The Kansas City Chiefs have secured the top spot of the AFC Conference and a first round bye in the playoffs so their head coach Andy Reid plans to rest some starters in the final regular season game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chiefs unexpectedly struggled against the Atlanta Falcons on their home field this past Sunday but in the end escaped with a 17-14 win to improve to 14-1 and clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC Conference. With 1:55 left to play in the game, the Chiefs scored a touchdown for a 17-14 lead -- the Falcons had a chance to send the game into overtime but their kicker Younghoe
Koo missed a 39-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining.
Chiefs coach Reid didn't specify which starters will sit out the game against the Chargers but he suggested that 2020 Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes would be replaced by backup quarterback Chad Henne in the starting lineup.
"There's a good chance you might see Chad somewhere in that game, if not the beginning then somewhere in there," Reid said. "I'm not telling you it's not the beginning. I'm sorting through all of it."
Mahomes would be OK with not playing
A win or a loss against the Chargers changes absolutely nothing for the Chiefs since they have secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC Conference. "I just trust in the coaches," Mahomes said.
"I'm going to be ready to go whenever that is. I'm going to be ready to try to win a football game. Coach Reid has done this a long time and (offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy) has done this a long time. All those guys have done this for a long time and they know what's best for the team and we'll be ready to go whenever that is."
Chiefs wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins are expected to be among those who will not play. "Tyreek Hill, how many miles has this kid put on?" Reid said. "The wear and tear that that does and Sammy (Watkins) too.
You look at that part, the wear and tear on legs." Reid said he wasn't concerned that the Chiefs would be rusty in their first playoff game. "In the past I've been OK with the way we've gone about it, the way we've practiced during the dead period, the bye week period," Reid said.
"So I feel comfortable if needed to rest guys and I'm confident we can do it the right way. Getting guys freshened up can be a positive for you. These guys aren't going to forget the plays. "I do have confidence that we have a veteran crew and they're going to be OK.
In some of these cases, some of these guys need to just take a step back ... I really don't have much of a hesitation with this crew if I need to sit people."