Chiefs coach Andy Reid has been pilloried for his poor clock management throughout his career, but the final drive of Saturday’s loss to the Patriots takes the cake.
The Chiefs, trailing 27-13 in a drive that started with 6:29 on the clock, marched 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. The touchdown is the good part. The bad part is that the Chiefs took more than five minutes off the clock in the process.
How bad is that? It’s almost unheard of. According to the drive finder at Pro Football Reference, there have been 2,111 drives in NFL games since 1998 in which the team with the ball trailed by 9-17 points (in other words, they needed to score more than once but weren’t totally out of it) with less than seven minutes left. Out of those 2,111 drives, only one took more time than the 5:16 the Chiefs took off the clock on Saturday.
Over the course of his coaching career, one hallmark of Reid’s teams is that they play very well after bye weeks: Reid is 15-2 with an extra week to prepare. Reid has attributed his great success after bye weeks to self-scouting, saying that during a bye, he spends a lot of time scouting his own team and looking for ways to improve. If Reid is smart, he’ll take a lot of time this offseason looking at his own clock management decisions and finding ways to improve. Reid’s mismanagement of the clock has been a glaring problem throughout his career.