Andy Reid reveals the turning point of the Chiefs’ season: It was a wake-up call

Chiefs’ Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes star in a new commercial from State Farm

Every championship team, in any sport, has to overcome adversity on its way to the top of the mountain. That axiom even applies to the Kansas City Chiefs, who have largely made things look pretty easy during a stretch in which they have won fourth AFC championship in only five seasons. But make no mistake, they had to earn their trip to Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.

Following Kansas City’s 17-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday — a win that secured the Chiefs’ place in Las Vegas — head coach Andy Reid told reporters that it was one game in particular which awakened this sleeping giant and set it on its way to yet another conference championship.

Andy Reid: The Raiders woke us up

The Chiefs’ last loss was a 20-14 home defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day, a game ultimately decided by two Las Vegas defensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays in the first half. Reid on Monday told the media that this was the game that jolted Kansas City back to life.

“I think that was a good wake-up call for us,” Reid said. “They came out with great emotion. Antonio (Pierce) had them ready to go. But that emotion was the thing that jumped out at you, that they played with.”

Since then, emotion and intensity have been prominent in the way the Chiefs have played. Although it was briefly in doubt, Kansas City rallied after the Week 16 home defeat to clinch the AFC West title the following week and end the regular season with a road win against the Los Angeles Chargers. And even though the Chiefs spent two-thirds of the conference playoffs on the road, Reid’s men showed toughness and championship-level execution to reach the Super Bowl one more time.

Reid never lost confidence

Reid told reporters that he always felt this Chiefs team had a good chance to play in another Super Bowl and defend the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but it needed the “kick in the tail” that losing to the rival Raiders provided.

Since the Christmas Day loss, Patrick Mahomes has thrown five touchdowns against zero interceptions, making huge plays to lead the Chiefs to road wins against the Ravens and the Buffalo Bills. Travis Kelce has enjoyed a postseason resurgence — he caught two touchdowns in Buffalo before making 11 receptions for 116 yards in Baltimore, only his third 100-yard game of the season. And the Chiefs’ defense has remained elite — it still hasn’t allowed 300 passing yards in a game this season, nor has it allowed more than 27 points in any of Kansas City’s 20 games


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