Before the end of the first half, Kansas City faced a fourth down decision with about a minute remaining.
Trailing 14-6 on Tampa’s fourteen-yard line, Andy Reid elected to kick a field goal rather than attempt to pick up six yards. That’s despite having, you know, Patrick Mahomes. Harrison Butker trotted on, converted the field goal, and then the Chiefs gave up a touchdown before the end of the half.
Having seen that, and now trailing 21-6 in the third quarter, Reid faced a 4th-and-7, this time on Tampa’s 34 yard line. Having seen his defense struggle to slow down Tom Brady all game (thanks in part, admittedly, to a slew of questionable calls), Reid once again sent out the kicking unit. Harrison Butker once again converted, this time from 52.
Butker knocks through a 52-yard FG. @Chiefs cut the lead to 21-9.
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2021
That cut the lead to 21-9, and Tampa took over once again. And once again, the Chiefs defense failed to repay Reid’s misplaced faith, as Tampa gashed the KC via Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, and then finally Fournette again.
— The Comeback NFL (@TheComebackNFL) February 8, 2021
Six plays, 74 yards, less than four minutes. That’s what it took for the Bucs to make the Chiefs look even dumber for kicking field goals in a game destined to be a shootout (at least if the Chiefs wanted to win.)
Very weird decision-making from Reid, who has typically displayed a much more adventurous sensibility, especially with Mahomes. Maybe Mahomes isn’t healthy, which would partially explain both his performance and Reid’s reticence to rely on him. No matter the cause, though, this game could get out of hand quickly, and the Chiefs can’t settle for any more field goals the rest of the game.