Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs see division title hopes dashed

Though he’s still a frontrunner by most accounts for NFL Coach of the Year honors, Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs won’t be able to add American Football Conference West Division champions to their honor roll.

After racing downfield to score on its first series, Kansas City saw its offense suddenly go cold and its bid to win the AFC West championship foiled.

Under first-year coach Reid, a former Glendale Community College football player from 1976-77, the Chiefs will go into the playoffs as a wild-card team following a 23-7 home defeat Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The Denver Broncos wrapped up the division crown with a 37-13 road win against the Houston Texans, followed by Kansas City’s defeat.

Kansas City (11-4) wrapped up a playoff spot Dec. 15 with a 56-31 win against the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs finished 2-14 last season, prompting them to bring in Reid, who had coached the Philadelphia Eagles the previous 14 seasons before being fired.

On Sunday, the Chiefs couldn’t solve the Colts after receiving a 31-yard touchdown run from standout running back Jamaal Charles with 11:05 left in the first quarter to grab a quick 7-0 advantage.

“It was a team effort in not a very good way,” Reid told the Associated Press. “You can't pull your foot off the accelerator when you get out that quick.”

The Chiefs entered Sunday’s contest having scored 101 combined points in their last two games against Oakland and the Washington Redskins. They finished with 287 yards of total offense Sunday, including 106 yards rushing in 13 carries from Charles.

“I would expect our players to be upset over this,” Reid told the Kansas City Star. “That’s what I sensed in that locker room. A lot of time and effort went into preparing. Same with the coaches. And if you’re not [upset], then there’s something wrong with you. So you learn from it, that’s the most important thing.”

The Colts (10-5) improved to 5-1 in their last six meetings against the Chiefs. Kansas City and Indianapolis, which already locked up the AFC South Division crown, could meet again. If Indianapolis ends up with the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and with the Chiefs having locked up the fifth seed, the teams would face off in two weeks at Indianapolis.

Reid will return to Southern California on Sunday. Kansas City will close out the regular season with a contest against the division-rival San Diego Chargers at 1 p.m. PDT.

It wasn’t clear if Reid would rest some of his starters, something he normally did while in Philadelphia during the final week of the season.

“The obvious benefit is that you [get to] rest your guys,” Reid told “Then you kind of get them back [for the playoffs] a little fresher than what they [would have been] at the end of the season. You take the risk of [losing] the timing part of it. Sometimes that's there and sometimes it's not.

“I’m going to take the time I have to evaluate it and make sure that I do what I think is right. This is one of those decisions that you make and there’s a little bit of a gut feeling that you go with. I’ll go off of that.”

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