Super Bowl LV: Game Thread – Kansas City Chiefs @ Tompa Bay Bucs

Mystic Merlin

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Exactly. The loss of Fisher is MASSIVE in terms of the downstream effects on the rest of the line. It forces both Wisniewski and Wylie into the lineup on the same side with one of them out of position. In the last few weeks of the regular season, Reid was trying an either/or with both guys at RG, eventually settling on Wylie in week 16. Now they both have to start.

Add in a retuning Vita Vea on the TB line with another week of rest and a TB defense that ranked #1 against the run this season. I guarantee that Todd Bowles will be studying the tape of the Falcons game, when they shut down the KC passing attack by rushing 4 most of the game but mixed up where the 4th guy was coming from while preventing the Chiefs from getting behind the secondary on scrambles. They didn't sack Mahomes that game but they forced him into some uncomfortable scrambles and awkward throws all game and probably should have won.
You watched a different game than me, because KC controlled that game and TB didn’t have the ball with the chance to take the lead at any point past the first quarter.

Anyways, Tampa’s secondary has a horrible matchup with KC’s speed - plus Kelce - but their OL issues may prove an equalizer. Mahomes will get his, but Tampa may steal 2-3 possessions with a pressure or drive killing sack with the favorable matchups they have on the ends. That may be enough.
 

Mooch

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You watched a different game than me, because KC controlled that game and TB didn’t have the ball with the chance to take the lead at any point past the first quarter.
The Atlanta game, not the earlier matchup with Tampa.
 

Oil Can Dan

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I don't know why but I keep finding myself excusing away Tampa's recent success. With New Orleans I wrote them off as facing a team with no real threat at QB and as having the benefit of four gifty turnovers. Yesterday I'm discounting them because to me the game really boiled down to three (what I call) fluky plays:

1. The 52 yard bomb to Godwin on 3rd & 9 that should have easily been defended if not intercepted
2. The ridiculously defended 39 yard TD to Miller at the end of the 1st half (and another dropped easy INT just prior to that play)
3. The fumble and recovery to the GB 8 yard line at the beginning of the 2nd half

I know it's not fair to wipe those plays away and I'm not saying TB didn't deserve the win. I just don't think they're that good because I think they've been benefitting from some fluky plays and I don't think that's sustainable. But I'm torn, because I believe you are what your record says you are and all that.
 

Bongorific

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To be fair, Deflategate was pretty fresh, obviously. Tyreek and Clark are kind of old news. I mean, worlds worse than what Brady is alleged to have done (which didn't even happen but still), but Deflategate had JUST HAPPENED. It was of course expected that they'd talk about it during the game. How could they not?
No doubt. But no matter what year it was, the Patriots were ALWAYS talked about as the sneaky team skirting the rules, no matter how far out they were from Spygate or Deflategate. Last year's Super Bowl narrative was the magical no look throws of Patrick Mahomes and how Andy Reid, the lovable loser, was due to win. F that. The narrative should be that these are the bad guys of the NFL and that Andy Reid is a morally bankrupt enabler. Just as no one was rooting for the Patriots but Patriots fans, no one should root for the Chiefs.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Rooting for Tom of course, but I just do not see a way they win this game. The line seems light to me as well. I would have thought at least -6, though having literal home field in the SB I guess has to count for something.
 

Leather

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I don't know why but I keep finding myself excusing away Tampa's recent success. With New Orleans I wrote them off as facing a team with no real threat at QB and as having the benefit of four gifty turnovers. Yesterday I'm discounting them because to me the game really boiled down to three (what I call) fluky plays:

1. The 52 yard bomb to Godwin on 3rd & 9 that should have easily been defended if not intercepted
2. The ridiculously defended 39 yard TD to Miller at the end of the 1st half (and another dropped easy INT just prior to that play)
3. The fumble and recovery to the GB 8 yard line at the beginning of the 2nd half

I know it's not fair to wipe those plays away and I'm not saying TB didn't deserve the win. I just don't think they're that good because I think they've been benefitting from some fluky plays and I don't think that's sustainable. But I'm torn, because I believe you are what your record says you are and all that.
Tampa has a top-3 passing attack and a decent defense. They are legitimately a good team. Fluky plays happen on both sides and tend to even out; in the 3rd Q yesterday Rodgers had a pass batted that floated like a balloon for maybe 3 seconds but nobody on TB reeled it in because it went to perhaps the only place on the field where nobody was within 20 yards.
 

