Andy Reid didn’t call timeout when his defense needed it

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Chiefs head coach Andy Reid never hesitates to use timeouts on offense when he wants to give his team extra time to get the right play called. But if we’re going to praise him for using those timeouts wisely on offense, we also have to criticize him when he doesn’t use a timeout that he should have. And that’s what happened in the AFC Championship Game.

As the Patriots methodically marched down the field for the game-winning touchdown in overtime, the Chiefs’ defense, which had been on the field for more plays than any defense in any NFL game since 2002, was obviously exhausted. Reid should have called a timeout to give his players a breather, ensure any necessary personnel changes could be made, and let his defensive staff get a good play called. He didn’t, and the Patriots scored the game-winning touchdown.

Conserving timeouts is particularly foolish in overtime, which can end at any moment: If you save your timeouts for later, there might not be a “later.” Overtime doesn’t have all the clock management issues that regulation has. Overtime replay reviews are handled by the replay assistant and not by coaches’ challenges, so there’s no need to save timeouts to challenge a close call. A coach gets three timeouts in a postseason overtime and almost never uses all three of them. Reid didn’t even use one. He should have.

This isn’t just hindsight. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo talked about it as the game was unfolding.

“You’ve got to make a call if you’re on defense,” Romo said late in overtime. “But you’re tired. You’ve been on the field a long time today.”

Just before the Patriots scored the game-winning touchdown, Romo said, “You can see the defenders for Kansas City, they’re exhausted over there.” Nantz asked, “Don’t you think a timeout?” Romo answered, “That’s exactly right, Jim, that’s a great call. This would be a perfect time to do it. Give them a break.”

Instead, the Chiefs let the clock keep running, and the Patriots scored the game-winning touchdown.

Reid fired his defensive coordinator this week, but timeout usage comes within the purview of a head coach. Reid put his defense in a bad position, by saving three timeouts that he would never use.

75 responses to “Andy Reid didn’t call timeout when his defense needed it

  1. Is this some surprise? Reid has been one of the worst HC’s the leagues seen when it comes to game managament.

    He’s a glorified OC really

  2. Andy Reid went home with his timeouts in his pocket, yet again.

    Some things never change.

  3. You could see it best when the camera switched to the “behind the offense” view, and the majority of the KC defense was standing there with their hands on their hips, breathing hard and slouched to one side. He should have called at least 2 timeouts on that last drive, and never did.

  4. It was over when New England won the flip. They are not the Saints. If you think that 30 or 80 seconds to catch their breath would have helped…
    The Pats had that D on the feuds for 43 minutes. No worries! They can get a 4 month breather now…

  5. Many at the time were wondering why Belichick wasn’t calling a timeout on what would’ve been the Seahawk’s game-winning drive in the Seattle SB, both to save time for a potential offensive drive if Seattle scored, and to give his defense a chance to regroup. Maybe Wilson doesn’t throw that INT if Belichick does call a timeout there. In retrospect, it seems genius that Belichick let the clock run. But if the Patriots had lost, the narrative on that decision would’ve been completely different.

    My point is: we’ll never know what would’ve happened. If he uses the timeouts and the Patriots still win, some journalist is writing a story about how Andy Reid gave the Patriots too much time to prepare for the next play. It’s easy to criticize him because they lost.

  6. Obviously you geniuses haven’t watched the Chiefs all season. They just came out of an extended timeout after the overtime coin flip. The only thing a defensive timeout would have done is meant the Chiefs lose 60 seconds later. For all the issues with the Chiefs defense AR not calling a time out is about 56th in the list of why they lost the game.

  7. Been saying that since Coach Quinn did not call any in OT in the SB. By then Pats had run 90+ plays. Obviously coaching a game from sidelines is much harder than coaching from the couch or upstairs, much more going on there. I also thought this site and many fans routinely bash Andy Reid for wasting his timeouts on offense as described (aka, game management)

  8. Time management has always been one of Ried’s biggest weaknesses. He will blunder the game away with his lack of time awareness in the biggest moments of the biggest games. Just ask the Philly fans,,, Every KC fan,at home, was screaming for a timeout.

  9. Reid is better in post-season than Marty Shottenheimer but not by a huge margin…there are just some head coaches who can do well in a regular season game but are simply “in over their head” in the post-season!

  10. Eagles fan here..when Andy was the head coach here, you could see he only cared about the offense. When Jim Johnson was alive, that worked for him. When Johnson lost his fight with cancer, it became a problem. McDermott couldnt get it done and got fired. He then hired his long time OL coach ( who did a tertific job in that role), Juan Castillo to be DC. Castillo was overmatched, and he eventually fired him. He fired plenty of assistant coaches in an attempt to save his own butt, including the DL coach who had always run the wide nine, but with rumors flying that Andy was getting the gate, he got rid of him just days before his tenure ended, stating that the wide nine wasnt working out. Andy will never actually take the blame, thats why Eagles fans know that line he likes to use about putting the players in a better position, and having to do a better job is a joke. He’s a great regular season preparer of an offensive game plan, but the Chiefs will never win a Supe, even with their talent, as long as he is the head coach.

