It’s time for Andy Reid.
It’s also time to end a 39-year wait for the Chiefs.
It’s time for him to toss way the “choker” tag that has been thrust upon since his latter days in Philadelphia and his current time in Kansas City.
The mild-mannered 60-year-old often isn’t recognized enough for his 195-124, .611 regular-season record.
Reid will get back to the “Big Dance” again late Sunday night and has enough firepower to bring the first Super Bowl trophy back to Kansas City since January 11, 1970.
Yes, it was the high-flying Chiefs offense back then led by quarterback Lenny Dawson, scatback Mike Garrett, workhorse back Ed Podolak and wide receiver Otis Taylor behind the mastery of head coach Hank Stram that sliced through Minnesota’s vaunted “Purple People Eaters” defense.
Sound like a familiar matchup?
This Sunday AFC Championship will feature Reid’s seemingly up-stoppable, high-octane offense against a New England defense that has looked good at times, but still is a shadow of the lockdown units of the past.
Ironically, Reid will do it against Bill Belichick and his Patriots, who edged one of Reid’s Eagles’ teams, 24-21, in the final two minutes in 2005.
This was a game the Eagles easily could have won in spite of having Terrel Owens playing on broken leg.
Reid will be in Atlanta for this year’s big game, not a bad drive from Jacksonville in 2005.
I used to never be a big Reid Fan, and it has been easy to point the finger at him when his Eagles’ and Chiefs teams have a combined 12-13 playoff record, 2-4 in his last six years in Kansas City.
A blown 28-point lead that lead to a 45-44 loss to the Colts in 2014 had Reid on the hot seat.
I covered Reid while in Philadelphia and remember the Eagles’ loss to Jon Gruden and a Tampa Bay Bucs squad that was led by journeyman quarterback Brad Johnson in a NFC Championship game in January 19, 2003.
His team would lose in the NFC Championship Game a year later, this time to Carolina, 14-3.
From there, Reid’s best year was his team’s battle with the Patriots, the other seasons basically mired around .500.
Now, a day away from 15 years later, Reid will be back in another big game against another tenacious coach.
This time around, his team won’t lose like they did, 27-10, back then.
If quarterback Patrick Mahomes doesn’t succumb to championship game jitters, Reid and the Chiefs should post a double-digit victory over the Patriots.
I realized Reid has been one of the hallmarks of the game for the past 20 years.
With this team, Reid has the opportunity he likely will never have again. It’s time for him to join the likes of Stram, Dawson, Garrett, Podolak, Taylor and the rest in Kansas City lore.
It’s time for him to shake the tag of a big choker and take the stamp of a big winner.