The Steve Spagnuolo game
Steve: "There's been a ton of discussion around the Chiefs defense this season, and specifically defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo... I believe Spags coached the best season of his career this year in Kansas City... Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are always going to be the first thing everyone talks about — but Spags was put in a position this season that's outside of his comfort zone... He didn't have a choice this season but to lean on his rookies, and early in the season, he was dialing up some of his best gameplans. They had a little bit of a midseason lull — but they used that time to make adjustments, and Spags hit them out of the park... All of those midseason struggles and adjustments culminated in one of the best overall games he's coached all season in the AFC Championship game. You couldn't have asked for more from the defense and Steve Spagnuolo."
Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in football
Pete: "Naturally, we've been trying to find the player who rivals Patrick Mahomes. Who's going to be the Manning to his Brady? I hope that this game stops us from doing that moving forward. Over the last few years, it was Lamar Jackson, then Josh Allen, and now it's Joe Burrow. I get Burrow still has a better record against Mahomes, but once again, the Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl, and the Bengals are not. I wouldn't be surprised if next year it's Mahomes and Trevor Lawrence... Instead of trying to find the Peyton Manning to Patrick Mahomes, I think we should just acknowledge that he is now the Michael Jordan of the NFL... I'm not going to sit here and say the Chiefs are going to make the AFC Championship game every year, but a majority of the time (like Brady did ten times) the Chiefs will have a strong chance to play in a Super Bowl."
Apology to MVS
Steve: "I think I need to apologize to Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling... I've been hard on MVS this season — and he stepped up in the biggest moments for the Chiefs on offense during the AFC Championship... We've been looking for him to be a reliable downfield guy all year who can come up with these big-chunk gains... Similar to past Chiefs, where if you do it in the postseason, it's worth every penny. I think about Frank Clark and a player like Sammy Watkins, who maybe didn't live up to contracts but had monumental postseason moments. MVS stepped up and did it in the postseason. I just want to openly apologize to Marquez Valdes-Scantling because he was spectacular yesterday."
Chris Jones set the tone
Pete: "My goodness, Chris Jones. If Chris Jones plays in the Super Bowl as he did in this game, there's no way the Chiefs don't leave with another Lombardi Trophy. The Bengals knew they were going to have to give Chris Jones extra attention — and it didn't matter. He came into the game with no playoff sacks, and you just knew he was going to be a monster. His play also opened the door for Frank Clark, George Karlaftis and all of these other Chiefs pass rushers... Ahead of this season, there was some talk of how to deal with his contract moving forward. He might have played himself into a massive contract extension this offseason."
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