How Bout Those Chiefs?

Super Bowl LIV champions.

Jim Rome
February 03, 2020 - 9:53 am
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes

USA Today

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I’ve only got one thing to say right now: How ‘bout those CHIEEEEEFFFFFFS?

How ‘bout those Chiefs? Super Bowl champs. How about Big Red, Andy Reeeeeeeid: Super Bowl champion.

And as you’d expect, my man was dropping zingers this am "I didn't sleep last night, but I didn't spend it with the trophy. Well, I did. I spent it with my trophy wife."

Atta boy, Big Red. Get some! And apparently, he did! 

One of the more bizarre storylines of the last two weeks was whether or not Andy Reid needed to win a Super Bowl to get into the Hall of Fame. Hell no, he didn’t. Right!  Because they are going to keep out a guy with more than 220 career wins, with one of the most incredible coaching trees ever. Sure they weren’t.

But now it’s not even a conversation because of what he and they did last night. And more specifically, because of what they did in the fourth quarter when they were down double digits in the Super Bowl. And ripped off three touchdowns in just over five minutes to stun San Francisco and rip the game from the Niners. 

A 50 year wait for Kansas City, and more than 20 years for Andy Reid is finally over. They are champions and they earned every last bit of it. 

Sure, KC is explosive as hell. And has a ton of talent and speed, an, of course, the most dangerous player in the game in Patrick Mahomes, which I’ll get to in a second, but this crew is tough as hell. They are resilient. They bounce back. They’re never out of any game. Down double digits in every game in the playoffs and they won every time. Sure, that’s living dangerously; and it will come back to bite you in the ass. Unless you’re the Chiefs. Unless you have Pat Mahomes under center. Then, they just keep coming at you. You have to be damn near perfect for 60 minutes against them to beat them, and nobody could do that in these playoffs.

Kansas City was down with just over seven minutes left. And they were in that spot because the guy who never has a bad game, Patrick Mahomes, was having a terrible game, by his standards. He picked an absolutely terrible time to play his worst game. He threw two INTs.

The second one wasn’t a great pass, the first one was a truly terrible pass. And an even worse decision. His first game with two picks since November 2018. And San Francisco’s defense was causing him problems. They were getting pressure on him with four, dropping seven, and he was off.  He wasn’t taking shots down field. He wasn’t getting out of the pocket and wreaking havoc. He wasn’t Patrick Mahomes. He wasn’t right. And neither was the KC offense.

At that point, you could already start writing the headlines for today. And they were all going to be about Mahomes blowing it for KC. The guy who never has a bad game having an awful game when it mattered most. And, of course, the rest of the heat was going to come down on Big Red; that he couldn’t win the big one. And that he wasn’t a hall of famer. 

But if you know Pat Mahomes, you should have known this one wasn’t over. You should have known that Mahomes never, ever gives in. Hell the guy’s knee cap was down somewhere around his ankle during a game earlier this season and he tried to come back on the field. Hell no, this guy doesn’t blink. He didn’t care how many plays he had missed on, he knew one big play would put them right back in it. Personally, coming in, I thought the Niners would win a really tight game: I just felt, top to bottom, they were the better team; the more balanced team; but my biggest concern, obviously, was Pat; and the fact that there was no way he was going to let them lose. And in the end, he wouldn’t.  But not before there was even more trouble. He hit Tyreek Hill for 16 yards on second down. Except it was overturned on review because Hill trapped it. Even that throw was a bad throw from Mahomes. Now its 3rd and 15 from the KC 35. And here comes the play that will go down in history. 

2-3 Jet Chip Wasp.

And Mahomes and Tyreek go absolute legend. 

Legend now has it that Mahomes wanted that play, and he got it. Hanging in the pocket long enough to hit a wide open Hill. 

I’m not going to say that’s the ballgame there, because KC still had a lot of work to do, but if they don’t hit that, it is ballgame for them. Because they’re looking at punting and being down two scores and San Francisco just eating clock. 

Instead, they cap off that drive with a Travis Kelce touchdown to make it 20-17. And then force a quick three and out that only takes 63 seconds. 

And then it was on. The next drive goes like this: completion for five yards, completion for nine yards, completion for three yards, completion for 38 yards, Mahomes run for 6 yards, sacked for minus one yard, and then on third down then finds Damien Williams for the score. If San Francisco keeps them out on third down, KC probably takes the field goal. And it’s a tie game instead of being up four. 

And for the record, on that drive, Mahomes was a perfect five for five for 60 yards and a touchdown, plus he rushed for five yards. That’s the amazing thing about this guy. He can play terribly, or what counts as terribly by his standards, for 50 minutes, and then win you a Super Bowl in ten minutes. He is the ultimate eraser.  

And that’s why he’s the best player in football. He won’t admit it. And Lamar Jackson is the MVP, but Patrick Mahomes is the best player in football. And could very well be that for another decade plus. 

Think about this - he’s been a starter for two years and has won a league MVP, a Super Bowl, and a Super Bowl MVP. And he is just getting started. He’s better this year than he was last year. And he’ll be even better next year. Because it isn’t all about the rocket arm, and the different arm slots, or the no look passes. It’s not even about his ability to hurt you with his feet. 

It’s about his head and his heart. His brain and his toughness. Because he was taking hits last night, couldn’t find any rhythm at all and just kept rolling. And one more thing about him taking hits, you wouldn’t think so, but dude is more of a load than he would appear: dudes were bouncing off him: in some cases, he was giving as good as he gets. This dude’s toughness physically and mentally are off the charts; combine that with one of the sickest skillsets ever, and you’re not coming off the field a loser very often; and definitely not on the biggest stage. 

And of course it was no surprise that one of Reid’s first words after winning was to praise Mahomes: “I love this guy, man. This is what it’s all about. I appreciate every bit of it.”

You’ve earned every bit of it, Andrew. Not just over the years, but in this game. Because Reid and Eric Bienemy broke out all the tricks. There was 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp. And there was the choreographed touchdown on 4th and 1 early in the game.

That play, which looked more like a boy band than a football team, was ripped from the 1948 Rose Bowl. Yeah, I said it. Actually, Andy said it. “My brother’s high school coach was actually in that game for USC, so I had a little bit of tape I went back through and pulled that out. We actually have a whole package of it, so you have to wait to wait until next year to see the rest. There’s some good stuff.”

Going for it on fourth down is one thing. Going for it on fourth down and going single-wing from the 1948 Rose Bowl is the stuff of legends. That’s what you get when you put in the hours that Andy Reid does. You do that and you deserve to win the Super Bowl. Then again, Andy has deserved one for a long time. 

Ask Rick Burkholder, KC’s athletic trainer, who has been with Andy Reid for two decades. He told Terez Paylor: “Listen, Andy ... He’s like a father, a grandfather. I said, ‘I want to win this for you.’ And he was like, ‘No, I want to win it for everybody.’ This is Andy’s deal, and why it’s so special — Andy Reid will never take credit. He’ll always take blame and give credit to everybody else. Tonight, we will all give him credit. And it’s the first time we’re able to do that.”

Burkholder was with Reid in Philadelphia. He was with Reid when it was popular to clown him for his clock management. He was with Reid after the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. And he was with Reid when Andy told him after that game: “He said ‘Listen man, we’re getting back on the horse — we’re gonna win this thing.’ And 15 years later, we won it, bro.”

Andy Reid got back on and he won it. He won the whole damn thing. That team is tough as hell that coach is tough as hell, and they are champions.