Super Bowl LV will be remembered, in part, as the day we learned Patrick Mahomes wasn’t invincible. The quarterback is as special and gifted a player as we’ve seen enter the league in the past 30 years, but even the great Mahomes was no match for an unyielding Bucs pass rush that made mincemeat of Kansas City’s compromised offensive line. The craziest stat, per Next Gen Stats: Mahomes ran a total of 497 yards before his passes/sacks, the most pre-throw/pre-sack yards run by any QB in a game this season. A day that began with dreams of back-to-back titles turned into an ambush.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Despite the disappointing end to their season, the Chiefs are set up to make a run at a third straight Super Bowl appearance. Health will be a big factor, obviously, and with guards Mike Remmers and Andrew Wylie both headed into free agency, offensive line depth should be a top priority (as the loss to Tampa Bay showed). But with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce all under contract, the offense has a good shot to hit the ground running next season, and defensively, the team should return the bulk of its core nucleus, including safety Tyrann Mathieu, defensive end Chris Jones, and pass rusher Frank Clark. Kansas City ain’t going anywhere.
2) Defend the sidelines
Credit Bowles for implementing a plan that not only took away the deep ball but also eliminated throws outside of the numbers. The Chiefs feasted on one-on-one matchups along the boundary throughout the season, including in their Week 12 matchup against the Buccaneers. In that initial meeting, Mahomes completed 18 of 22 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns on throws outside of the numbers. Hill was the biggest beneficiary, recording 245 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 10 receptions outside of the numbers.
With that performance in mind, Bowles made a concerted effort to take away the sidelines in Super Bowl LV. The Buccaneers combined their two-deep shell with some “Cloud/Cathy” technique and man coverage to eliminate the easy throws outside of the numbers. As a result, the Buccaneers held Mahomes to a 45.4 percent completion rate (10 of 22 pass attempts) and 50 passing yards outside the numbers while snagging a pair of interceptions.
The strategy wasn’t complex or creative, but it was executed well. The Buccaneers’ corners maintained their leverage in each coverage call, and their perfectly placed positioning took away Mahomes’ favorite throws to his top targets, particularly Hill, who finished with 3 receiving yards on two catches outside of the numbers.
“I really don’t think there’s much because the first game we won, the second game they score at the end and if you ask people on defense, they say we can’t happen but those are two games that we feel like we should have won,” tight end Darren Waller told NBC Sports Bay Area. “We don’t feel like the gap is that big, honestly. It’s easy to show up and play them because they are so good and so talented that you naturally want to play your best. We feel like our best is right there with theirs.”
2. Kansas City Chiefs +550
I know that this isn’t a technical “value pick” since they have better odds than all other 31 NFL teams, but the Chiefs really could have better odds than +550 to win the Super Bowl next year. My argument is that Kansas City at +550 is indeed actually a value pick. A big reason for their sorry performance on Sunday were injuries along the offensive line, as star left tackle Eric Fisher went down with an Achilles injury in the AFC Championship Game and they were already without Mitchell Schwartz due to a back injury. Mahomes was under duress for the entire matchup, and was sacked three times. We all know that the Chiefs are going to be right back in the mix next year, and this loss could just motivate Mahomes moving forward. I’m sorry, but I have to throw the Chiefs on this list. They will always be a value pick at the odds they are currently listed at.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rout of the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl drew a total audience of 96.4 million viewers.
CBS said Tuesday the audience included record digital numbers for a game that had lost its competitive edge by halftime — Tampa Bay won 31-9 — and was marked by limited watch parties because of the pandemic.
The most watched Super Bowl was in 2015. The New England-Seattle game drew 114.4 million viewers.
2. How will the belt be tightened?
The Chiefs go into the offseason about $18 million overspent, per Over The Cap. That doesn’t bode well for pending free agents like C Austin Reiter, OT Mike Remmers, OL Daniel Kilgore, WR Demarcus Robinson, RB Le’Veon Bell, CB Bashaud Breeland, S Daniel Sorensen and DE Alex Okafor. K.C. can survive without them, despite the quality depth they provide collectively. But as things stand currently, GM Brett Veach will have to move some money around, if not cut other players heading into free agency next month.
The Chiefs barely use linebackers, which makes Owusu-Koramoah even more enticing because his best position in the NFL is probably as a hybrid-safety-type player. He has off-the-charts athleticism with the ability to make plays at all three levels.
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“I only want to play two more [seasons],” Sherman said. “I want to get on a competitive team. I think I still have a lot to give to the game. I think I still have a lot that I want to accomplish and I think I can go out there and help a defense come together like it should and reach their potential, reach the heights that the defenses that I’ve played on have reached.”
“Like any player, you never want to get hit,” Wilson told reporters via Zoom. “That’s the reality of playing this position; ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. But at the same time, it’s part of the job and everything else. I think that the reality is that I’ve definitely been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times, so we’ve got to get better. I’ve got to find ways to get better too.”
Asked if he is frustrated with the Seahawks, Wilson said with a laugh: “I’m frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it. At the end of the day, you want to win.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Schottenheimer came to the Chiefs in 1989 after spending nine years with the Cleveland Browns — the last five as their head coach. During his tenure with Kansas City, he compiled a regular-season record of 101-58-1 (.634), winning three AFC West championships and making the playoffs in seven of his 10 seasons — at one point, reaching the playoffs in six consecutive years. In 1991, he led the Chiefs to their first playoff win since their 1969 Super Bowl IV victory. In 1993, he brought Kansas City to the AFC championship — which would serve as the team’s high-water mark until 2018.
Schottenheimer resigned from the Chiefs following the 1998 season. He returned to coaching in 2001, spending a season as head coach of the Washington franchise before joining the San Diego Chargers. He served there for five years, winning the AFC West and making the playoffs in two of those seasons. In his final campaign as an NFL coach, he compiled a 14-2 record — a career-high that was the NFL’s best record that year — before falling to the New England Patriots in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
Schottenheimer left a lasting legacy on the league. His notable assistants included Super-Bowl-winning head coaches Bill Cowher, Bruce Arians, Tony Dungy and Mike McCarthy, along with head coaches like Gunther Cunningham, Art Shell, Herm Edwards and Al Saunders.
"There's a gleam, men."— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) February 9, 2021
Marty's inspirational words hit differently today. Rest in Peace Coach Schottenheimer. pic.twitter.com/a2cPlpmtFS