How the Chiefs’ Defense Turned the Tide in Super Bowl LIV in Three Plays | MMQB
“I know Bill [Belichick’s] big thing is do your job and all that,” Spagnuolo said late last week. “We believe in doing our job. And then if you can do a little bit more, that’s the plus part of it. And throughout the [Super Bowl], guys did that.”
Patrick Mahomes will, rightfully, forever be the hero of Super Bowl LIV. His performance in the game’s final seven minutes would’ve been impressive no matter what led up to it. But given how he’d played over the first 53, the stakes and his age, what the 24-year-old made happen will be remembered as historic.
That said, without a maligned defense doing My Job Plus last Sunday night, there’s a pretty good chance things would’ve gotten out of hand well before Mahomes ever had the chance to stage his Houdini act of a fourth-quarter show. And that it happened just a year after the KC defense couldn’t buy a stop in the AFC title game, as Mahomes went blow-for-blow with Belichick’s defense, makes it even more remarkable.
Final Notes From the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV Run | SI
In the Chiefs locker room after the Super Bowl, safeties coach David Merritt showed me one of the sheets he uses to chart formations and keep notes during the game. In the top quadrant at the left side, he’d written, “Breathe.” That was one of the reminders he’d given his players in the days leading up to the game; he’d even had them do a mindfulness session in which they counted their breaths to relax. You may remember the TV shot of Tyrann Mathieu fired up on the sideline after the 49ers scored on their second straight drive in the second half to take a 20-10 lead. Mathieu then put on a headset to communicate with Merritt, who was up in the coaches’ box, and the coach reminded the heart and soul of the Chiefs defense to breathe. That was, of course, the last time the 49ers scored. Also on Merritt’s sheet: At the 6:13 mark of the fourth quarter, when the Chiefs scored to pull within 20-17 of the 49ers, he wrote down that the final score would be KC 24, SF 20 (he didn’t count on the Chiefs scoring two more times). In the bottom left-hand corner, one more note, something echoed by the entire team in Miami: “For Andy Reid!!!”
Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy has a Super Bowl ring. Next step: NFL head-coaching job | ESPN
“It’s all about the relationships built and established, the bonds that are formed during this time, and making sure these guys aren’t taking the moment for granted,” Bieniemy told ESPN in a phone interview.
While social media issued a collective ‘SMH’ every time Bieniemy got passed over for a head-coaching job — after the seventh time in two years, the trash-bin emoji sufficed — Bieniemy evaded the negativity like his quarterback escapes the rush. He shuts down that topic every time.
Philip Rivers’ unfortunate legacy will be all the games he didn’t win | SB Nation
The Chargers had a chance to force overtime against the eventual Super Bowl-champion Chiefs in Week 11. After a defensive stop, Los Angeles got the ball back with just under two minutes left in the Monday Night Football matchup. Rivers needed to move his team 91 yards down the field for a game-tying touchdown.
Before the drive even began, everyone already knew how the game would end, though.
Alas, they were right. Rivers got the Chargers to the Kansas City 14-yard line before his throw to the end zone was intercepted by the Chiefs. Game over.
2020 NFL Mock Draft: Dolphins and two other teams trade up to take franchise quarterbacks| CBS Sports
Round 1 - Pick 32
Kristian Fulton CB
The Chiefs defense improved steadily this season, right through the Super Bowl win. And while the secondary was pleasantly surprising at times, Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland will be free agents in the spring. Fulton had an up and down 2019 campaign but is undoubtedly a first-round talent — which was also the case a year ago when he considered leaving school early.
The Chiefs Could Make Sammy Watkins A Salary Cap Casualty | Forbes
Making Watkins more expendable is the fact that the Chiefs have two other wide receivers locked up. They signed their No. 1 wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, to a three-year, $54 million contract, including $35 million guaranteed, in September. And another speedy complement, wide receiver Mecole Hardman, is entering the second year of his affordable, four-year, $5 million rookie deal.
Here’s a Look at Some Important NFL Offseason Dates | The Mothership
April 20 - Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs
April 23-25 - NFL Draft, Las Vegas, Nevada
April 27 - Beginning this date, NFL clubs may request permission to visit with, try out, or sign any player who was under contract to the XFL at the conclusion of the XFL season
49ers fan Jeff Gordon loses bet, wears Chiefs jersey during NASCAR broadcast | Kansas City Star
Gordon paid up on the wager, wearing a Chiefs No. 24 jersey (that was Gordon’s number when he raced) during Sunday’s broadcast of the Busch Clash at Daytona Speedway.
“This is hard to wear right now. I’m a diehard 49ers fan ... have been for a long time,” Gordon said on Fox Sports. “But a bet is a bet and here I am Clint Bowyer.”
Around the NFL
Sources: Suspended Myles Garrett meets with NFL about reinstatement | ESPN
Suspended Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett met with the NFL on Monday morning about his reinstatement into the league, sources confirmed to ESPN.
According to Cleveland.com, which first reported the news, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendance at the meeting.
Garrett was suspended indefinitely for his role in a fight at the end of the Browns’ game against the Steelers on Nov. 14. Garrett ripped off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and clubbed him in the head with it.
Philip Rivers will be free agent, won’t return to Chargers | NFL.com
“After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement from the organization. “As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.
”We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.”
Greg Olsen to wrap up free-agent visits this week | NFL.com
The veteran tight end’s series of visits — which included a stop in a FOX broadcast booth as part of XFL coverage Sunday — continues Monday with a visit with the Redskins, and will then include a cross-country flight to Seattle to meet with the Seahawks, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of Olsen’s plans. By the end of this week, Olsen expects to have arrived at a decision, Rapoport added.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Chiefs trade up for Patrick Queen in Dan Kadar’s latest mock
Queen is a very interesting prospect that has skyrocketed up draft boards after a strong close to his collegiate career. He’s got sideline-to-sideline range, length to scrape around blockers or stack and shed in the box, and he’s got fluid hips to drop into coverage against running backs and tight ends. He comes in under Steve Spagnuolo’s typical linebacker weight at 227 pounds but should be able to put a little weight on his frame without slowing him down. From a Chiefs’ perspective, he’s just what the doctor ordered as a three-down WILL linebacker.
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