With the Chiefs’ next triumph, Andy Reid will become the second current NFL coach with 200 career victories. His first opportunity comes against the coach who tops that list … and many other lists.
The Patriots’ Bill Belichick and Reid rank 1-2 on the list, and third place isn’t close. That speaks to the leaders’ success and their longevity, and this week’s matchup on Sunday Night Football presents an opportunity to express their mutual admiration for one another.
Reid and Belichick have never served on the same coaching staffs, but the two men have become friends over the years.
“He’s a great friend, a great person, great coach. I have a lot of respect for Andy Reid,” Belichick said.
Reid said nobody makes adjustments week to week like New England’s Belichick, who has had additional time to prepare for this game after playing last Thursday.
“He’s going to form-fit the defense to your offense,” Reid said. “It might be completely different than what he did the week before. The same thing on offense. They’re going to fit it what they think are your tendencies and matchups. He’s great at that.”
Belichick, in his 24th year overall and 19th with New England, is the game’s gold standard among coaches, with 281 career victories, including the playoffs. That total ranks third in NFL history behind Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324).
If a Mount Rushmore of NFL coaches existed, Belichick and his hoodie would be part of the carving. He tops such career lists as Super Bowl championships (five), Super Bowl appearances (eight) and consecutive winning seasons (17).
The moment Belichick, 66, is eligible for Hall of Fame, he’s in.
Reid, who spent 14 years as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach before taking over the Chiefs, has his team off to a 5-0 start for the third time in his six seasons in Kansas City. Since Reid’s first year here, in 2013, the Patriots and Chiefs have the NFL’s best two records: New England at 66-19, Kansas City at 58-27.
The head-to-head matchup between the coaches stands 5-2 in favor of Belichick, including the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over Andy Reid’s Eagles after the 2004 season and New England’s 2015 playoff victory over the Chiefs. And postseason records are where the two coaches’ fortunes diverge.
Belichick has outdistanced everyone with 28 lifetime playoff victories. Reid is second on the list among current coaches, with 11.
But Reid’s triumphs over Belichick have come in recent years. The Chiefs opened 2017 on a five-game winning streak that started with a 42-27 decision at Foxborough.
The Chiefs’ 41-14 victory over the Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium in 2014 had New England fans questioning Tom Brady’s future with the Patriots. But that loss only seemed to inspire him. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl that season.
In both Chiefs victories, 2014 and 2017, Reid’s schemes produced huge offensive games. Kansas City hit its season high in total yards and points (matched once in 2017) in those seasons against the Patriots.
“Andy’s a very creative, innovative coach, and I think he does a great job of taking concepts and being able to apply them into his system,” Belichick said. “The same thing with personnel, creating opportunities for the unique personnel he has.”
A year ago, rookie running back Kareem Hunt took full advantage of those chances, amassing 246 total yards in his NFL debut after losing a fumble on the Chiefs’ first snap of the game.
This year, the Chiefs’ impact newcomer is quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Reid and the Chiefs have incorporated run-pass option concepts to take advantage of the second-year pro’s skill-set and lead the AFC in scoring at 35 points per game.
“Andy’s done a good job of building in, I don’t know, four, five, six concepts that are not just one thing,” Belickick said. “He’s done a great job incorporating that, probably as much as any team we’ve seen, probably more than any team we’ve seen.”
And if he’s successful Sunday night in New England, Reid will have hit a milestone.