  11. Just a brainfart by Andy Reid. Is anyone surprised? Not a good look when Nantz and Romo are calling you out

  12. Andy Reid has been miss managing time and costing himself games since first becoming a head coach. He should hire a coach whose only responsibility is managing time outs in real time. This was suggested to him by the Eagles owner but Andy total control freak that he is wouldn’t hear of it.

  13. Never liked Romo as a player but he’s amazing as an announcer. He can dissect the action in real time, often predicting the playcall correctly. Unfortunately we’ll probably lose him in the booth when someone figures out he will make an amazing coach.

  14. So many things that legitimately contributed to the outcome of that game and you’re choosing to focus on a timeout in OT that wasn’t called? Really?

    At that point, calling a timeout would have delayed the Pats win for 60 seconds. The Chiefs D was gassed after being on the field for 13 minutes in the first quarter and it went downhill for them from there. They never had an answer for Brady the entire game. By the overtime, the only thing that could have saved them was for the Chiefs to win the coin toss.

    Lots of things could have been done differently, and calling a timeout in OT is probably the least of them.

  15. I was rooting for the Pats in this game. But, having lived in Philly during the Reid years I have come to really like Andy Reid as a person and as a coach.

    I loved watching the pats march down the field in the final drive yet a side of me was cursing Andy Reid for not using his time outs when his defense was clearly winded and the Pats had so much momentum. Andy Reid really is a great coach but big playoff games are his Achilles heel.

    Better luck next year Andy, unless it is against the Patriots or the Eagles. 🙂

  16. The defensive Captain sure could have called one when they were absolutely gassed in OT.
    Those guys knew they were toast. Everybody watching did.

  17. Andy Reid is a good coach. Let’s be fair & honest, his numbers do support that. I don’t understand why he didn’t make a D coordinator change in October or November when his team obviously had the offense to win the SB but his D was terrible. The loss in Foxboro should have been a wake up call. The Eagle fans know him best & say he has no interest in D. Too bad for him & KC fans.

  18. I couldn’t believe what I WASN’T seeing. Maybe he hoped the offense would tire itself out.

    The game winning drive bore a remarkable resemblance to the one that won the Super Bowl over Atlanta. Anyway, we’ll be wondering where Atlanta is in Atlanta a week from now.

  19. Yet Andy is still one of the best coaches in the league. 3 straight division titles. First home championship game. Now we got. Mahomey! They will be back.

  20. I think the problem in Philly wasn’t so much Andy Reid, but Donovan McNabb being out of shape and getting sick at the end of games. We really saw that after McNabb was traded to the Redskins and had to be pulled from games when they ran their 2-minute offense. I think McNabb apologists tried to shift the blame to Andy Reid, who’s proven to be a very good coach for 2 separate organizations. The Chiefs are lucky to have Andy Reid. Without Reid, they wouldn’t have Mahomes

  21. For all of those people who say it wouldn’t have made any difference, I think it’s the coaches job to do everything he can to give his team a chance to succeed. He didn’t do it in this case, so regardless of our opinions on how successful it might’ve been, this is still on the head coach for failing to do his end.

  22. This is beyond ridiculous. Andy Reid is probably the best coach in the NFL. Give him Tom Brady and he’s probably working on his 6th super bowl title. According to some people, there is only one winner, and the 31 other teams have lousy coaches, lousy players, and lousy owners. How did Belichick allow a young QB to drive the length of the field in a few seconds and tie up the game? Gee, Belichick probably needs to get fired. Right? Ridiculous. Tabloid stuff.

  23. Before that game I said Reid is this era’s Marty Schottenheimer. He will get you to the dance, but you’ll sit at the table because he can’t dance.
    He always makes mistakes coaching in big games. This is why Eagles fans were glad he got fired.

  24. wiscobear says:
    January 25, 2019 at 7:30 am
    Teams should have one assistant just listening to Romo whenever he is calling their game.
    ———————————————–
    Isn’t there a time delay between live action and the broadcast? There used to be a five second delay in case of streakers running onto the field or other things that might be against FCC regulations to broadcast.

  25. primemundo says:
    January 25, 2019 at 7:35 am
    Yet Andy is still one of the best coaches in the league. 3 straight division titles. First home championship game. Now we got. Mahomey! They will be back.
    ___________________________

    …to watch it happen all over again.

