Chops316 Monday Morning Quarterback: Super Bowl LIV
For the first time in a long time I was actually looking forward to watching the Super Bowl. Mainly because of the absence of the Patriots, man I am so sick of that team. Finally we got some new blood and they didn’t disappoint as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in a very entertaining game. Both teams laid it all on the line, but in the end Patrick Mahomes rose to the occasion to bring KC their first Lombardi Trophy in 50 years.
My New and Improved Super Bowl Pick had the Chiefs winning 35-31, so I got the winner right even though I was fairly off on the score. I expected a little more offense in this game, but each team went through long stretches where they struggled to move the ball. That didn’t surprise me so much for the Niners as it did for the Chiefs. I felt when Mahomes got rolling even the vaunted San Fran defense wouldn’t be able to stop him. The problem was Mahomes didn’t get rolling until well into the 4th quarter.
The Chiefs received the opening kickoff and promptly went 3 & out. I guess that shouldn’t be so shocking since KC has started every playoff game slowly, yet I thought they would make it a point of emphasis leading up to the game to get the ball moving early to avoid falling into another big deficit.
San Fran took the punt and moved the ball down the field. WR Deebo Samuel made the big play with a 32-yard run and then added a 7-yard scramble a few plays later. The drive stalled on the KC 20 yard line and K Robbie Gould knocked one through the uprights to give the Niners an early 3-0 lead. What surprised me about the 49ers opening drive was that NFC Championship game hero RB Raheem Mostert didn’t get a single carry. Did they forget how he destroyed the Packers?
The kickoff was a touchback so the Chiefs started their second drive on their own 25 yard line. They proceeded to move the ball down the field in drips & drabs with a combination of short passes by Mahomes and a few runs by RB Damien Williams. A 10-yard scramble by Mahomes set up the Chiefs with a first and goal to go that was eventually converted with another 1-yard run by Mahomes for the TD. The Chiefs took a 7-3 lead as the 1st quarter ended.
The Niners second drive barely got started when disaster struck. QB Jimmy Garoppolo was harassed by the KC pass rush and lobbed an ugly duck pass down the field that was promptly intercepted by KC cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The turnover set up KC with premium field position on their own 44 yard line.
Patrick Mahomes calmly strode onto the field and connected with WR Sammy Watkins for a 28-yard pass. This was a critical moment for the 49ers defense. If the Chiefs scored another quick TD they would have fell behind by two scores, something that might have forced them to rely less on their stellar running attack on offense. Fortunately for San Fran the defense held firm in the red zone and KC was forced to settle for a field goal to give them a 10-3 lead.
The Niners took the kickoff for their third drive and finally remembered they still had Raheem Mostert on their roster. A few nice runs by Mostert and a 16-yard pass to Deebo Samuel put the Niners into KC territory. A 17-yard run by Tevin Coleman and another pass to Samuel set up the 49ers in the red zone. A 15-yard pass from Garoppolo to FB Kyle Juszczyk gave the Niners a TD to tie the game at 10-10.
How about that, a fullback actually scoring a TD in the Super Bowl! Do you know who the last fullback was to score a TD in the Super Bowl? Of course you don’t, I didn’t either. It was Mike Alstott, who rushed one in for the Buccaneers all the way back in 2003. Juszczyk only scored 1 TD in the regular season so his score in this game was unexpected.
The Chiefs got the ball back and moved it to midfield before they faced a 4th and 13 right after the two-minute warning. This is where the dubious clock management “skills” of San Fran head coach Kyle Shanahan first came into play. Although the Niners had three timeouts in their back pocket, Shanahan refused to call one. The Chiefs were able to bleed an extra 30+ plus seconds off the clock before punting the ball to the Niners. San Fran then ran the ball twice before finally airing it out to try to sneak in a quick score before the half. A long pass play to TE George Kittle was called back on an offensive interference penalty before the Niners knelt down to kill the clock.
If Shanahan used a timeout before the Chiefs punted, the Niners might have had enough time to move into field goal position before the half ended. He didn’t and that lost time combined with the setback of a penalty killed any hope of scoring. That was bad coaching. You have to give your players a chance, even if the odds are long. The score remained tied at 10-all at halftime.
The halftime extravaganza was its usual shit show. A bunch of has-beens and never-weres lip synching and dancing. Boring. It was however a good time to take a leak and load up on some more hot wings. Damn those wings were good. Anyway on to the second half.
San Francisco received the ball to start the 3rd quarter. They used a combination of passes and runs to drive deep into KC territory before the drive stalled. Robbie Gould kicked his second field goal to give the Niners a 13-10 lead. Curiously Raheem Mostert only had one carry on the drive. Six minutes into the 3rd quarter Mostert only had six carries in the entire game. Did the Niners really forget what he did against the Packers? Why wasn’t he getting the rock?
