Thursday night marked the return to Philadelphia for Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Reid was fired by the Eagles at the end of last season and replaced with University of Oregon coach, Chip Kelly, who had no NFL coaching experience. Now, Kelly might be wishing he’d stayed in school. The Chiefs won 26-16; are undefeated, 3-0; and already have one more win than last year.
Eagles fans, infamous for booing Santa Claus, cheered for the returning Reid. Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer witnessed the welcome.
“The fans gave him a rousing standing ovation,” Berman told Bill Littlefield. “They treated him very well because he has the most wins of any coach in Philadelphia. He’s a — I don’t want to say revered figure — but he’s someone who the fans appreciate and respect even though it didn’t end well, it didn’t end acrimoniously.”
The sloppy play of the Eagles seemed fitting for Reid’s return. They looked like the team that went 4-12 last season, with too many turnovers and an underachieving offence. But, Berman said, the coach’s familiarity with Philadelphia wasn’t responsible for the Chiefs’ win Thursday night.
“It didn’t give them a dramatic advantage because the schemes that the Eagles utilize are considerably different from what they had under Andy Reid. He might know what the players can do, but he didn’t know where they were gonna go.”
With the loss to Reid, one might think that fans might want him back. Berman said that’s not the case.
“I think fans were ready for Andy Reid to move on. But with new coach Chip Kelly, he’s going to have to prove that he can make this adjustment from college to the NFL. He’s an intelligent coach. He was very accomplished at the college level. He has very innovative schemes and it’s just a matter of the team adjusting to them and staying ahead of the league.”
The reason behind Kansas City’s fast start is simple.
“The Chiefs haven’t turned the ball over yet,” Berman said. “That was a big issue with Andy his final two years in Philadelphia and he’s rectified it. They take care of the ball. They don’t have the self-inflicted wounds that the Eagles had, and that’s often the difference between winning and losing in the NFL.”
The Chiefs and Eagles don’t have any more regular season games on the schedule, but there’s always time for a rematch in the play-offs.