  26. His defense was so gassed…especially right before Burkhead busted it in for the game winner. Reid had 3 timeouts in his pocket. I just don’t get his thinking there,or lack of…

  27. Everyone has been saying for years that Reid NEEDS an assistant Coach specializing in Clock Management because he is objectively so terrible at it.

    The Chiefs organization knows it too so rather than firing people how about hiring one person to do that job for him, his ego be damned.

  28. Any needs a flow chart. “Do you want to call a time out?” followed by advise to do the reverse of his desire.

  29. Even the TV announcers mentioned it during the game, that at second-and-goal, it would have been an excellent time to call a TO and let the defense catch its breath.

    As someone pointed out earlier, Belichick didn’t call a TO either, during SB 49, but that was a separate set of circumstances. The New England D wasn’t on the field for as along as the KC D, and second, Seattle picked up almost all of their yardage on two big chunk plays, rather than a long, sustained march. The latter is much more exhausting.

  30. I believe three things. 1) That hearing that it was on the field longer than any D in 16 years – bad. Don’t make it easy. 2) This offense friendly league makes it favorable to get the ball first in OT, so what were you thinking, 3) This is Andy Reid’s signature move anyway. Doesn’t mean the best team won, but it does mean a bad coach lost it for his team.

  31. Players shouldn’t have been exhausted early in the drive. Chiefs had the ball last in regulation & there was a break before OT. But he should have been using those timeouts to try to hinder the momentum the Pats had on offense if anything. But calling a timeout when the Pats are in the RZ is far too late.

  32. This is simply click-bait. The Chief’s Defense had three….count them three third and ten’s on the OT drive by the Pats and failed to get them off the field. That is where the game was lost, long before Andy Reid had the chance not to call a time-out.

  33. fmiaakammqbpft says:
    January 25, 2019 at 8:16 am
    You know a PLAYER can call a time out also, right?
    —————-
    But if they’re gassed and dazed by the pace, it’s up to the coach to make a boss call. This was a game also partly won by conditioning. Yes Chiefs D had been on the field for 96 or so plays but so had Brady, and Edelman, Gronk, Andrews and the rest of the Pats o-line had played almost every snap. Yet just like in the OT SB win over the Falcons the Pats looked fresh and sharp while the opponent looked exhausted. Pats started extra conditioning to combat Mile High games, and it’s part of why a few players say it’s no fun, but it’s even less fun lose a big game because you couldn’t go the distance.

  34. why are some timeouts 30 seconds and other 2 minutes
    there needs to be consistency – a longer timeout obviously can favour one team over the other

  35. He was obviously trying to tire out the Pats Offense and goad them in to a turnover inside the 5. Calling a TO would have ruined that plan. The Pats are at fault for not executing Andy’s plan, not Andy. Andy and his Defense did their part perfectly. Let’s put the blame where it belongs people.

  36. This is one of the reasons the canard that OT is a “whole new game” is foolish. The reason why the Patriots won is not just because they won the coin flip, it is because they executed in OT and had dominated tine of possession 2 to 1 up to that point, leaving KC’s defense exhausted even after the break at the end of regulation.

    The other canard that the Patriots get all the calls, rehashed after this game due to one questionable call favoring the Patriots on a 2nd and seven (people want to act like the call extended a drive that was stopped, total bs), was proven foolish when any reasonable analysis would include the fact that KC’s 4th quarter comeback was aided by numerous penalties and non-calls. Bill might have slammed his tablet to the ground after the uncalled pick but I have never heard Belichick complain about a call after a loss like Reid, Peyton, Harbaugh and others.

  37. He didn’t do a lot of things when his team needed it. Didn’t give Mahomes the ball after winning the opening coin toss even though Mahomes is already in the HOF. Didn’t adjust to the Patriots run pass mix for an entire half. Didn’t play to win the game at the end of regulation but instead played for overtime. Didn’t understand overtime.

    Frankly, it was beautiful.

  38. Chiefs beat themselves in that game. On their last touchdown drive they left way too much time on the clock. Then, when they got the ball back, they went for a field goal to tie instead of the win. With an offense like the Chiefs, it should’ve been a clinic. But, alas, Andy Reid got in the way.

  39. objectivefbfan says:

    January 25, 2019 at 9:11 am

    I believe three things. 1) That hearing that it was on the field longer than any D in 16 years – bad. Don’t make it easy. 2) This offense friendly league makes it favorable to get the ball first in OT, so what were you thinking, 3) This is Andy Reid’s signature move anyway. Doesn’t mean the best team won, but it does mean a bad coach lost it for his team.

    __________________________

    Name me ONE other team that could march down the field as fast as the Patriots did on that last drive. Brady was throwing lasers and his receivers were making outstanding catches. Andy Reid’s defense had nothing left and he didn’t even call a time out so they could catch their breath or get a drink. That is on him. The rest was a great effort by a BETTER, determined, hungrier team.