The Chiefs received the kick and Patrick Mahomes hit a few passes before the Chiefs first disaster of the day struck. Mahomes badly underthrew a pass to WR Tyreek Hill that was intercepted by LB Fred Warner. The 49ers set up shop on their own 45 yard line.
Jimmy Garoppolo came out firing and quickly moved San Fran down the field. Passes to Deebo Samuel (16 yards), Kendrick Ward (26 yards) and Kyle Juszczyk (10 yards) gave the team a 1st and goal on the one yard line. Mostert finally got another carry as he punched it in from the one for the TD. With 2 and half minutes left in the 3rd quarter the 49ers took a 20-10 lead.
Down by ten points nearing the final quarter, the Chiefs needed to find some life on offense. Mahomes came out throwing, but he was inaccurate. He finally put together a few short passes to begin driving the rock into San Fran territory, but once again missed badly on a pass to Tyreek Hill, throwing a ball behind him that was intercepted by CB Tarvarius Moore.
At this point San Francisco seemed to be poised to win the game. With a hair under 12 minutes left in the game, they held a 10 point lead with possession of the ball on their own 20 yard line. Time to unleash their brutal running attack to chew up the clock and sew up the win right? I mean they were the second best running team in the NFL, second only to the Baltimore Ravens. Yet Kyle Shanahan had other ideas. Don’t forget, he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons team that blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl history. Watching the 4th quarter you got the feeling he learned nothing from that devastating loss.
Raheem Mostert started the drive with a 6-yard run. Good play call, get him going and let him take over the game. Then Garoppolo threw a 12-yard pass to George Kittle. OK, that play worked but maybe they should concentrate on taking control by running the rock. Mostert carried the ball for 1-yard. Alright, not much but the clock is still moving. Oh no, another pass play. This one was unsuccessful and the clock is stopped. That’s bad, even a poor run keeps the clock moving. False start by the 49ers. Oh boy, 3 and 14 so the Niners have to pass. Garoppolo drops back and finds nobody. He runs for three yards. At least the clock is moving. The Niners blow a golden opportunity to put the game away and worse yet only take two minutes off the clock.
The Niners punt and now it is time to find out if Patrick Mahomes can bring them back from another double digit deficit in the playoffs. The drive starts poorly. Mahomes is still missing his targets and the Chiefs commit a false start penalty. With a little over 7 minutes left in the game and the ball on their own 35 yard line, the Chiefs face a 3rd and 15. It’s looking bad for the Chiefs.
Patrick Mahomes didn’t think so. That son of a bitch must have ice water in his veins. 3rd and 15? No problem as he connects with Tyreek Hill for a huge 44-yard gain. A life-saver of a play that literally turned the game around. After a San Francisco pass interference penalty in the end zone set KC up with a 1st and goal on the one, Mahomes threw a 1-yard pass to Travis Kelce for the TD. With six minutes to go, the Chiefs cut the lead to 20-17.
The Niners got the ball back with a three point lead to protect. Surely now they will try to run the ball down the Chiefs throat to close out the game. On their first play Mostert takes a handoff for a 5-yard gain. Good start. Then Garoppolo dropped back to pass. Incomplete. Oh boy. Third down and Garoppolo drops back for another pass. Incomplete again. What the hell was Shanahan thinking? Didn’t he realize they had the lead? The Niners hold the ball for 56 seconds before punting to the Chiefs again.
The Chiefs got the ball back on their own 25 yard line with five minutes to go. An eternity to drive the ball down to tie the game or take over the lead. And the 49ers had another more serious problem. After a few short possessions by their offense, the defense was starting to run out of gas. Mahomes smelled blood in the water and started to pick the Niners defense apart. After a few short, quick passes, Mahomes found Sammy Watkins for a big 38-yard pass connection to give the Chiefs the ball on the San Fran 10 yard line.
Three plays later Mahomes threw a 5-yard TD pass to Damien Williams. Or did he? The refs ruled it a TD but the replay was inconclusive as to whether he actually got the ball over the goal line. The play stood as called and the Chiefs now had a 24-20 lead.
The only good thing about that drive for the 49ers was that the Chiefs scored so fast there was still nearly three minutes left in the game. They needed a TD and fast. A 17-yard rush by Mostert and a few Garoppolo passes moved the Niners to midfield. Unfortunately for them, that’s where the drive died. Three straight incompletions led to 4th down and the Niners had to go for it.
Jimmy Garoppolo dropped back again but KC DL Frank Clark sacked him. It was the Chiefs only sack of the game, but it couldn’t have come at a better time. The ball was turned over to the Chiefs with only a minute and half left to play.
