It kind of got lost in the shuffle after the Chiefs’ dominant win against the Patriots, but on Wednesday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid was asked about a potential gaffe at the end of the second quarter that could have cost the Chiefs points.
Facing a third-and-five at the Patriots’ 8-yard line, Reid — who called an otherwise flawless game Monday — let roughly 10 seconds run off the clock before he called a timeout with eight seconds left in the half. When the offense returned to the field, they he called a play that sent receivers Donnie Avery and Dwayne Bowe on routes while everybody else stayed in to block.
Bowe, who had single coverage, caught a pass near the right sideline for a 7-yard gain but was stopped short of the goal line. Since the Chiefs were out of timeouts, the half would have ended there if New England wasn’t called for illegal use of hands.
But this prevented the clock from running out because a half can’t end on an accepted defensive penalty, and kicker Cairo Santos proceeded to make a 22-yard field goal that gave the Chiefs a commanding 17-0 halftime lead.
When asked what they could have done better in the situation, Reid did not address the time-management portion of it. He also did not assign blame, but he did say that the execution of the play broke down, presumably because one of the receivers on the play— which the film reveals as Bowe — had to come back for the throw by quarterback Alex Smith.
“You saw the protection,” Reid said. “It was a two-man route. Everybody is supposed to be in the end zone, and it didn’t work out that way.
“That’s why that’s set up. That play is set up where you max protect, and the ball is either in the end zone or you throw it away. And if you don’t score (a touchdown), you go and kick a field goal.
“That came down to inches, there. Still, we need to do better. We need to be in the end zone. There’s no excuse for it — that’s what we need to do.”