  40. Everyone crying about this is what Andy does is an idiot! The argument was always how he blows time outs and messes up time management. This is neither. That’s not a time issue it’s players being tired issue. After the pats won the toss and converter 3 3rd and 10s the game was over. Time out or not the pats were scoring a td on that drive. Andy and mahomes were the only reason they stormed back into that game. Andy dialed up some great plays in the second half but let’s not talk about that

  41. Andy Reid the coach is captured beautifully by Robert de Niro in Silver Linings Playbook. In the movie Reid blew a timeout with a futile challenge, and diehard fan de Niro rips into him while rehashing the game. That scene was based on a real game vs. Washington in 2008. It’s a really funny scene if you follow the NFL.

  42. It’s crazy how similar Schottenheimer and Reid’s stats are while in KC. MS had a .634 winning pct 3 division titles, 7 playoff appearances and 1 AFC CG appearance, but had a post season winning pct of .300.
    Reid has a winnign pct of .677, 3 division titles, 7 playoff appearances and 1 AFC CG appearance.
    Even with those impressive numbers neither coach won a Super Bowl. The point is sometimes coaches are just good enough to coach your team up to contender level, but they aren’t good enough to coach you to champion level.

  43. jredshoes says:January 25, 2019 at 6:22 am
    Obviously you geniuses haven’t watched the Chiefs all season. They just came out of an extended timeout after the overtime coin flip. The only thing a defensive timeout would have done is meant the Chiefs lose 60 seconds later.
    ===================================

    Obviously you’ve never played competitive sports before. When you’ve been running around, a 60 second breather can make a world of difference to catch your breath, organize the defense, get a chance to talk to coaches to make a change. The Timeouts may or may not have stopped a machine like Brady, but it would have given them more of a fighting chance, especially since they were on the ropes.

  44. The Pats coaching staff did a nice job of matching fresh players against gassed players on the final two TD drives. They went to packages including Allen, Develin and Burkhead. Of the 97 offensive snaps those three only had 27, 41 and 30 snaps respectively and most of those came on the final two drives. It made it look like the Pats had an extra player on the field as the snap count mounted.

  45. Game management at end of half was more shameful as he called an early defensive time out on third and six, leaving NE time to drive for td after they converted on third down. As KC was getting second half kick off, and NE was willing to settle for killing the half at 7-0, Perhaps Reid should have either not called time out of better yet, just waited 15-20 seconds which still would have allowed his team time to get in FG range? Not to call out Reid solely, shocking how ignorant 2/3 of NFL head coaches are in these basic game management situations.

  46. The game’s best analyst was second to comment, point being that when Jim Nance knows what the head coach struggles to comprehend then perhaps the head coach is over his head in such a situation. No offense to Nance, who has above average knowledge for pxp, but Nance didn’t even know a muff can not be advance until the truck obviously shouted into his ears, so what does that say about Reid?

  47. “Brady was throwing lasers and his receivers were making outstanding catches.”

    If that were true, they wouldn’t have needed to convert three different, third & long situations.

  48. The Onion correctly called that the Patriots would take a 14-0 lead before the Chiefs’ offense would step on the field and that Andy Reid would misuse his time-outs.

  49. qckappa says:
    January 25, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Andy Reid is a good coach. Let’s be fair & honest, his numbers do support that. I don’t understand why he didn’t make a D coordinator change in October or November when his team obviously had the offense to win the SB but his D was terrible. The loss in Foxboro should have been a wake up call. The Eagle fans know him best & say he has no interest in D. Too bad for him & KC fans.
    —————

    The bottom line is they went 12-4, and were a lining up offside away from the Super Bowl. Making a coordinator change mid-season wasn’t going to help them. If anything, someone should have sat Sutton down and told him to make some in-game adjustments once in a while.

  50. Teams should have one assistant just listening to Romo whenever he is calling their game.
    ———————————————–
    Isn’t there a time delay between live action and the broadcast?
    —————————————————————-

    The Jets considered this and have still decided to go ahead with it.

  51. TV director goes to camera showing Reid on sideline, full frame, excellent view of his face and demeanor, in the interval between plays, just before the next to last play of game. Andy knew how it was gonna end. You could see it. He was resigned to his fate.

    Why prolong it with a timeout?

  52. mmack66 says:
    January 25, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    The bottom line is they went 12-4, and were a lining up offside away from the Super Bowl.
    ———————————–
    No they weren’t. How many times has an offsides play either resulted in a big play/touchdown for the offense or a called back interception? Pretty often, because the QB will take advantage of the free play and take a chance. Brady knew he had the flag and played accordingly.

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