With a horrific loss in Super Bowl LV, what was the number one failure that caused this plunder?
Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.
February 7th, 2021, a date that Chiefs’ fans would love to put behind as quickly as they can; more specifically, a date that all of Chiefs Kingdom would like to forget about entirely. All around, the game was atrocious on all ends of the field as the Chiefs couldn’t get anything going on offense, and the defense sat around and did absolutely nothing. There are several reasons for this failure, but there’s one that stands out among most in most people’s eyes: the offensive line.
With the majority of the line being backups, of course, it was going to be a rough game, but no one expected this; however, many believe upon other reasons on why they sucked throughout all four quarters. So, was the offensive line the biggest cause, or was it something else? Let’s break down both sides of the aisle to find out!
The offensive line was the biggest problem
Where do we even begin with this perspective? There’s a lot to unpack, but I say we start with the fact that Mahomes was pressured the most out of any quarterback in Super Bowl history. He was pressured 29 times, which compared to a 52% pressure rate. Luckily, he can work out of the pocket, but the poor blocking made the game ten times harder than it should’ve. Once you glance at this graph below, you can also see how bad it was:
Do you know what makes it worse? The Bucs only blitzed six times, so hypothetically, this rate could’ve skyrocketed if the Bucs decided to send it. However, it only becomes more unpleasant. The blocking was so bad that Mahomes had to scramble, before throwing, 498 yards due to the immense pressure Tampa Bay had sent towards him. Mahomes was pretty much running for his life; there was only so much he could do.
We can even take a look at some key stats to prove this point. Mahomes had a 49.9 QBR, a 52.3 quarterback rating, and a 53.1 completion percentage. Adding on to the most pressure an offensive line has given up in a Super Bowl stat, Mahomes was sacked three times for 27 yards and he was hit ten times in large part thanks to Shaquil Barrett (4) and Ndamukong Suh (2). He also had nine passes batted down with some being at the line of scrimmage.
A key takeaway I like would like to add to is this; any team can have all the weapons in the world for their QB, but if the offensive line can’t block to save their own life, then there is only so much a QB can do. The offensive line is one of the most underappreciated positions in the game, and this game proved its necessity for a good one to fans from all over.
The offensive line wasn’t the biggest problem
There’s a lot to unpack here as well; but, let’s start with the poor play-calling defensively. It has been known throughout the season that Brady has been terrible under pressure this year (4th most ints, 4th lowest completion percentage, and 5th lowest passer rating), so an effective way to beat them was to pressure Tom Brady. For some reason though, Spagnuolo didn’t receive this memo as the Chiefs’ defense was able to pressure Brady only four times with barely any blitzes:
Fans of the league and analysts know Brady isn’t the most mobile of quarterbacks, and with those stats in place, it’s concerning why Spagnuolo didn’t send the pressure his way. This could also be looked at from the poor play of the infamous $200 million defensive line. Chris Jones couldn’t get a QB hit/pressure to save his life, and Clark had one sack in the first quarter with barely anything else the rest of the game. Both sides are easy to blame here.
Another key reason that could be spoken about is their ineffectiveness to score. The Chiefs had four drives that started beyond the 30-yard line that gained three points through the whole game; and, of course, we all know how many points they scored. How the Chiefs put up that minuscule of points against a team that they manhandled offensively in Week 12 boggles me; they should’ve been able to put at least one touchdown scoring drive, but apparently, that wasn’t Reid’s menu.
A final reason that is brought up is Mahomes himself. He had one of the worst games of his career, throwing for zero touchdowns, two interceptions, 270 yards, and a 53.1 completion percentage I had previously stated; this was also his biggest loss since coming into the NFL. Some blame could be thrown upon Mahomes as some of his decision makings lacked atrociously; but, this is a weaker point as some of the media and fans are portraying:
What someone thinks is the gargantuan reason for the Chiefs’ plunder is in the eye of the beholder; there were many reasons. What do you think was the main cause for the Chiefs’ loss? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!