rodderick

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I don't know why but I keep finding myself excusing away Tampa's recent success. With New Orleans I wrote them off as facing a team with no real threat at QB and as having the benefit of four gifty turnovers. Yesterday I'm discounting them because to me the game really boiled down to three (what I call) fluky plays:

1. The 52 yard bomb to Godwin on 3rd & 9 that should have easily been defended if not intercepted
2. The ridiculously defended 39 yard TD to Miller at the end of the 1st half (and another dropped easy INT just prior to that play)
3. The fumble and recovery to the GB 8 yard line at the beginning of the 2nd half

I know it's not fair to wipe those plays away and I'm not saying TB didn't deserve the win. I just don't think they're that good because I think they've been benefitting from some fluky plays and I don't think that's sustainable. But I'm torn, because I believe you are what your record says you are and all that.
The Bucs were 2nd in overall DVOA this year and had the most "expected wins" in football. All 3 of their non-Saints defeats were by a combined 7 points. I think it's pretty easy to say they're for real.
 

Oil Can Dan

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I hear you guys. I don't know what my problem with them is. I think I need to put some respect on their names or whatever the kids say these days.
 

RedOctober3829

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I am not discounting Tom Brady any time soon. TB can bother Mahomes easier now with both starting tackles out. Bowles will bring pressure as much as possible. They should learn from the regular season matchup and put a safety back 20 yards like the Pats do with DMC to bracket Hill. Double Kelce with a linebacker and a safety.
 

bankshot1

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If TB12 plays like he did yesterday in the 2nd half-the Bucs will get destroyed. The Chiefs will turn those mistakes into points.

Tom needs to be close to perfect, focused, and their D (safeties) has to get healthy and try to keep the Bucs around 24-27 points.

The mismatch on the bench concerns me. I don't trust Arians.

I sense this is the Obi-wan passing the light sabre to Luke game.
 

BaseballJones

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Rooting for Tom of course, but I just do not see a way they win this game. The line seems light to me as well. I would have thought at least -6, though having literal home field in the SB I guess has to count for something.
How is it possible to "not see a way" that they can win? Tampa's offense has averaged 35.7 points a game over their last six contests, five of which have been on the road, and three of which were against very good or elite defenses. Tampa should have all their weapons, which means that KC will have to contend with a healthy group of Evans, Godwin, Brown, Miller, Gronkowski, and Brate. Tampa is playing at "home". And despite some extenuating circumstances, Tampa only lost by 3 last time these two teams met, in Arrowhead. Their last 6 games, KC has allowed an average of 24.8 points a game, which isn't godawful, but it's not great. And in their last 6 games with Mahomes, they've scored 27.3 points a game - or 8.4 FEWER than Tampa has averaged over THEIR last 6 games.

There's no question that KC should be the favorite. But it's amazing to me how many people are saying they can't even envision a scenario whereby the Bucs win.

I think they can win a close game. I think they have the firepower to win a shootout if that's how the game goes. I mean, Tampa was the league's #3 scoring offense this year. KC was #6.

Offensive Ranks
TB: #3 points, #7 yards
KC: #6 points, #1 yards

Defensive Ranks
TB: #8 points, #6 yards
KC: #10 points, #16 yards
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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How is it possible to "not see a way" that they can win? Tampa's offense has averaged 35.7 points a game over their last six contests, five of which have been on the road, and three of which were against very good or elite defenses. Tampa should have all their weapons, which means that KC will have to contend with a healthy group of Evans, Godwin, Brown, Miller, Gronkowski, and Brate. Tampa is playing at "home". And despite some extenuating circumstances, Tampa only lost by 3 last time these two teams met, in Arrowhead. Their last 6 games, KC has allowed an average of 24.8 points a game, which isn't godawful, but it's not great. And in their last 6 games with Mahomes, they've scored 27.3 points a game - or 8.4 FEWER than Tampa has averaged over THEIR last 6 games.

There's no question that KC should be the favorite. But it's amazing to me how many people are saying they can't even envision a scenario whereby the Bucs win.

