Andy Reid's 21-year wait for Super Bowl finally ends
By James Simpson
Last Updated: 04/02/20 3:37pm
Down by 10 points in the fourth quarter to the San Francisco 49ers in Miami on Sunday, Andy Reid would not have been faulted for thinking back to his one and only previous Super Bowl appearance.
Like when his Philadelphia Eagles took on the New England Patriots at Super Bowl XXXIX, Kansas City took a lead before heading into half-time tied with their opponents.
Just as they did in Florida 15 years ago, Reid’s team found themselves trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter and even turned the ball over early in the final period - both Donovan McNabb and Patrick Mahomes throwing interceptions.
Had they run out of time again?
It has taken 21 long years of coaching for 61-year old Reid to reach the pinnacle of this sport. 364 career games up until this point as the head man, and 221 total wins - but not the one he wanted.
They were long years because ‘Big Red’ has a knack of taking his teams further than the regular season.
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In 15 of those 21 seasons, Reid’s teams have made the playoffs. But each of them were made even longer by the fact he had to spend his summers wondering what could have been.
Reid had a 1-4 NFC Championship game record in Philadelphia despite having teams that were more than talented enough to win it all.
In Kansas City, his tenure began with four early playoff exits in five seasons, before reaching the AFC Championship game last season. Another loss - this time a crushing one in overtime - and Reid had to endure another off-season of "what-ifs".
When Mahomes threw a little behind Tyreek Hill on third and six at San Francisco’s 23-yard line and it was picked off by Tarvarius Moore with 11:57 remaining, there's no doubt it would have brought back those Super Bowl memories for Reid.
But this time was different. Mahomes would not be stopped as he engineered the Chiefs' fightback. He had help from the defense, who pitched a shutout in the final period.
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Kansas City rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 and win their first Super Bowl title for 50 years in Miami.
Now, they can never say Reid did not win the big one.
In finally lifting the trophy on Sunday, Reid became the first head coach to win his first Super Bowl after 20 or more seasons as head coach - and absolutely shattered the record for most total wins before his first Super Bowl win (221 compared to Bill Cowher’s 152).
What now for the jubilant and relieved Kansas City man?
"I’m really excited," Reid said post-game. "You win one you want to go get another one.
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"We’ll spend a little time enjoying this one and then we’ll get working on the next one.''
Indeed, after always having 'but he's never won the big one' held against him, not only is that monkey off his back, but he will start drawing comparisons to the greatest coaches in NFL history.
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In those 21 seasons as a head coach, Reid has only had three losing teams. His 207 regular-season wins are the seventh-most of all time, and he now has the sixth-most playoff wins (15) to his name.
Win another Lombardi in the next few years and he could approach Tom Landry (20) at number two on the list behind Bill Belichick.
The outpouring of appreciation, respect and congratulations from his team, former players and coaches and the love he received from around the league was telling.
Reid has watched former assistants go on to win the big game - John Harbaugh with the Ravens and Doug Pederson with his former team, the Eagles - but none of it stopped 'Big Red' from keeping his eyes on the prize.
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On Sunday, he got his ice bath, his post-game victory press conference, and "the biggest cheeseburger you've ever seen."
The wait was worth it, but with this team and this quarterback, it may just be the start of a new chapter of winning ways for Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.