The Kansas City Chiefs are the Super Bowl Champions. Andy Reid finally gets a ring after over 20 years of near misses. It’s hard to believe that Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is only in his second year starting and already has a league MVP, Superbowl Championship, and a Super Bowl MVP on his resume. NFL defensive coordinators are probably in their office right now, looking for a way to slow down the third year phenom. But how did the Chiefs win?
For the most part, the San Francisco 49ers were out playing Kansas City on both sides of the ball.
Jimmy and the crew came out hot
San Francisco came into the game looking to test KC in the run game, specifically on the edges. Kansas City had trouble setting the edge, which resulted in two long runs by promising rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel. The 49ers were also able to get their feature back Raheem Mostert going, making a total of 17-rushes for 109-yards after three quarters. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was an efficient 17-20 for 183-yards at that point as well. His first reads were getting open regularly, and he hit them in stride. With a 20-10 lead, everything seemed to be going San Francisco’s way.
Then the changes happened…
Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo started bringing extra pressure forcing Jimmy Garoppolo to speed up his mental processing and then simultaneously shifted his cornerbacks into aggressive press coverage to disrupt the timing of their routes. This proved to be effective because it gave time for extra rushers to get home, and Garoppolo didn’t have the elusiveness to get away from the rush.
Mahomeboy there when it counted
On offense, Patrick Mahomes admittedly didn’t have his best day. But he stepped up late. The biggest play of the game, a 44-yard bomb to WR Tyreek Hill, who was set up by mimicking a play they ran in the second quarter. In the second quarter, the Chiefs ran a 4 WR set, sending Tyreek Hill on a deep post and all the other routes short. San Francisco defended it perfectly, staying on top of Hill and crowding the underneath routes. Fast forward to the 4th quarter. The Chiefs line up in the exact same formation.
Andy Pulls it Together
San Francisco recognized the formation and proceeded to defend it the exact same way. Only this time, the underneath receivers made hard cuts to the middle of the field, forcing the deep Safety to creep up towards the line of scrimmage. Hill, who ran a deep post towards the middle of the field before, stops on a dime and turns the deep post into a deep corner route leaving him wide open. It was a brilliant adjustment by Andy Reid and that offensive staff.
As long as the Patriots didn’t win…
Another adjustment was the Chiefs’ compensation for the havoc 49ers’ Defensive End Nick Bosa was wrecking. If the 49ers had won the game, he would’ve been the MVP. The Chiefs gave Left Tackle Eric Fisher help, but most of the help came from Patrick Mahomes’ mobility and improvisational skills. On that 44-yard bomb, Mahomes went back on a 9 step drop just to get enough time to throw.
Overall I found the game to be most enjoyable. We got to see two different teams this time. (Sorry Patriots fans be we’re sick of them) Also, it was a competitive game. One can’t ask for much more than that. Now the 7-month countdown until football returns begins…