5. If the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV, they will end the second-longest Lombardi Trophy drought among teams that have already won a Super Bowl. Nine different franchises have yet to win a single Super Bowl, but among teams that have done so, only the New York Jets (51 years) have endured a longer stretch in between titles.
Aided by drops and some general lethargy across the Chiefs lineup, Mahomes’ first quarters in the postseason have seen him play roughly as well as Kyle Orton did in Kansas City. This is in stark contrast to Mahomes’ numbers during the regular season, when he’s recorded a career 107.9 passer rating, a 20:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and run for 7.5 yards per carry in the first quarter.
With that bad stretch out of the way, Mahomes turns into one of the greatest playmakers the NFL has ever seen. Only one of his 11 playoff touchdown passes has come in the first 15 minutes of game time. He’s also run for six total yards in the first quarter of those games (3.0 yards per carry, zero touchdowns) and 119 yards in the final 45 minutes (6.6 yards per carry, two touchdowns).
Trading for quarterback Alex Smith, 2013
Still, it’s difficult to overstate Smith’s importance in turning the Chiefs from a joke of a franchise to a model for the rest of the league. He stabilized the quarterback spot, one that had been occupied in Kansas City in the years before his arrival by players such as Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, Tyler Palko and Brady Quinn.
Here’s other news we’re monitoring around the NFL on Wednesday:
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, who’s been dealing with a calf injury that saw him miss the AFC Divisional Round against the Texans, came out of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday doing well without any setbacks, coach Andy Reid said.
Jan Stenerud, K The 1969 Chiefs didn’t have a public event to distribute the rings to honor their Super Bowl IV victory. “We got our rings in the mail in June, I think it was,” Stenerud said. “It was very quiet.” The rings came with a small wooden plaque that read: “Remember that you are World Champions. Handle yourself with class and style, grace and dignity.” It was signed: “Hank Stram, head coach.”
“Because he played multiple sports, the overlay of all of those experiences and skills are there in the NFL,” Cook told Wetzel. “It’s all just one game for Patrick. It’s always been just one big game, just on different playing surfaces. In high school football you are guaranteed just 10 games. Instead Patrick was always playing something and learning how to win along the way.”
10. Patrick Mahomes, QB, 2017-current … Mahomes has accomplished the unthinkable in his two seasons as a starter, throwing for 5,000-plus yards and 50 TDS in becoming the first Chiefs player to win the NFL MVP award in 2018 and leading the club to its first Super Bowl in 50 years with a magnificent postseason performance that included five TD passes against Houston and a 27-yard TD run for the ages in the AFC Championship Game against Tennessee.
Around the NFL
Asked what he needs to improve upon as a passer, Jackson said, “Everything. I’m not the best, I’m not the greatest. I’m going into my third year, and I’m trying to get somewhere. I’m trying to get to the Super Bowl. So I gotta work on everything.”
Los Angeles Chargers – Tom Brady. I’ve long heard this spot would hold unique appeal with Brady and have done significant reporting on it since. His trainers and infrastructure are already in SoCal, his family would be a very short private plane ride away, he enjoyed living in Malibu before, holds off-season workouts at USC. He’d be in Hollywood, where a second career as a producer or media mogul of some sort likely awaits and his buddies Matt Damon and Ben Affleck make power moves. He’d be in the perfect spot to market his TB12 brand. It would be huge for the fight to make football really matter in LA. The NFL office would be doing private cartwheels. Stan Kroenke, who is building that $4B stadium in Inglewood, would be overjoyed. If Brady does actually leave New England, this would be top of his list from everything I gather (and that list would not be very long). Could the Chargers close a move of this magnitude? Perhaps we’ll find out, as either way it’s looked for a while that Philip Rivers is on the way out. Heck, they could draft a Justin Herbert and have him sit behind Brady for two years.
“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
For the Chiefs, one player sticks out head and shoulders above the rest. Any guesses?
That’s right: Sammy Watkins.
The Chiefs passing offense is nearly twice as efficient when Watkins is on the field, averaging a whopping 0.30 EPA/play when he’s there (about 500 regular-season snaps), and just 0.16 when he isn’t (approximately 160 regular-season snaps).
No other player has such a drastic split. Except for Patrick Mahomes, no other player has a higher efficiency. This has paid huge dividends this postseason. As this chart shows, among all pass catchers in the postseason, Watkins has the highest EPA per target.
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