The way to etch your name onto the tablet of greatness in the NFL is to win a bunch of Super Bowls. The way to to win a bunch of Super Bowls is to put yourself in position year after year, and no one has done that quite like Andy Reid.
In defeating the Cleveland Browns 22-17 in the AFC divisional round on Sunday, Reid's Kansas City Chiefs punched their ticket to the AFC Championship for the third consecutive year. Not only that, the Chiefs will host the title game for the third straight year, becoming the first team in AFC history to do so.
Only one team in NFC history has accomplished that feat -- Reid's Philadelphia Eagles.
Reid's Eagles actually reached four consecutive NFC Championships, from 2001-04. They visited the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams in 2001, then hosted each year from 2002-04, losing to Tampa Bay and Carolina and then defeating Atlanta before an eventual loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXIX.
This coming Sunday will be Reid's eighth conference championship game, and his sixth as host.
Hosting a conference title game not only requires success in the postseason, it demands sustained excellence throughout the regular season. In a league designed to push the bad teams toward the middle and bring the good ones back to the pack, Reid went 37-11 in the regular season from 2002-04 and now stands at 38-10 from 2018-20. Before dropping their Week 17 with most of their starters resting, the Chiefs went 23-1 in all games from Nov. 18, 2019 through Dec. 27, 2020. They've won 24 of their last 25 with Patrick Mahomes in the lineup.
And, yes, everyone knows the deal: the postseason is where glory is won, and the regular season is just the prelude. With two more victories, Reid will have his second Super Bowl, making him the 14th head coach in league history to do so.
Furthermore, Reid would join a list that right now includes only Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Chuck Noll (who did it twice), Jimmy Johnson and Bill Belichick as winners of back-to-back Super Bowls. The absolute titans of the sport. In an era defined by revolutionary offenses, Reid would stand above his peers as one of the greatest offensive thinkers in the history of the game.
But I think Reid's accomplishment is even more impressive than winning a Super Bowl, or even two. Dozens of coaches have won one, and a full baker's dozen have won multiple. No one has hosted three straight title games in both conferences -- no one other than Andy Reid.