We are living in the universe in which Reid and Mahomes did connect, though, and they form the head coach-quarterback combination that could define the NFL’s next decade, taking over from a Bill Belichick–Tom Brady pairing that might be done by 2021 or thereabouts. Reid floated through the football universe with small but glaring weaknesses until he found a quarterback who made those small weaknesses not matter. Reid drew up schemes that allowed Mahomes to complete some of the prettiest passes in the sport. They complete each other. It is the closest thing you’ll get to a football love story. All NFL coaches are looking for their Mahomes, and only a lucky few find him.
“Third-and-forever” came after 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan won a challenge that negated a 16-yard completion from Mahomes to Hill on second-and-15. Suddenly, instead of a first-and-10 at the 49ers’ 49-yard line, the Chiefs — again, trailing by 10 — faced a third-and-15 at their own 35-yard line with 7:13 remaining. If they didn’t convert, they’d either be forced into going for a fourth down in a dangerous area of the field or punt the ball back to the 49ers, still needing two scores to force overtime or win the game in regulation. Giving the ball back to the 49ers wasn’t an option.
For his heroic effort, Mahomes would be named Super Bowl MVP. “It’s something I’ve wanted to say my whole life,” Mahomes said after taking the award. “I’m going to Disney World!”
He is at the forefront of a generation of quarterbacks who know nothing else. They’ve been scoring easily their entire lives. Now, an entire sport is changing in his image because Kansas City and coach Andy Reid placed this phenomenal young player inside the same type of offense that had always allowed him to play so phenomenally.
Suddenly, with hundreds of millions of eyeballs watching, it didn’t seem weird when an offense scored 21 points in a matter of minutes because the player who led it all has been doing it for years.
“It’s normal now,” says Matt Moore, Kansas City’s 35-year-old backup quarterback.
“That’s stuff that’s handled with other people,’’ Mahomes said Monday. “Obviously, I want to be in Kansas City for a long time. I understand that and also I want to win a lot of football games here.
”For me, it’s kind of letting that stuff handle itself. I’m in a great organization. I have a great team of guys working for me, guys and girls. For me, it’s about trusting those people and finding the best way to do it in order to have the best team around me.’’
In response to the Chiefs’ 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, Nnadi will pay the adoption fees for the dogs who were in the shelter as of Sunday for as long as it takes for those dogs to be adopted. Adoption fees at the Kansas City Pet Project normally run about $150.
BIGGEST OFFSEASON QUESTIONS FOR THE CHIEFS
1) How can the team upgrade the defense, with Chris Jones headed for free agency?
General manager Brett Veach is in a tough spot. While the offense is what makes the Chiefs special, there is work to be done just to maintain the defense’s improvement to average this season. The defense’s best player, Jones, is headed for free agency. The Super Bowl was a great reminder of how valuable the 6-foot-6, 310-pounder is, even when he doesn’t fill the stat sheet. His pressure directly led to an interception, and his batted passes ended drives. Jones is a strong candidate for the franchise tag, but spending that money could be tricky, because the team has under $17 million in cap space entering the offseason, per Over The Cap.
Injured defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and in-season pickup Terrell Suggs are also free agents. Starting members of the secondary like Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland don’t have contracts. Both were absolutely vital to the team’s Super Bowl win. Veach has proven creative and bold in the past (think: the Frank Clark trade), so don’t be surprised if there are some defensive personnel fireworks again.
Trump deleted and corrected his tweet. That, however, did not deter his most loyal sycophants from defending the president’s original, erroneous missive. “Kansas City is in Kansas and it is also in Missouri. … [It’s like when] people call them the New York Giants, but they’re in New Jersey,” explained Fox News host Steve Doocy. Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, used the occasion to lecture the liberal East Coast media for its bias:
Around the NFL
“Kyle held his head high,” said Niners defensive end Dee Ford, who was acquired last March in a trade with the Chiefs. He told us, ‘Of course it’s not the result we wanted, but I’ll line up with any player in here, anytime.’ He told us, ‘This team is special.’ And it is.”
Last Super Bowl appearance: 2000
Last Super Bowl win: never
Tennessee, 9-7 in each of its past four seasons, made a Cinderella run through the AFC playoff bracket this winter. The Titans ousted the reigning NFL champions (New England) and the team with the league’s top record (Baltimore) before their run came to an end in Kansas City. This offseason, several moving parts could set their postseason ceiling.
Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, the two most important pieces of their surge from a 2-4 record to AFC finalist, are both slated to be free agents in 2020. While Tannehill seems like an obvious candidate to be franchise-tagged, figuring out what to do with Henry — an old-school heavy-use bulldozer of a tailback who doesn’t catch many passes — will be a tougher decision. The team will also have to make some upgrades to a defense that ranked 16th in efficiency.
Ultimately, Tennessee’s Super Bowl hopes may boil down to whether or not you believe Tannehill’s breakthrough 2019 is sustainable. Can he be the quarterback who wound up leading the league in passer rating last fall? Or will he revert back to his Dolphins form of “kinda/sorta good enough” like he did late in the postseason?
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Chiefs fans: From the introductions, you could tell it was going to be loud. When they yelled “home of the... Chiefs” we collectively got goosebumps and had tears welling up. This was as close to a home game as any Super Bowl could be. Chiefs fans officially travel, and they enjoyed the hell out of Miami.
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