Here’s the key point: All five of the Buccaneers sacks in Green Bay came on four-man rushes. The Bucs got pressure without blitzing, which would be the best possible outcome against the Chiefs, too. Tampa Bay’s four-man rush pressured Rodgers on nearly a third of his drop-backs, affecting him on 10 of 32 snaps.
Beside the great individual efforts by Barrett and Pierre-Paul, there could have been a few other factors at play in Green Bay. First, nose tackle Vita Vea heroically returned from injured reserve and was able to play 33 snaps, or close to half of the game, many of them on obvious passing downs. It seems little coincidence that a Buccaneer pass rush that had been slumping over the second half of the season suddenly caught fire again.
That was in 2007, Spagnuolo’s first year with the Giants, a season that ended with his vice-grip defense laying waste to Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII — one of the most significant upsets in NFL history, given that the Patriots were one win away from a perfect, undefeated season.
All these years later, Spagnuolo is at it again. His winding road took him from the Giants to his first and only full-time head-coaching position, with the Rams, then stops with the Saints, Ravens, back to the Giants then finally to Kansas City — working for Andy Reid, the coach who gave Spagnuolo his NFL start in Philadelphia.
In 2019, Spagnuolo repeated the feat he first pulled off with the Giants — winning a Super Bowl in his first year with the team — but what comes next could produce the stuff of legend.
Spagnuolo, 14 years after he was the mastermind of a defense that brought 30-year-old Brady to his knees, gets a chance to do it again, as his Chiefs on Feb. 7 in Tampa prepare to take on Brady, 43, and the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.
“We had conversations that were outside of football, about where I was personally,” Allen said. “Before I decided to retire, we had a conversation about it. We sat down and talked about what was best for me, and he supported me on that. I felt I could still play, but there were things in my life — injuries, life at home, my future.
“You don’t get his reputation just by being a good football coach. You also get it by being a good person.”
25: Speaking of starting, dating to last season, Mahomes has won 25 of his past 26 starts.
37: Tampa Bay better watch out. In the Chiefs’ Week 12 win against the Bucs this season, Mahomes set a career high in completions, with 37.
462: Also in that Week 12 meeting, Mahomes torched the secondary to the tune of 462 passing yards, the second-highest total of his career.
Indeed, the Chiefs appear to be embarking on a New England Patriots-esque dynasty.
Mahomes is under contract through 2032 — stop and think about that for a second. Mathieu already is under contract next season, wide receiver Tyreek Hill for the next two. Both are All-Pros.
Clark and Jones are in the fold through at least 2024, Edwards-Helaire is on his inexpensive rookie deal through 2025, and Kelce won’t become a free agent until 2026.
It took the Chiefs five decades to make it to their third Super Bowl, then just one year to make it back to their fourth.
Deonte Brown OL
Kansas City has not invested in their interior offensive line so they buck the trend with Deonte Brown at the end of the first round.
Around the NFL
Detroit will acquire Goff, a 2021 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 in exchange for Stafford, per Pelissero.
Pelissero also reported that multiple teams offered first-round picks in this year’s draft, but this deal will ultimately give both sides what they desired. He also noted that the trade cannot become official until the start of the new league year on March 17.
The Rams will inherit the two years, $43 million remaining on Stafford’s contract, and the Lions will carry a $17.8 million dead cap hit in 2021, per Pelissero. The expectation is that Stafford’s contract won’t need to be changed and an extension or raise was not part of the deal, according to Rapoport.
“My family and I are mourning the passing of my mother, Patricia,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. “She helped raise nine children while supporting my father’s career with the Steelers and his time as Ambassador to Ireland. It is a sad day for our family. “
Art Rooney said his mother gave much of her time to the Pittsburgh community and “left a lasting impression on so many people and organizations in our area, especially the Salvation Army” and many other groups on Pittsburgh’s North Side, where his parents lived.
“I’ll never forget, [Pete Carroll] brought me over there when I first got there and he said, ‘What do you want to prove? What do you want to get out of this trade? What are you setting yourself up for?’ I just remember telling him, ‘I just want to be the greatest to do. I just want to get all this, get all that, and win a Super Bowl,’” Adams recalled, via the team’s official website. “But he stopped me and he was like, ‘Hey, you don’t have to do anything special but just be you. You don’t have to change anything. I want you to come here and be Jamal Adams, be the best version of Jamal Adams. Whatever you want to do, on and off the field, for your future, whatever — do it to the best of your ability and just be a true pro at it.’
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Offensive tackle: Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
During the first day, Radunz was clearly shaking off some rust, but he was able to bounce back as the week went on. Excellent flexibility and movement allow him to match guys up the arc in pass protection and climb to the second level against the run.
Offensive guard: Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin White-Water
The darling of the Senior Bowl week easily makes this team. His ability to bend and block from off angles while continuing to work his feet to reposition his body really stood out. Meinerz looked like the best moving interior lineman on the field both in short areas and when working across the field. There really wasn’t any aspect of his performance that showed weakness.
Just going to leave this right here. pic.twitter.com/RmT3x49hgS— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) January 30, 2021