Andy Reid's bold gamble secures Chiefs berth in AFC championship

Jason Owens
·2 min read

The Kansas City Chiefs punched their ticket to a third straight AFC championship game on Sunday with a win over the Cleveland Browns.

They secured the spot with head coach Andy Reid doing what he does best — going big.

With 1:17 remaining and Patrick Mahomes sidelined with a concussion, the Chiefs faced a chance to seal the game on fourth-and-inches. With Reid making the call, there was little doubt whether the Chiefs go for it. The question was over what the play would be.

The Browns called Andy Reid's apparent bluff on fourth down. It turns out he had the winning hand all along. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The Browns called Andy Reid's apparent bluff on fourth down. It turns out he had the winning hand all along. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Andy Reid’s bold play call

Backup quarterback Chad Henne set up the fourth down with a 13-yard scramble on a busted third-down play that came up just short of the first. When he lined up on fourth down, he set up in shotgun with running back Darrell Williams to his right.

Wait. Shotgun? Again, it’s fourth-and-inches and Kansas City’s former MVP quarterback is sidelined. If you’re not going to run a quarterback sneak or a short run here, you at least have to pretend you will, right?

This has to be a ploy to draw an offside penalty with a plan to call a timeout and run the real play if the Browns don’t bite.

Well, the play clock ticked down. The Browns weren’t biting. Were they lulled into believing that the Chiefs weren’t going to snap the ball? Would Kansas City put the season in Henne’s hands on a pass play?

Yep. That’s exactly what the Chiefs did. With the play clock at four seconds, Henne took the snap, looked right and found Tyreek Hill running alone in the flat. He hit him for a completion and first-down conversion.

Ballgame.

It added up to a master class in aggression and strategy, a would-be bluff that the Browns called before Reid turned over the winning hand.

And the Chiefs stand one win away from playing in a second straight Super Bowl.

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