Since taking over in 2018, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are 11-0 in the month of September. Mahomes has been nearly perfect in the season’s opening month with 3,641 yards, 35 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Why exactly are the Chiefs so unbeatable in September?
The September dominance starts with Andy Reid. Since becoming the head coach of the Chiefs in 2014, the team has never lost an opening season game. A team typically has a week to prepare for an opponent but when it comes to the opening week of the NFL, a team has multiple weeks to look ahead and prepare for their first opponent.
Andy Reid has shown he is one of the best coaches in NFL history and arguably the best offensive coach of all time. Reid consistently changes the offense in week one to throw something at the defense that they weren’t expecting. For example, the Chiefs run the ball less than any other team in the league yet in the 2020 season opener, the Chiefs ran the ball more than they passed it. Giving Andy Reid extra time to break down and confuse a defense has been a guaranteed win for the Chiefs since he arrived in Kansas City.
The NFL is constantly in a state of turnover. From players, coaches, and schemes. Teams spend the first several weeks of the season finding their identity. What players work at what spots and situations. Is your scheme fitting your players or do you need to make adjustments? Every team goes through this period of finding themselves. Unfortunately for defenses, that’s a bad time to play the most explosive offense in the NFL. While an opposing defense is still learning, the connection between Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, as well as Travis Kelce, remains strong and allows them to find the weak points immediately and take advantage.
The key element that makes the Chiefs so great in September is their preparation. This is something that the team has talked about quite a bit. Mahomes has said, “I think just stressing the importance of – we’ve kind of come out, in my time at least with a lot of really good football teams up early in the season and we know that if you lose a game in September it could cost you at the end of the season as far as seeding if you’re trying to get into the playoffs.”
Andy Reid further explains the team’s preparation by saying “It’s a crazy stat, but the number of games in this league that are determined by seven points or less is ridiculous.” “There’s so much parity. So, I analyze those things and look at them to get better, but you prepare–obviously, with all the situational football you prepare for–you prepare for in case you’re in that mode just by the analytics of it” continued Reid.
The Chiefs’ stellar performance in September can be summed up by those three things; a coach who is great at breaking down opposing defenses, the amount of preparation the team emphasizes, and the offense being able to take advantage of a defense still trying to find its legs. These three things have made the Chiefs unbeatable in September since 2018. As Mahomes has said, “Yeah, I think we just stress the importance of starting the season fast”.
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