With the Chiefs facing the Buccaneers this Sunday in Super Bowl 55, the game is going to be close whether or not the Chiefs come out playing with their hair on fire or not. Tom Brady has the experience in the game, this being his 10th time in the Super Bowl, but his team on the other hand does not, with the Chiefs holding the advantage in that category with most of their roster returning from last years Super Bowl game.
With Patrick Mahomes under center, the game is always going to be within striking distance for the Chiefs. For Kansas City to bring home another Super Bowl victory, these five players are going to need to step up and will be key to a Kansas City victory on Sunday.
With Eric Fisher going down late in the AFC Championship game against the Bills with an Achilles injury, Mike Remmers will make the move to left tackle, and be in charge of protecting Patrick Mahomes’ blind side.
With the playmaking defensive ends on the Buccaneers roster Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett, this is going to be key in ensuring Mahomes has enough time in the pocket to deliver the ball downfield. Barrett was a pro-bowler last year and ended up leading the NFC with 19.5 sacks, so he has shown consistency in pressuring the QB.
Hopefully, Remmers (and the rest of the banged-up offensive line) can provide Mahomes with enough time to sit in the pocket and read the defense. Jason Pierre-Paul started the smack-talking off on Monday, saying when asked about what facing Remmers would be like “I didn’t even know who that was. Man, I’m not going to lie to you. Is this a tackle that you’re talking about?… They got to figure that out.”
Remmers opted to take the high road when asked about JPP’s comment, saying he didn’t really care about his (JPP’s) opinion is on anything, and said he hasn’t gone into a game before and wondered what the opponent thinks of him. While he did stay out of the fray in the smack-talking, let’s hope he can dominate it on Sunday.
In order to shut down Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense, the defensive backfield is going to be priority number one. And the person who the Chiefs need to really step up to ensure the defense can shut down Tom Brady and the potent passing attack the Buccaneers have is the rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.
In his first season, Sneed has already had an immediate impact for the Chiefs, intercepting a veritable who’s who in the NFL, including snagging picks from Deshaun Watson and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.
The Buccaneers have some potent WR weapons including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. Between Beshaud Breeland, the Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu, “Dirty” Dan Sorenson, and Sneed, the strong point of this Chiefs defense will need to really step up to shut down the Bucs offense. Here’s to hoping Sneed can show up in his first-ever appearance in the Super Bowl.
The second rookie on this list, CEH can be a key player when it comes to getting the Chiefs’ offense rolling. The Chiefs will really need to establish the running game early and often on Sunday, in order to prevent the Bucs pass rush from fully pinning their ears back and focusing solely on the pass rush against Mahomes and the banged-up Chiefs O line.
Edwards-Helaire played in the previous game, but still wasn’t 100% it seemed against the Bills. Him being fully back and healthy could not come at a better time, in the biggest game of the season and the culmination of all the effort the entire team has put in this year to run it back. Not only will CEH be key to establishing the run game, but he is also a valuable weapon when it comes to the passing offense as well providing Mahomes with an option to check the ball down if the receivers downfield are covered as well.
Chris Jones, the man who came up so big in last year’s Super Bowl in big stops late, will have the elevate his game this year as well. If he wants to win “six or seven rings,” as he claims he wants to retire with, it starts on Sunday.
Everyone knows Tom Brady struggles with mobility and when he is pressured, and the Chiefs’ pressure from the defensive line starts and ends with Chris Jones. Brady under normal circumstances has a 71.7% completion rate.
When Brady is under duress, however, that number drops to 43.8%. For the Chiefs to keep the Bucs out of the endzone, this starts with pressuring Tom Brady, and the key to making that happen goes straight through “Stone Cold” Chris Jones. If Jones can step up again in his second straight Super Bowl, he will be a Kansas City legend for life.
The most obvious answer on this list, Patrick Mahomes will have to step up for the Chiefs to have a chance in the big game on Sunday. Everyone knows that the Chiefs’ success starts and ends with Mahomes, with the obvious example coming earlier in the postseason.
With Mahomes out against the Browns, they almost made a comeback with it coming down to a huge Chad Henne run and then a 4thand 1 completion to Tyreek Hill to keep the ball from going back to the Browns. Mahomes may have issues in the Super Bowl, with his O-line being banged up with injuries to Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, Mahomes is going to be under duress the entirety of this game.
Hopefully, he can make adjustments quicker than last year’s Super Bowl, which took a 4th quarter comeback against the 49ers to seal the deal. The Chiefs need to come out swinging in the game Sunday to get an early lead on Tom Brady and the Bucs and will need to keep their foot on the gas the entire game to prevent them from coming back.
Look at the game earlier this year, the Chiefs got out to a 20-7 lead, but somewhat slowed down and gave up two 4th quarter TD’s to finish the game out with a 27-24 win. This is a huge opportunity for Mahomes to take another step in the GOAT debate, against the current GOAT. The Chiefs’ success starts and stops with Mahomes, and hopefully, he can pull off another victory against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.