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Super Bowl Version: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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It wasn’t how you scripted it leading up to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas this week, but the Chiefs held their composure together and found a way to become back-to-back Champions. They won this game because Patrick Mahomes refused to lose, and the defense made a huge play in overtime.

Going into this game, a big question is, can the Chiefs overcome their injuries?  With three starters out, one of them being their all-pro guard, winning the trenches would be an extra challenge.  We were facing a primarily healthy and hungry team with revenge on their minds. 

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The Good

No quarterback has started four Super Bowls before the age of 30 till now.  Patrick Mahomes is now a three-time Super Bowl winner and MVP.  He was 34/46 for 333 yards, facing relentless pressure all day and often having nowhere to go with the ball.  He passed great, ran great, and made only one mistake all day when trying to overcome other players’ mistakes.  Right after he scrambled for a first down, I told the family he needed to run more.  The next play was called Run for him, and I loved the timing.  He willed this team to victory, and Chiefs fans, he is ours.

Travis Kelce had nine catches for 93 yards.  He was terrific once again.  According to Mitchell Schwartz, his relationship with Andy Reid is super close.  Andy is constantly bumping Travis, and tonight, in frustration, Travis bumped Andy.  Andy was caught off guard by it, and it looked like something when it was nothing.  So let that go before it even gets rolling.

Mecole Hardman redeemed himself.  He had a great catch in the first half of 52 yards and caught the game-winning touchdown.  One of the night’s funniest moments was him saying, “I blacked out when I got the ball, though.”

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The Chief’s defense played well for most of the night.  Chris Jones was a disrupter time and time again.  Mike Pennel and Leo Chenel punching out the first-half fumble and George Karlaftis recovering it was huge.  Keeping the 49ers from getting points on the board there was significant. Even rookie Felix Anudike-Uzomah, playing in place of Omenihu, had a big run stuffing play.  The secondary played well and had several knockaways.  Some so many guys stepped up, but naming them all would take up too much space.

Harrison Butker set an NFL Super Bowl record with a 57-yarder and added three others for good measure.  He hit his only extra-point attempt.  He’s the best kicker in the league and one of the best we have ever seen.  Before the game, he hit a 70-yarder.  I’m hoping we can see one of those at some point.

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The Chiefs special teams struggled some early but dominated the game in the 2nd half.  Getting on that fumble was immense; we often didn’t seem to fall on those, and we were on them tonight.  The extra-point block ended up being prominent.

The Bad

I don’t want to spend much time on the bad, but I do hope we can look next year to not fielding punts around the five, especially when the other team is not close to being able to down it.  Smith struggled early on a significant whiff when Chase Young got a sack.  Thankfully, they all settled down, though Brock Purdy had way more time to throw tonight than Patrick.  Isiah Pacheco had a fantastic season and played hard tonight.  He single-handedly halted two of our drives with fumbles after only having one fumble all year. 

We needed to review the Kelce spot; he may have gotten the first down, but at the very least, they would have gotten the ball placed forward enough that the next run by Pacheco would have gotten the 1st down.  That was one of our few coaching mistakes.  We need Creed to work on not having so many low hikes this offseason. Thankfully, we have a shortstop playing quarterback.  The McDuffie hold could have returned to hurt us; the timing was rough.  Sneed needs to control himself and not commit unnecessary personal fouls, particularly with a 3rd down coming up.   

The Ugly

If we had lost that game, it would be because we lost in the trenches most of the night.  Because we won, this next part is more accessible, and I wrote it for only one reason.  I hope the false narrative of the Chiefs getting any help from the officials can be put to rest.  I was confused about the horse collar tackle.  I realize Purdy went out of bounds, but the fact there was no takedown made that call seem odd to me.  The intentional grounding was also puzzling since Gray was coming back to the ball and was only about five yards away.  That call stopped a drive.  On the 49er’s first touchdown, there were two penalties. 

Boomer talked on the halftime show about an illegal man being downfield, but I don’t understand why offensive pass interference wasn’t called.  If a pass is backward and a receiver becomes a passer, can you start hitting defensive players with the ball in the air?  If contact is not made there, Bolton either plays on the ball or crushes McCaffrey.  This next one, I may be mistaken about the rule.  When MVS was thrown back on the last drive, I thought the ball would be placed where that contact first happened.  He only ran backward because he was thrust that way, but maybe I’m mistaken about that rule.  Thankfully, it didn’t matter.     

In summary, John Elway’s handing the trophy to the Chiefs after all the pain he’s caused me was simply majestic.  Patrick Mahomes saying, “The Kansas City Chiefs are never underdogs,” was sweet poetry, even though the odds for next year already list the 49ers as the favorites……  Travis Kelce’s post-game interviews are such great entertainment.  And the fact he said he wants 3 in a row closes the door on any retirement talk. 

Patrick Mahomes and Clark Hunt thanking the Lord and giving him glory was moving; it was total class all the time.  And I want to leave you with the only commercial of the night that struck me.  “Jesus didn’t teach hate.  He washed feet.”

I’d love it if you want to friend or follow me on Facebook.  If you will follow me on X,  feel free to do so at @ShawnSorter.

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