I think they can win a close game. I think they have the firepower to win a shootout if that's how the game goes. I mean, Tampa was the league's #3 scoring offense this year. KC was #6.

Offensive Ranks
TB: #3 points, #7 yards
KC: #6 points, #1 yards

Defensive Ranks
TB: #8 points, #6 yards
KC: #10 points, #16 yards
You are taking my post more literal than I intended. Of course, there are many ways I can envision TB winning. I just do not think the TB defense can slow Mahomes and the offense enough. I am hoping to be very wrong.
 

BaseballJones

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You are taking my post more literal than I intended. Of course, there are many ways I can envision TB winning. I just do not think the TB defense can slow Mahomes and the offense enough. I am hoping to be very wrong.
When KC is really clicking, they're almost impossible to handle for sure. I fully get the concern here. But missing Fisher could be huge for them. Tampa can exploit that and cause Mahomes some problems. And again, Brady and Tampa's offense is every bit as explosive if they are on their game too. And KC's defense is worse than Tampa's.
 

rodderick

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If TB12 plays like he did yesterday in the 2nd half-the Bucs will get destroyed. The Chiefs will turn those mistakes into points.

Tom needs to be close to perfect, focused, and their D (safeties) has to get healthy and try to keep the Bucs around 24-27 points.

The mismatch on the bench concerns me. I don't trust Arians.

I sense this is the Obi-wan passing the light sabre to Luke game.
Sure, and if Mahomes plays like he did in the first three quarters of the last Super Bowl they'll probably lose convincingly too. I'm not expecting either of those guys to put up a clunker for the whole game (and they have both shown time and time again that they don't really need to be on fire for 4 quarters to put up a lot of points on the board).
 

Bergs

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Trying to get a read on what a Brady-led Bucs offense will do against KC based on watching Josh Allen shit down his leg yesterday makes little sense to me.

Similarly, I think making a radical coaching move like deciding to cover Travis Kelce as opposed to the bold "do not cover Travis Kelce" decision the Bills made might make a difference.

I think TB deserves to be the slight 'dog, but not because of anything we learned yesterday.
 

coremiller

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What would Belichick do? Take away Hill and Kelce. I think that’s the most sensible game plan.
It's really hard to take away both, part of what makes KC's offense great is that they are complementary threats. Hill forces you to play deep safeties which creates space for Kelce to attack the underneath zones. Buffalo chose to take away Hill's deep threat by keeping safeties back and Kelce burned them on the underneath stuff all game (13 catches on 15 targets).
 

wiffleballhero

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It's really hard to take away both, part of what makes KC's offense great is that they are complementary threats. Hill forces you to play deep safeties which creates space for Kelce to attack the underneath zones. Buffalo chose to take away Hill's deep threat by keeping safeties back and Kelce burned them on the underneath stuff all game (13 catches on 15 targets).
I was writing a post saying exactly this, and you beat me to it. I think it is hard to overstate just how hard it is for teams to deal with Hill, especially because Mahomes can run around a little bit and extend plays. Hill is just so damn fast that he makes other amazingly fast guys look like JAGs -- like if track and field paid big money he might be doing that on the world stage instead.
 

Bowhemian

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TB has to do something with Kelce. Obviously the Bills game plan to not cover him didn't work. /sarcasm
Romo mentioned it several times during the broadcast, and I agree with him. He said that they need to hit him off the line. Line up an edge rusher on him, and give him a good smack on your way by to go after the QB.
 

BaseballJones

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I was writing a post saying exactly this, and you beat me to it. I think it is hard to overstate just how hard it is for teams to deal with Hill, especially because Mahomes can run around a little bit and extend plays. Hill is just so damn fast that he makes other amazingly fast guys look like JAGs -- like if track and field paid big money he might be doing that on the world stage instead.
Clearly Tampa had no answer for Hill the last time they played. Dude had 200+ yards and 2 TD in the FIRST QUARTER.
 

PedroKsBambino

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TB has to do something with Kelce. Obviously the Bills game plan to not cover him didn't work. /sarcasm
Romo mentioned it several times during the broadcast, and I agree with him. He said that they need to hit him off the line. Line up an edge rusher on him, and give him a good smack on your way by to go after the QB.
This is often Belichick's answer on such guys. I didn't track it during recent Pats-KC games, but Kelce had 3/70 yards this year and 7/66 last year.

