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Five Things We Learned from Andy Reid Following Thursday’s Win

Posted Sep 7, 2017

Reid met with the media following Kansas City’s season-opening victory over New England

The Kansas City Chiefs started the season in emphatic fashion on Thursday night, defeating the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, 42-27, on national television.

Here’s five things we learned from Head Coach Andy Reid following the game.

1. Safety Eric Berry suffered an Achilles injury in the fourth quarter.

“As far as injuries go, Eric Berry looks like he has an Achilles tendon potential tear,” Reid said. “We’ll find out more after his MRI and that whole deal.”

Berry recorded seven tackles (4.0 solo), including a tackle-for-loss, before exiting the game with the injury.

Reid noted that Berry didn’t want his injury to take away from the team’s efforts on Thursday night.

“Eric isn’t going to allow that to happen,” Reid said. “He was right there. He broke the team down afterwards. If it works out that he can’t play, we’ll get him right in there (coaching) and he can help out.”

2. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt had a stellar debut

Hunt tallied 246 yards from scrimmage in his debut on Thursday, the most ever for a player’s first professional game. He ran for 148 yards and a touchdown while catching five passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

It was a career night for any player, nonetheless a rookie playing in his first career game. Reid discussed Hunt’s record-breaking performance.

“He’s a load, he’s talented and he’s a smart kid, which helps at that position because that’s a tough one,” Reid said. “You have a lot of things to learn as a rookie coming in - I haven’t had a lot of rookies start for me over the years. He can think on his feet and that’s very important when we’re asking you to run the football, but then we’re asking you to pass block, and to run routes and you have to know all the blocking schemes up front and know how the line’s going to handle each front. He spent the time learning how to do that. My hat’s off to him. Again, he can be better. There’s things that we’ll look at and he’ll look at and that he can grow from.”

3. Quarterback Alex Smith had an incredible game

Smith had one of the best nights of his career on Thursday, throwing for 368 yards and four touchdowns. His 148.6 passer rating ranks as the fourth-best of his career, and his second-best since coming to Kansas City in 2013.

“You guys have been around him. He doesn’t flinch at much. I mean there’s just nothing that really rattles him,” Reid said. “It’s great for the young bunch that’s around him right now. He has young receivers, he has a young running back and he just kind of calms the storm and doesn’t get overwhelmed by being here in New England.”

4. Reid and Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy came up with some creative playcalls

The Chiefs posted 537 yards of total offense on Thursday night, their most since the 2005 season. Much of that success was due to a frequency of creative calls on offense.

“One of the things we did when Alex came early, we went back and kind of looked at some of the stuff he had done in college and was familiar with,” Reid said.  “College kids are starting to do more of that stuff and they understand that game, so we’ve incorporated a little bit of that in there. I think it was just a good blend from what Alex has done before and then what these young kids have done, so we’ve mixed it in and made it a part of our base offense. We had different kinds of wrinkles today. I mean we had a whole offseason to work on some stuff, so we could really use a couple of those things.”

5. The Chiefs aired it out on Thursday night

Smith connected on two 75-plus yard passes against New England, one to wide receiver Tyreek Hill and another to Hunt.

“Well I give it up to Alex and the receivers, that doesn’t happen a lot to this team - to the Patriots - so it’s a tribute to the guys for making it happen,” Reid said. “Actually, Tyreek called the one that he ended up scoring on. He goes, ‘I think I can get him on this one,’ so we called it and he got him.”

Reid was right about the Patriots rarely giving up the big play. New England didn’t give up a single reception of over 75 yards last season, and yet they did it twice on Thursday night.  

The big plays helped present a balanced offensive attack that proved to be tough to defend.

“As long as you can run the football, and our offensive line did a nice job of that, and throw the ball down the field, that’s a tough balance for a defense to have to put together and defend,” Reid said. “It helps.”

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