By Harry Allison
Eagles fans watching last night’s Chiefs-Steelers AFC playoff showdown couldn’t help but think:
Same old Andy Reid, who manages the clock no better than a 4-year-old manages his finances!
If there is a timeout to be wasted or a time-sensitive drive to be stretched out over seven minutes, the former Eagles coach will find a way to do it.
It’s happened plenty of times in the past, and it happened once again in the Chiefs’ depressing 18-16 loss at the hands of the Steelers.
Time management has long been Reid’s weakness, and, yet, the coach has never really addressed the problem.
Not after the Eagles sleepwalked through a drive at the end of Super Bowl XXXIX while trailing by 14 late. Or after the Chiefs pulled the same move against the Patriots in last year’s playoffs.
You have to wonder if Reid even realizes he has a clock management problem. Here’s what he had to say after that debacle in New England last January…
“I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about,” Reid said when asked about the clock management late in the game.
Reid isn’t going to solve this problem if he doesn’t even recognize it.
Reid put together a masterpiece on last night against the Steelers. He was as bad at managing the clock as Aaron Rodgers was good at playing quarterback on this day. He not only wasted his first two timeouts of the second half because he did not have a play call ready in time, but he also put together a seven-minute drive while trailing by eight in the fourth quarter.
By not being more aggressive, Reid put the entire game on one two-point conversion. After the Chiefs failed to convert, the game was all but over. Kansas City got one drive in the entire fourth quarter. One drive in 15 minutes! That’s amazing.
Now, this doesn’t fall entirely on Reid. Alex Smith needs to do a better job of taking those shots downfield, and hitting on the throws when they are available. He missed an open Jeremy Maclin early in Kansas City’s final drive.
At the same time, Smith is Reid’s hand-picked quarterback and really the perfect guy to run his conservative, pass-happy scheme. Smith’s conservative nature is just an extension of Reid’s offensive philosophy.
No matter how many wins Reid racks up in the regular season, his poor clock management will always be a major talking point when discussion his legacy as a coach. Winning a Super Bowl would kill that talk, but Reid isn’t going to win one until he solves this problem.