Week 3 of the NFL season kicked off with the Kansas City Chiefs heading to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. This particular game would end with a 26-16 Chiefs victory and a Gatorade bath for their winning coach. Normally, this form of celebration is reserved for victories in a Super Bowl, the playoffs, even a playoff berth. So what warranted the icy bath in just Week 3? Andy Reid, the new head coach of the Chiefs, beat his former team in the place he called home for fourteen years.
After the longest tenure in the NFL, highlighted by five NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl appearance in 2004, Reid was fired following last season. It was expected. In 2011 and 2012, the Eagles finished 8-8 and 4-12 respectively, missing the playoffs both times. Apparently, the defense was so bad, Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo in the middle of the season, replacing him with Todd Bowles who would stay on in that position throughout the 2012 season. Well, the change did not help as the team’s performance only got worse.
In 2011, the Eagles offense was ranked 9th in the league, scoring 396 points, while the defense was ranked 10th, allowing 328 points. In 2012, the Eagles offense was ranked 15th, scoring 280 points, while the defense was ranked, allowing 444 points. In 2012, the Eagles had the worst turnover differential in the league (-24), due to the offense committing too many turnovers and the defense not forcing enough of them.
Thursday, the turnover differential trend would continue as the Chiefs’ offense, led by new quarterback Alex Smith, committed zero turnovers and the Eagles offense’ committed five, including a fumble and two interceptions by quarterback Michael Vick. Eagles’ head coach, Chip Kelly, acknowledged the poor performance. “No, you can’t win a football game when you turn the football over like that. We’re not blaming it on anything except our poor execution.”
Meanwhile, things are looking up in Kansas City. The Chiefs are 3-0 for the first time since 2010 when they won the AFC West division. Through three games, they have already increased their win total from last season, when they only had two victories. Six of the last seven times they started 3-0, they reached the playoffs. Smith began to flourish in San Francisco when a sense of stability was infused in the organization. Reid is as stable a head coach you will find in the league. Highly respected and admired. A huge reason he received a standing ovation at Lincoln Financial Field.
Something tells me that Big Red will get another Gatorade bath before the year is over, this time for a playoff berth.
Follow O’Cephus Starks