Andy Reid’s Notepad, Lamar’s Lockdown, and Hutchinson’s Hometown Heroics: FMIA Divisional

At around 10:30 on Sunday night, Andy Reid retrieved a black mid-size Moleskine notebook from his travel luggage. The cover bore the NFL emblem. Halftime had passed in the Kansas City 27, Buffalo 24 (“an instant classic,” according to Travis Kelce, in what could have been the understatement of the day), but Reid wanted to take a few moments to enjoy his 282nd career triumph. We may wait for the squad bus.

The journal was opened by him. His Sunday entry was written in neat and compact script using red rollerball ink. In the hours leading up to the game, Reid relaxed in his hotel at the Buffalo Hyatt and wrote. Subjects for Sunday: The game would be decided at the line of scrimmage. He knew it was a cliché, but having played the Bills six times in the previous four seasons, he knew that these games are always tight and that the team that won the line of scrimmage would win in the end.

Additionally, ball security would be affected by the weather at some point—a 14-degree wind chill with light flakes coming in. “I started doing this when I was in eleventh grade,” he declared. So far, I’m a fan. “It helps me,” I say. Okay, let’s put Reid to the test. The best at scrimmaging: Kansas City had a first-and-goal situation at their own four-yard line early in the fourth quarter with the Bills leading 24-20.

It was passed to Isiah Pacheco by Patrick Mahomes. Both right guard Trey Smith and center Creed Humphrey pancaked their respective opponents. Final score. On the following series, KC uncovered a fake punt run, and in the fourth quarter, Buffalo’s running backs ran the ball three times for minus three yards.

Mecole Hardman mishandled the ball into and out of the end zone inches from the goal line, nearly causing Kansas City to blow the game. Buffalo was able to rebound after Josh Allen’s massive fumble in the last five minutes. Bricks were balls. Four slip-ups that day. The Moleskine was returned to Reid’s bag. I wanted to know what made this football game, the first road playoff game before the Super Bowl in the Mahomes/Reid era, so unique, so I asked him.

The rivalry, he remarked. As a whole. Special. Even before the game began, the atmosphere was absolutely nuts, what with everyone flinging snowballs and colliding with our bus. Flipping us off as we came in. They made a deafening racket during the game. Remember how they finish off the national anthem? They were attempting to block off our supporters’ cries of “Chieeeeeefs” so no one could hear them.

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