There was a lot of Andy Reid schadenfreude on Twitter as the seconds melted away in the Steelers win over the Chiefs. This isn’t going to be that. By all appearances he is a warm and kind-hearted man, which is rare in his cutthroat profession. But, year in and year out he leads his teams this far only for them to be undone by clock management issues.
Last year, to the unyielding dismay of my editor and metropolitan Kansas City dweller Jason Lisk, the Chiefs took forever to get their plays off, when they were down by two touchdowns.
The lack-of-urgency issue was again on display on the Chiefs’ final drive tonight, when they took 7:06 to run 13 plays for 75 yards and a touchdown. Down 8, the Chiefs needed a TD and a 2-point conversion to tie the game. Because KC took as long to score as they did, and burned one of their timeouts to have just one remaining, Pittsburgh needed just one first down to ice the game in the event that the Chiefs’ two-point conversion attempt failed.
You have to account for the fact that the two-point conversion is a 50/50 play, and if you don’t make it you are going to need some time on the clock to stop the Steelers, and then get in field goal range.
If you say that their goal was to score, get the two-point conversion, and not leave enough time for Ben Roethlisberger to score in regulation, then the Chiefs also failed on that mission. Having received the ball with 9:49 remaining, they scored with 2:43 left. That is an eternity for the Steelers, especially considering they just needed to get into field goal range.
Via ESPN, here is the Chiefs’ drive chart — look how long it took them between plays!