During his press conference Monday, Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid was asked question after question about how he will approach Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers. The game means absolutely nothing to the Chiefs, but that doesn’t stop people from talking about momentum and staying fresh.
Reid’s never been afraid to rest his starters in this situation and either way the head coach said recent history proves it’s much more of a coin flip than an exact science.
“It’s about a 50/50 shot, over the last three or four years of people that have done it. I think it’s what you feel most comfortable with as a coach,” Reid told reporters. “The obvious benefit is that you rest your guys and then you kind of get them back feeling a little bit fresher than they are at the end of the season; you take the risk of the timing part of it.”
The Chiefs were in a very similar situation back in 2010 with a playoff spot clinched and the Oakland Raiders coming into Arrowhead Stadium. Former head coach Todd Haley chose to go all out and not only did Kansas City lose, they were blown out 31-10. Even worse, Jamaal Charles and Matt Cassel had to absorb major hits as the Chiefs painted a true worst case scenario.
Resting all of the Chiefs starters may hurt their timing for next week’s playoff game, but it absolutely will prevent disaster. Reid and his staff will know Jamaal Charles, Alex Smith, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and the rest of the essential players will be full strength for Wild Card Weekend.