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Why the Chiefs offense was so ineffective on Sunday

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs the ball against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean (35) during the first quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: IMAGN-444308 ORIG FILE ID: 20210207_gma_sv7_118.jpg

The Super Bowl turned out to be a super disappointment for the Chiefs. Never before in Patrick Mahomes career has his usual onslaught through the air been rendered so useless. The Buccaneers defense was constantly in his face, and this caused him to go an entire four quarters without scoring a touchdown for the first time in his career.

In the end, Tom Brady took home Super Bowl victory number seven in his career, putting him leaps and bounds ahead of the next most winningest QB in NFL history. How was the Chiefs’ offense reduced to a sham of what it had been the rest of the season? Here are the reasons why.

The first reason, and probably the most pertinent one, was that Patrick Mahomes had absolutely zero time in the pocket to get comfortable and let plays develop downfield. On most snaps, it looked like Mahomes was running for his life. It wasn’t the first time starting Left Tackle Mike Remmers looked more like a revolving door than he did a lineman in the big game.

Five years ago in Super Bowl 50, Remmers was the starting Right Tackle for the Carolina Panthers when they faced off against the Denver Broncos. Remmers got toasted in that matchup as well against Von Miller. Miller finished the game with 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles, managing to take home the Super Bowl MVP, a rare feat for a defensive player in the Super Bowl.

That award is typically reserved for the Quarterback of the victorious squad, just ask Chris Jones or Damien Williams. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Remmers had a repeat performance of his showing from five years ago, preventing Mahomes from settling into the pocket and being able to go through his checks of the defense.

Having such a short amount of time in the pocket prevented Mahomes from making any big plays, and props must be given where they are due; the Buccaneer defense shut down the Chiefs’ prolific passing attack like no one has managed to do before Sunday. Remmers wasn’t the only issue the Chiefs had on the offensive line in the Super Bowl.

The group of starters that the Chiefs entered into Sunday’s game with lacked a crucial component that is key to winning the game in the trenches; continuity. This group of lineman had never started together in a game until Sunday. Continuity is key in working together to slow down a defense, lineman need to know what every other person on the lines blocking assignment is on each play so that they can work together and pass players off to one another mid play, sans communication.

This meant that Mahomes was under pressure on 52% of his dropbacks on Sunday, as opposed to Tom Brady who felt the heat only 13% of the time. According to pro football focus, Mahomes was under pressure within 2.5 seconds of the snap on 24 plays on Sunday (43% of the time.) This prevented Mahomes from settling in and being able to settle in and go through his reads and ultimately prevented the Chiefs from scoring even a single touchdown in the Super Bowl. Mahomes ran 497 yards before passes or sacks, which was the most by any QB this entire season. 

Even when Mahomes was able to get a pass off, his receivers almost seemed surprised by it. The ball hit at least 2 different receivers in the facemask in the game, completely whiffing on the catch with their hands. Even the most sure-handed Tight End in the league, Travis Kelce had a crucial drop on 3rddown early in the game, which was a sign of how the game was going to go.

Penalties also hindered the Chiefs, who gave up 120 yards on 11 separate flags. 90 of these penalty yards came in the 2ndquarter alone, which was the most yards allowed through penalty by any team in a single quarter this season, setting a dubious Super Bowl record. 

Between the injuries and subsequently poor offensive line play, dropped passes, and free yardage given up due to penalties, the Chiefs stunk on Sunday, straight up. This is not the ending Chiefs fans were hoping for or expecting to an otherwise magical season.

Hopefully, the boys can manage to put it behind them this offseason, or even use it as motivation going into the 2021/2022 season. Someone needs to put a stop to Tom Brady’s career of Super Bowl domination, and I have a feeling Patrick Mahomes can be that guy if he only gets a little bit of help from the squad around him in the big game.



  1. Tracy McDowell

    February 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    A thorough review. I’m a little surprised that you did not sting the ref’s when talking about the penalties. I guess Mama Mahomes took care of that!! Good for you taking the high road there.

  2. Dana Fertig

    February 12, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Great article Ryan! I also think Todd Bowles deserves mention. His defensive coordinator performance was terrific.

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