It didn't take long for Andy Reid to have a substantial impact in turning around the Kansas City Chiefs.
Reid, a former Glendale Community College football player who is in his first season as head coach of the Chiefs after holding the same position the previous 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, saw Kansas City wrap up a playoff spot Sunday with a convincing 56-31 road victory against the rival Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs last appeared in the postseason in 2010.
The Chiefs (11-3) are tied for first place in the AFC West Division with the Denver Broncos with a pair of games remaining, but need help to win the division after the Broncos swept the two head-to-head meetings. Kansas City finished last season with a league-worst record of 2-14, prompting it to turn to Reid to handle the coaching responsibilities and reshape the structure of the franchise.
"It's great to be in the playoffs. We also understand that's not where it stops," Reid, who will make his 11th career postseason appearance, told the Kansas City Star. "We've got to finish this season the right way. We're going to do that."
Kansas City equaled the most wins by a team in a year immediately following a season of two wins or fewer, joining the 2008 Miami Dolphins and 2012 Indianapolis Colts. Kansas City standout running back Jamal Charles had five total touchdowns (four receiving) and quarterback Alex Smith threw for five touchdowns to turn back the Raiders and make the Chiefs the fourth team ever to make the playoffs a year after losing at least 14 games.
Reid, a former All-Western State Conference selection with the Vaqueros from 1976-77, said the Chiefs have shown resiliency throughout the season.
"I'm proud, mostly, of the players and the perseverance and the trust that they've had," Reid told kcchiefs.com. "Us coming in as new coaches and in most positions, we have a couple guys that, I've said this before, moving on from last year, the guys who have made it are guys buying in to the things that we presented to them. That's not always an easy thing to do.
"Trusting" isn't an easy word to spit out and it's a hard thing to get done. These guys have done that; they trust each other, they trust their coaches and they play as a unit. They're happy for each other, they pull for each other, no matter if they're on offense, defense or special teams; that's priceless and I appreciate that."
Kansas City will next meet visiting Indianapolis on Sunday before closing out the regular season Dec. 29 against the host San Diego Chargers.