Chiefs 22 Browns 17

Andy Reid is a legend.

Jim Rome
January 18, 2021 - 9:17 am
Andy Reid

USA Today

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Divisional Weekend has the reputation as the best weekend in football. Eight teams. Four games. The best of the best. But let’s be honest, the first two games of the weekend weren’t that great. There weren’t the same number of “holy crap” moments that we’ve come to expect from the Divisional Weekend.

And then came Cleveland at KC. And here comes Andy Reid needing to bring a wheelbarrow to work every day to cart around his onions. Nothing but respect for Big Red and the way he called that game, especially in the fourth quarter with a backup quarterback in the game. And not just any backup quarterback, but Chad Henne. Chad Freaking Henne.

If Patrick Mahomes is a cheat code, playing with Chad Henne in a playoff game is like playing without a controller. It’s like trying to plug a Super Nintendo controller into a PS5. And yet Andrew Ri-ed was able to do it.

You know the old saying about a great coach – that he can take his guys and beat your guys, and he can take your guys and beat his guys? Yesterday, Andy Reid took nobody’s guy and beat a damn good Browns team.

But before I get to everything that went down in the fourth quarter, I need to take a moment to talk to my people. C-Town, we need to chat. I will spare you the line about how you have nothing to be ashamed of, even though it’s true. Nor say something hack like: don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Because yesterday sucked. It really did. The Cleveland Browns, the team that nobody believed in outside the 53 men in that locker room and the one in this studio, went into Kansas City and they had the defending Super Bowl champs on the ropes. That game was right there for them! It was right there for the taking! They were this close to advancing to the AFC Championship game. This freaking close!! 

I’ll go a step further – they didn’t even play their best game and they were still right in that. They were still right there. They made mistakes. They had drops. And they were still right freaking there!! 

And there are no consolation prizes. The Browns were big game hunting this year. They weren’t looking to just reach the playoffs or just reach the divisional round. They were looking for the Lombardi and they were close. That’s how good and how tough this team was.

And yes, they inspired a nation and restored everyone’s faith in humanity, but again, there are no consolation prizes. They aren’t going to make up a trophy for themselves to make themselves feel better.

Because as Baker Mayfield has been saying along, this is the new standard. This isn’t a fluke. Or an exception, this is what’s to be expected.

They’re going to get right back on the grind, and come back next season, even better. And I can’t wait.

Oh, and one more note on yesterday from a Cleveland perspective: they got absolutely robbed. Totally jobbed.

I’m not saying that because I built the Cleveland Browns bandwagon, I’m saying that because it’s a fact. I’m saying this because late in the first half, they got absolutely screwed by the worst rule in football, no the worst rule in sports.

Down 16-3 with less than two minutes in the first half, this happened.

I’m not sure what’s worse about that play – the fact that Kansas City wasn’t flagged for illegal use of the helmet or the fact that Cleveland got jammed by the single worst rule in the history of sports. Answer: it’s both.

The rule is terrible, but the lack of a flag was a truckload of salt into the wound. Instead of Cleveland getting a touchdown and looking at the possibility of heading into the half down 16-10 and getting the kickoff to start the second half, they lose the ball, don’t get the points, and Kansas City tacks on a field goal before halftime.

Again, the rule about the ball being fumbled out of the end zone and going to the defense is the worst rule ever. Truly idiotic. Seriously. There is no comparison. The catch rule thinks that rule is moronic.

If you fumble out of bounds on the one inch line, you get the ball on the one inch line. If you fumble two inches later and it goes out of bounds, the defense gets the ball. How does that make sense? I’ll answer that: it doesn’t.

You can’t reward the defense for not touching the ball, let alone not recovering the ball. That’s deranged. And the worst part is, we know this is a terrible rule. Everyone has known it for years and yet it still exists. And it absolutely bit the Browns yesterday.

But as much as yesterday was about that horrible rule, it was about another rule: and that rule is, Andy Reid rules. He is the absolute best.

And there is no better example than him winning a playoff game with Chad Henne as his quarterback. I know everyone wants to say the only reason that Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy are having the success that they’re having right now is because they have a once in a lifetime quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. But yesterday, Andy and Eric proved that wrong.

Because this happened.

That was a scary moment. Mahomes goes into the concussion protocol and Chad Henne comes into the game. Seriously, Chad Henne. And Andy Reid figures out a way to win with that.

And no, I’m not here to bury Kevin Stefanski for punting on 4th and 9 from his own 32 with 4:19 left in the game. He was going up against Chad Henne.

Chad had just thrown a pick on the last possession.  And a terrible pick at that. If you’re the opposing team, you want to get the ball back in his hands because good things are bound to happen for you.

And sure enough, the Browns defense got to a third and four almost immediately. A good thing was about to happen.

And yet somehow, Andy and Eric managed to avoid those good things happening for the Browns. And they managed to make great things happen for Kansas City. Henne completed a pass for five yards and a first down.

Then Cleveland gets a huge Myles Garrett sack on second down, its third and 14. And somehow, this happens.

That’s like seeing a lunar eclipse and the northern lights at the same time. Chad Henne scrambling like that was a freak of nature event. That defied so many laws, and yet it happened. And then Andy Reid went absolute legend on fourth down.

Watching that live, I thought Tony Romo was going to have a heart attack, he was so shocked and so fired up, it was incredible.

Because Andy Reid didn’t go for it on fourth down with Patrick Mahomes. He did it with his backup quarterback. And not just any backup but Chad Henne. At midfield. If you don’t get that, you’re giving the ball and every bit of momentum back to the Browns.

That was an absolutely massive play call, but to Reid, it was nothing big: “There was no doubt. There was no doubt. I think everybody knew we were going to go for that play on our side. I’m not telling you that in the world here, but on our sideline, guys just went, ‘Hey, there’s no tomorrow. Let’s go. Let’s roll.'”

That’s why he’s Andy Reid and you’re not. That’s why there’s only one Andy Reid. That was a big time call by Big Red. And that’s why they are moving on. Because Andy Reid is an absolute legend.  And because he loves Javier’s: how do I know?  He told me, on this show, after I saw him there.