It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Mahomes during the 2019 season. He suffered a knee injury in October that kept him out of action for a couple weeks, and his touchdown total dropped from 50 in 2018 to 26 a year later. He didn’t come close to defending his title as NFL MVP, either, with Lamar Jackson earning the award unanimously.
But Mahomes led the Chiefs back from three double-digit deficits in the playoffs and turned around a poor performance against the 49ers to become Super Bowl MVP.
Take that, Madden curse.
1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-4)
Points in poll: 224
Highest-place vote: 1 (7 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (7 voters)
Season result: Won Super Bowl
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, and (with all due respect to Lamar Jackson, who deserved to win MVP) they have the consensus best quarterback in the NFL. Hard to imagine being in a better position than that!
Mahomes’s ability to pick up exceptionally unlikely first downs mirrors his ability to rally his team to exceptionally unlikely victories. The Chiefs played three games this postseason, and trailed all three by at least 10 points. As you’ve probably heard, they went on to win the Super Bowl, becoming the first team with three double-digit comebacks in the same playoff run. And they didn’t just win each game—they won each game by double digits. The Chiefs are the first team ever to win three consecutive games in which they trailed by at least 10 and then won by at least 10 in the regular season or postseason. The most spectacular comeback came in the divisional round against the Texans. The Chiefs trailed 24-0 in the second quarter, led 28-24 at halftime, and won 51-31.
Mahomes, the NFL’s MVP in 2018, opened last season as the favorite at Westgate at 4-1 odds. Lamar Jackson (100-1) took home the award after an impressive season leading the Baltimore Ravens to the No. 1 seed and a 14-2 regular-season record.
”Mahomes is the best quarterback and he didn’t win last year,” Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at the SuperBook, told ESPN. “He’s gotta be the favorite.”
Combine/free agency focus: Sammy Watkins caught four touchdown passes, including the game-sealing score in the AFC Championship Game in 2019, and chipped in five catches for 98 yards in the Super Bowl, but he only has one more year left on his deal. With Hardman and Tyreek Hill also in their corps, the Chiefs might be a year away from finding a replacement, but this class is loaded at the position and could offer Kansas City a chance to fill a potential future need. Or, with Mitchell Schwartz headed toward a contract year in 2021, the Chiefs could draw from another position that’s deep in this class: tackle. Late-season addition Terrell Suggs helped reinforce Kansas City at edge rusher, but the team could use some youth there as well.
“I don’t control the contract, a trade or if they’re going to give me a bigger contract. That’s not my worry. I’m not really focused on the money aspect of it. I’m really focused on my health, mental health and really checking in on and making sure I’m OK with my life, my family, my wife, my kids. Once I figure that out, I think I’ll be fine.”
Kansas City Chiefs
Invest big in bubble wrap. Demand Patrick Mahomes dresses in it as frequently as possible in a special clause as part of the mega-deal you’ll sign him to. Drop the pretext about waiting until 2021 to pay him. It’s unbecoming a Super Bowl champion.
The company will release 11 bobbleheads featuring the Chiefs’ top players, including Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Damien Williams, Tyrann Mathieu, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Chris Jones, Harrison Butker and the team mascot KC Wolf.
Around the NFL
Team we’ll pretend will win Super Bowl 55 because, I dunno, maybe Patrick Mahomes will get bored and try to play a whole playoff game left-handed
Seattle Seahawks — Christian D’Andrea
New England Patriots — Sarah Hardy
Baltimore Ravens — Morgan Moriarty
San Francisco 49ers — David Fucillo
Pittsburgh Steelers — Adam Stites
San Francisco 49ers — James Brady
Why I picked the Patriots: Last year I said it was going to be the Patriots and then it wasn’t. I’d like to jinx them again. — Hardy
Why I picked the 49ers: I’m a glutton for punishment? Super Bowl runner-ups have a habit of taking a step back the next season, but this 49ers fan doesn’t expect his team to do it. And nothing bad ever came from expecting great things from your sports team. The 49ers return most of their starters, and will hopefully get a full season from center Weston Richburg. If Richburg is healthy, I don’t think we see Chris Jones dominate the 49ers interior nearly as much, and that proved as big a game-changer as anything in their Super Bowl loss. — Brady
The games will be held on back-to-back Sundays; dates and opponents will be announced in April when the league reveals the schedule. However, the Jaguars did protect home games against Pittsburgh and Chicago, so the opponents will come from this list: Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Cleveland, Detroit and Miami.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
START TIME/LOCATION: 11:30 a.m. Arrowhead Time at 6th Street and Grand
END TIME (BEGINNING OF RALLY AT UNION STATION): 1:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time, with the rally expected to go until about 2:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time.
TEXT ALERTS IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO GO: Receive information directly to your phone by texting CHIEFSPARADE to 888777.
HOW TO WATCH: KSHB-TV 41 Action News (official broadcast partner of the parade). The celebration will air live on KSHB-TV 41 and stream on KSHB.com.
The parade route
The parade will begin at 6th Street and Grand Avenue in the River Market, running south on Grand before turning onto the westbound lanes of Pershing Road. Then it will turn north on Main Street, ending just east of Union Station.
Grand Avenue will be closed north of 6th Street. Pershing Road — in front of Union Station — will be closed in both directions from McGee Street almost all the way to Broadway. All streets crossing Grand from 6th to Pershing Road (except 17th Street) will be closed for one block to the east and west — that is, from Walnut to McGee Streets. Main Street, Memorial Drive and Kessler Road — that is, the loop around the Liberty Memorial — will also be closed.
Pedestrians will be able to cross the parade route at 9th Street, 13th Street, Truman Road, 18th Street and 22nd Street.
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