John Fox, Field Yates and Jeff Saturday react to Kansas City’s firing of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. (1:39)
The Kansas City Chiefs fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton on Tuesday, two days after his defense was unable to come up with a pivotal stop against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Sutton has worked as Kansas City’s defensive coordinator since 2013, when the Chiefs brought in Andy Reid as their head coach.
Reid, in a statement released Tuesday, did not provide a specific reason for the firing beyond saying “change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that this is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob.”
Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford took the blame for lining up offside in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots and negating what likely would have been a game-winning interception.
The NFL says it will look into a report that a laser was flashed at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the fourth quarter Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs allowed 524 yards from scrimmage and 36 first downs Sunday night to the Patriots, who scored two go-ahead touchdowns in the final 3:32 of regulation before their 13-play, game-winning TD drive in overtime.
The Chiefs were unable to stop the Patriots from converting three third-and-10 situations on that overtime drive in Sunday’s 37-31 loss. In addition, linebacker Dee Ford was called for an offsides penalty that negated what likely would have been a game-ending interception by cornerback Charvarius Ward with 54 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Kansas City ahead 28-24.
“Bob is a good football coach and a great person,” Reid said in his statement. “He played an integral role in the success of our team over the last six seasons. I’ve said before that change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob. This was not an easy decision, but one I feel is in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward.”
Sutton, 67, oversaw a Kansas City defense that tied for the NFL lead with 52 sacks this season but allowed 405.5 yards per game, the second-most in the league.
The Chiefs finished 31st in total defense this season in contrast to the offense, which finished No. 1 overall in the NFL.
The Chiefs scored at least 28 points in each of their five losses this season, including games in which they scored 51 and 40 points.
The Chiefs had finished in the top seven in scoring defense in each of Sutton’s first four seasons before dropping off to 15th in 2017 and 24th this season.
ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.