Pretty much everyone who watched the Kansas City Chiefs' final drive of their 27-20 divisional-round loss to the New England Patriots last Saturday thought head coach Andy Reid mismanaged the clock.

One of the few exceptions? Reid.   

Speaking with Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison of Kansas City's The Drive on 610 Sports Radio (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk), Reid said his team handled the situation just fine.

“I think clock management’s very important,” Reid said. “Every situation’s different. It’s a fluid situation on the spot and you’ve got to go off of feel. ... This situation, I think, was handled right. I thought we handled it right. You give us a minute on the clock and three timeouts, we feel like we can move the ball pretty good.”

The problem is the Chiefs didn't do that. Trailing 27-13 with six minutes, 29 seconds left on the clock, they took 5:16 to finally find paydirt and cut the lead to seven with a touchdown and the extra point. After a long pass set them up with 1st-and-goal on the New England 1-yard line with 2:33 remaining, Kansas City took another 1:20 to score, even huddling at times.

According to Pro-Football-Reference.com (via Smith), only one drive in an NFL game since 1998—out of 2,111—with a team trailing by nine to 17 points took longer than Kansas City's.

New England recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock with a first down. During the drive, viewers such as Bryan Fischer of Bleacher Report, Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star and Jason Whitlock of FS1 took to social media to blame Reid:  

Reid has been criticized for poor clock management since another long drive toward the end of a game in a 24-21 loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. However, he obviously doesn't think there is an issue, and at 57 years old and with 17 years as a head coach, he probably isn't going to change now.

The Chiefs have been much better under Reid's helm the past three years than when he first took over, but as long as he's calling plays, clock management isn't going to be Kansas City's strong suit.

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