Breaking News

Super Bowl Takeaways: Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid refuse to be denied

Just when you thought someone had figured out a way to overcome Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, the masterful quarterback and coach decided they had other ideas.

Outplayed and outcoached — in many ways, badly — in the first half of one of the best Super Bowls you’ll ever see on Sunday, the Chiefs roared back for an incredible 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles thanks in large part to the two most important members of their organization.

The Chiefs trailed 24-14 at halftime and appeared to be in big trouble when Mahomes came up limping on his bad ankle (high ankle sprain from the playoff opener) after he was hit by Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards while scrambling late in the first half.

Mahomes was wincing on the sidelines, even putting his head on a Chiefs staffer at one point.

Yet somehow, Mahomes returned for the second half and engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive to cut Philly’s lead to 24-21.

The drive included a 14-yard scramble on third down — by the way, he didn’t slide — and an outstanding completion to all-world tight end Travis Kelce as he was being hit.

It was a sign of things to come.

On consecutive drives, the Chiefs scored on four- and five-yard touchdown passes on nearly identical plays — drawn up by Reid and offensive co-ordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Both times the Chiefs put a receiver in motion — running inside and then busting out — and both times that pass-catcher had no defenders near him for the score — first Kadarius Toney (who later added a Super Bowl record 65-yard punt return) and then Skyy Moore.

The Eagles, who delivered one of the best losing performances in Super Bowl history, responded with a touchdown drive and two-point convert to tie it.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, there was more than enough time left for more Mahomes magic. His 26-yard scramble on his bad ankle was one key play in a drive that ate up almost all the clock — the other was a hotly debated holding call on the Eagles.

The penalty let the Chiefs run down the clock, allowing Harrison Butker to kick the tiebreaking field goal from 27 yards out with eight seconds left.

Remember all those people who said the Chiefs might not be the same without speedy receiver Tyreek Hill?

Turns out they were just fine.

When you have Mahomes and Reid, you’ll always have a chance.

Masterful Mahomes

Mahomes is now a two-time Super Bowl champion (the other was in the 2019 season), a two-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time NFL MVP — at age 27.

In five years as starting quarterback, the Texas Tech quarterback has never done worse than losing in the AFC Championship game.

That’s a scary thought for other top AFC quarterbacks like Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert (and maybe Aaron Rodgers as a Jet after his bizarre darkness retreat?).

The conference is stacked at quarterback, but it’s tough to bet against Mahomes.

Let’s also not forget about his partner in crime, Kelce. The big tight end hauled in his 16th post-season touchdown — a record for his position — on a perfect throw by Mahomes in the first quarter.

Coaching clinic

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was moved to tears as country artist Chris Stapleton performed the American anthem prior to the game on Sunday, but the emotional moment didn’t affect his focus one bit.

The offensive-minded coach said in the leadup to the game how he’ll never forget watching Whitney Houston perform her memorable rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner prior to the 1991 Super Bowl between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants when he was a kid growing up near Buffalo. He said he wanted to appreciate the moment of being on the sidelines for the big game — and Sirianni showed it with his reaction.

The second-year head coach pressed the right buttons and his stars rewarded him for his confidence.

The Eagles looked to be in control of the game before star quarterback Jalen Hurts‘ disastrous fumble allowed the Chiefs to tie it at 14-14 on a scoop-and-score in the second quarter. It was the first turnover of the playoffs by the Eagles.

So what did Sirianni do next? He put the ball back in Hurts’ hands and the dual-threat quarterback scampered for 14 yards to open Philly’s possession.

Then, facing fourth-and-five on the Chiefs’ 45-yard line, Sirianni opted to go for it. Again, it was Hurts coming up big, running for 28 yards.

On the same drive, there was fourth-and-two at the Chiefs six-yard-line. This time, the Chiefs went offside, leading to a go-ahead four-yard touchdown run by the impressive Hurts, who showed why he’s a great leader on the sidelines when he was seen taking the blame for the bad fumble.

The Eagles, featuring the best offensive line in the NFL, went for it on fourth down the fourth most times in the league this season — and converted more than 68 per cent of the time.

It’s a good way to win football games — unless, of course, you’re facing Mahomes.

Coaching contrast

While Sirianni was aggressive with his playcalling in the first half, Chiefs counterpart Reid — surprisingly — took the opposite approach in the first half.

With the game tied at 7-7 and the Chiefs facing fourth-and-three at the Eagles’ 25-yard-line, Reid opted to try a field goal.

Doink!

Butker clanked the 42-yard attempt off the left upright and Kansas City came away with nothing.

In a game with such high-powered offences, this seemed like an odd decision by Reid.

He made up for it in the second half.

Thanks, Titans

The Eagles should put the Tennessee Titans on their Christmas gift list for next year.

The Titans’ bad decision to trade A.J. Brown — after not being able to agree on an extension last off-season — to the Eagles gave Philadelphia a key game breaker.

Brown’s fantastic adjustment on a deep throw by Hurts led to a spectacular 45-yard score in the first half.

In case you missed it, the Titans have since fired their general manager and didn’t make the playoffs this year after finishing with the top record in the AFC last year.

Call this one a big win for Eagles GM Howie Wiseman.

Not exactly a field of dreams

The game supposedly was played in Phoenix, not Edmonton, in February.

You could have been excused for questioning the location, considering how many players were slipping without being touched.

The CFL took plenty of criticism for icy field conditions at the 2018 Grey Cup game in Edmonton. While that wasn’t a good look, it’s at least a bit more understandable than Sunday’s slip-and-slide session.

In spite of the poor field, the players put on an unforgettable show.

Repeat in cards?

The Chiefs are listed as favourites to win next year’s Super Bowl by FanDuel.

The Bills are the second pick, followed by the Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *