In a game filled with superstars like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Rob Gronkowski, is the success of a makeshift left tackle going to be the storyline when it’s all said and done?
With 12:33 left in the fourth quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs had a fairly comfortable lead over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game. Then on a 2nd & 7 passing play, left tackle Eric Fisher went down with an apparent leg injury. He was quickly ruled out, which meant that the injury was likely serious, which it was. He tore his Achilles tendon and will miss Super Bowl LV.
This is a huge blow to the Kansas City Chiefs and definitely a giant break for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in the NFC Championship game.
The Packers were playing without their starting left tackle as well. Tampa Bay defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett combined for 17.5 sacks this season and have added five this postseason. They have been nearly unstoppable at getting to the quarterback and they aren’t the only ones to worry about. Linebacker Devin White also has nine sacks in 2020 and added another one in the playoffs. The Chiefs’ offensive line will absolutely have their work cut out for them.
Most of the pressure will likely fall on nine-year veteran Mike Remmers. Remmers has been a journeyman offensive lineman with stints in Carolina, Minnesota, and last season with the New York Giants. The Chiefs signed Remmers this past offseason to a one-year deal and he has been the starting right tackle ever since Mitchell Schwartz went down with a back injury in week six. Now, with the Eric Fisher injury, Remmers will slide over to left tackle to try and protect Patrick Mahomes’ blindside.
It’s a tall task, but Mike Remmers has played every position on the offensive line except center. He’s been around the league and he’s even played on this stage. However, Buccaneer defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul apparently has no clue who he is.
I don’t know if those fireworks took some of Pierre-Paul’s memory along with his fingers, but he has actually faced off against Remmers before in 2015 when he was with the Giants and Remmers was with the Panthers. Panthers won that game, but Pierre-Paul did get a sack.
If Mike Remmers holds Pierre-Paul to no more than one sack on Sunday, the Chiefs offense will be in pretty good shape. The last time these two teams met was back in week 12 and the Chiefs offense looked pretty good in that one. Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns. All of his touchdowns went to Tyreek Hill who also had 13 catches for 269 yards. Pierre-Paul had one sack in that one as well.
This, to me, is the only way that Tampa Bay has a chance. They have to disrupt Patrick Mahomes and bring him to the ground several times. One sack won’t cut it. They saw what happened when they couldn’t get to him in week 12. If that happens again, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will get open and make life hell for Tampa Bay’s secondary. Mike Remmers has an opportunity to help make that happen. He has an opportunity to prove that guys like JPP should know his name, and if he holds his own against a stellar Buccaneer defensive line, he will have my vote for Super Bowl MVP.