Andy Reid’s Bye Week Record Will Be Put to the Test by the Eagles


In the world of sports, there are certain cliches that loom large. You don’t make the first or third out at third base. Leaving your feet in basketball is a recipe for disaster. Always keep your (hockey) stick on the ice. And while it doesn’t have quite the same level of universal appeal, the NFL world knows that you don’t want to face Andy Reid after a bye week.

While the bench boss is always regarded as something of an offensive mastermind, he’s even more formidable with an extra week to prepare. It’s easy to focus on his culinary expertise, but Big Red also knows a thing or two about cooking up a game plan.

And, as luck would have it, Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs play arguably their biggest game of the regular season directly after the bye week. And while those wearing red, white and gold will probably be happy about that scheduling reality, it will still represent a tough test for the defending Super Bowl champs.

Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs is pictured on October 29, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. Reid’s teams have an outstanding record after a bye week.
Michael Owens/Getty Images

What Is Reid’s Record After a Bye?

As mentioned above, it’s an accepted NFL truth that Reid shines after the bye week. But just how good is he?

The answer depends on how you count. If you’re only interested in the regular-season bye week, the coach is 21-3, including 8-2 with the Chiefs. But if you bring the postseason into play, whether that means taking the field after a first-round bye or in the Super Bowl, the head coach is 28-4.

No matter which way you slice it, though, Reid knows how to make the most out of a gap in the schedule.

Why Is Reid So Good After a Bye?

So, now that we’ve established that Big Red’s teams perform significantly better after the bye week, you might be wondering what he does to find that success. Thankfully, we’ve received some insights over the years.

“That’s the trick to it,” Reid told reporters during the 2023 NFL postseason. “[It’s] the balance; how the players utilize their free time—and coaches, for that matter. We’ve got to make sure that we keep on top of the scheme stuff, too.

“We’ll see how all that works out—but yeah, I’ll tell you that’s the trick to it, to keep the balance to where the players stay sharp and coaches still can add a couple things into [the guys’] mix and go from there.”

In theory, the comment about using free time bodes well for Travis Kelce, who notably spent part of his bye week traveling to South America.

NBC’s Mike Tirico also suggested that the time off gives the famously creative coach extra time to unveil some new wrinkles.

“They do their work, they get out of there and they get a break, they come back refreshed. I think that’s really important,” Tirico told The Kansas City Star around the same time. “But then it’s just they do things at a higher level from a playbook and a creativity perspective. It gives the most creative minds in the game another week to think about how to do things and how to approach it. That’s why it works.

“So yes, Andy’s always dangerous off a bye because they’ll come up with stuff that you haven’t seen before and you spend the whole week looking at the stuff they do and preparing for that. It feels like on a regular basis week to week, Andy’s one chess move ahead of everyone. With a bye week in between, it gives him a chance to be two or three chess moves ahead of the other guy.”

And, ahead of the Eagles-Chiefs matchup, Jason Avant, who played for Reid with both clubs, provided a bit of additional context.

“Well, what makes him good is that, like most coaches go back over the film,” the receiver explained. “Like you have to go in, and you have to self-scout. What makes him good [is that] he recognizes the things that they do good, and he kind of optimizes them going forward. And he also realizes the mistakes that they make as coaches and playing guys out of position and how to get guys into the offense more effectively. So those are things that he does, but, also, he looks at the opposing opponent and cracks down and figures out their weakness and what they’re trying to do schematically. And when he does that, he’s the best in the league.”

The Chiefs Will Need All of Reid’s Skills

While every win in the NFL is important, Chiefs fans will be hoping that their head coach shines on Monday night. If there’s ever a time for him to work his post-bye-week magic, it’s in a Super Bowl rematch.

It goes without saying that the Eagles are a more than capable opponent. Philly’s offense is more than just the tush push; it’s a genuine dual-threat unit capable of scoring with the best of them. The team’s pass defense has been a bit weak—that could be something for Reid and star QB Patrick Mahomes to key in on—but they’re still top-notch against the run.

And beyond that challenge, there is something on the line.

The Eagles and Chiefs play in opposite conferences, but the game could still figure into K.C.’s end-of-season standings. Beyond wins and losses, there could also be a tiebreaker at play. Earlier this year, Philadelphia beat the Miami Dolphins; a Chiefs win could be key in the chase for home-field advantage. (Philadelphia will also face the Buffalo Bills, but they’re probably too far off the pace to be worried about seeding.)

And, on a less tangible level, beating the cream of the NFL crop would provide Reid’s men with a psychological boost. The Chiefs, for all their success, haven’t looked 100 percent themselves this year, especially on the offensive side of things. The defense has stepped up in a big way, but things still feel a bit too close for comfort.

Beating Philly would provide a valuable touchstone; things can’t be out of whack if you beat both the Dolphins and the Eagles. Losing, however, could create a bit more doubt. Maybe the offense is actually an issue against top-tier teams.

All of those details, plus the fact that Monday’s matchup comes against his old employer, will put Reid squarely in the spotlight. From the coach’s perspective, though, there’s probably no better time to be put to the test than after a bye week.