The Chiefs promptly showed Kyle Shanahan how you close out a game. Damien Williams carried the ball for a 4-yard gain and the Niners called timeout. Williams decided that was enough of that nonsense and he broke off his next carry for a 38-yard TD run. 31-20 Chiefs and the game was basically over.
The Niners got the ball back but they were out of time. Garoppolo had to force the ball downfield and he was picked off. The Chiefs ran out the clock and it was official: The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Champions.
Patrick Mahomes was named the Super Bowl MVP because, well, they have to give the award to somebody. He certainly didn’t have his best game (26/42, 286 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs passing and 9 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD rushing) but in the end he made enough plays to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Kansas City. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter and into the 4th he kind of fell apart, missing many throws badly. But late in the 4th he finally connected on a few big plays to take back control of the game.
The 49ers let this game slip away from their grasp and it is going to hurt bad for a long time. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is catching a lot of hell right now and frankly he earned it. Sitting on his timeouts in the first half might have robbed his team of an opportunity to score in the closing moments in the first half. Even worse, when the Niners held a 10 point 4th quarter advantage he dialed up too many passing plays. This is a team built on running the rock and when they needed to do it the most they gravitated to the passing game. Not only did they fail to bleed the clock, the defense spent a lot of time on the field in the 4th quarter and they ran out of gas at the end.
They got the ratios all wrong, calling more passing plays than running plays. I am at a loss to understand how Raheem Mostert only got 12 carries the entire game after the way he ran roughshod all over the Packers. Shanahan forgot how the Niners got to the big game and in the end it cost them. By the way, Mostert converted those 12 carries into 58 yards and a TD, so it wasn’t like he was ineffective running the ball.
Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs, their fans have suffered for a long, long time and I’m sure the parties in Kansas City are hellacious right now. I’m glad Andy Reid finally gets a Super Bowl ring. He suffered through personal tragedy with the death of his son years ago and by all accounts from his former and current players he is a good guy. This win should ensure him a spot in Canton someday.
Of course it isn’t a true Super Bowl Sunday without some good commercials. Last year the commercials were terrible, I guess that was fitting since the game was terrible too. This year the crop of ads were much better as a whole and several I really enjoyed. Let me share a few.
This was my favorite one. Since Super Bowl Sunday fell on Groundhog Day it couldn’t be any more fitting. In case you didn’t hear, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow so we are going to get an early Spring! Well at least in theory. That little bastard is rarely right.
Anyway Bill Murray is a national treasure and it was a nice send up of his famous movie role. Even better his underrated brother Brian Doyle Murray makes an appearance as well. You know who he is right? You don’t! Go watch the movie Caddyshack immediately!
Pringles and Rick & Morty. That’s a good combination. My brother had a Super Bowl party and I watched the game at his house. He was yapping in my ear when this came on and I had to tell him to shut up. He didn’t get it, he doesn’t watch Rick & Morty. What a goof. At least he had a good spread to eat.
I know, Mountain Dew is nasty and I’m sure the zero sugar version is even worse, but c’mon. Bryan Cranston re-enacting Jack Nicholson’s famous performance in the Shining? Home Run baby! Whoever came up with this ad deserves a raise.
I’m not a fan of Walmart either but this commercial was great. Sam Jones as Flash Gordon, complete with hawkmen no less. Plus who doesn’t love seeing Bill S. Preston Esq.? Glad the dude finally found some work. Same for Marvin the Martian. I’m an old fart but I still love Looney Tunes. Remember you have to get old, but you can be immature forever.
I had no idea who the rapper was (and I still don’t) and somebody tried to explain to me he was the guy who did a song with Billy Ray Cyrus. Then I had to remind the hillbillies at my brother’s house I don’t listen to country music either. Why the hell did I go there again? Oh yeah, the food was really good.
So music aside I was still entertained by this one. Sam Elliott dancing was pretty damn funny. And dammit Doritos are so good.
I don’t do Facebook and this commercial was kind of dumb but it has a few saving graces. Twisted Sister soundtrack, awesome. Who doesn’t want to rock? I want to rock! That song takes me back to the days when I was a young headbanger. Then the cherry on top. An appearance by Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone, on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Cool. If you ever visit Philadelphia, it is mandatory to run up the steps and jump with your fists in the air Rocky style. Don’t even insult me by asking if I’ve done it myself. I have, more than once. I won’t lie to you though, alcohol played a role.
Well that's a wrap for the 2019 NFL season and my Monday Morning Quarterback posts. It was one crappy year for my Cowboys, but hey, at least the Patriots didn't win the Super Bowl. As always thanks for taking the time to read. Let me know your thoughts on Super Bowl LIV and/or your favorite commercials below.