I kind of wonder if being very physical with KC isn't the right approach overall--bump Hill and Kelce and alternate your scheme behind that. You'd want to have a ball-control approach the other way but Arians really is less focused on that than vertical offense. Interesting to see whether TB and he work on some more short-passing and power/multi TE sets to try and keep the rock more.
 

rodderick

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This is often Belichick's answer on such guys. I didn't track it during recent Pats-KC games, but Kelce had 3/70 yards this year and 7/66 last year.

I kind of wonder if being very physical with KC isn't the right approach overall--bump Hill and Kelce and alternate your scheme behind that. You'd want to have a ball-control approach the other way but Arians really is less focused on that than vertical offense. Interesting to see whether TB and he work on some more short-passing and power/multi TE sets to try and keep the rock more.
Man, this never works against the Chiefs. You beat them by scoring 35+ and have to play that way. In a sense this has to be the ultimate "no risk it, no biscuit" game for Arians on offense.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Man, this never works against the Chiefs. You beat them by scoring 35+ and have to play that way. In a sense this has to be the ultimate "no risk it, no biscuit" game for Arians on offense.
Oh, I fully agree you need 35 (and that's the precise number I told buddies yesterday while complaining about the FGs!) But I think you can try to ball-control some on that path. I don't think you can beat them running 40 times (I guess, unless you're getting a lot per carry) or anything like that, but I do wonder about dialing the longer passes down (not to zero) and dialing the shorter stuff up a bit.
 

Bowhemian

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This is often Belichick's answer on such guys. I didn't track it during recent Pats-KC games, but Kelce had 3/70 yards this year and 7/66 last year.

I kind of wonder if being very physical with KC isn't the right approach overall--bump Hill and Kelce and alternate your scheme behind that. You'd want to have a ball-control approach the other way but Arians really is less focused on that than vertical offense. Interesting to see whether TB and he work on some more short-passing and power/multi TE sets to try and keep the rock more.
I agree that you need to be physical. You can bump Kelce, as there are LBs behind you that will cover him. Just knocking him off his route can have a significant impact.

Bump Hill at your own risk. If you were to put a CB tight on him at the line for a bump, he will make that CB look pretty silly. He will try to side-step the bump, but even if you are able to bump him, you are screwed, as he will blow right by the CB before the CB can even get turned around. You could cover over the top with a safety, but that leaves other guys open. It is a dangerous game to play.

When I was coaching a team that we played occasionally would stack 3 WRs on one side, right behind each other. We sent our outside LB out there lined up tight to the line, and told him once the ball is snapped, run straight ahead and try to hit as many of them as you can. He was a big kid, so hitting the first one drove him back into the others. It worked awesome...once. They adjusted pretty quickly by having each of them take a quick side-step at the snap. The next time he tried to hit them, he ended up on his face about 10 yards behind the LOS. He missed every single one of them.
 

steveluck7

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Watching the game yesterday, after the Kelce TD catch on the underhanded shovel pass, there was a lineman so far into the end zone that Kelce actually never got past him. The lineman was into the endzone right off the snap. He blew by the D lineman and went right on to engaging the LB.
Why was that not a penalty for illegal man downfield?
When they showed the replays of all of those types on plays throughout the season, it looked consistent every time, and OL 5+ yards downfield on these pass plays

edit: realized this was the Super Bowl thread. This is probably more appropriate for the Conference Championship thread.
 

coremiller

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TB has to do something with Kelce. Obviously the Bills game plan to not cover him didn't work. /sarcasm
Romo mentioned it several times during the broadcast, and I agree with him. He said that they need to hit him off the line. Line up an edge rusher on him, and give him a good smack on your way by to go after the QB.
One problem with bumping Kelce with an edge rusher is it slows the edge rusher down and weakens your pass rush.
 

Silverdude2167

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Watching the game yesterday, after the Kelce TD catch on the underhanded shovel pass, there was a lineman so far into the end zone that Kelce actually never got past him. The lineman was into the endzone right off the snap. He blew by the D lineman and went right on to engaging the LB.
Why was that not a penalty for illegal man downfield?
When they showed the replays of all of those types on plays throughout the season, it looked consistent every time, and OL 5+ yards downfield on these pass plays

edit: realized this was the Super Bowl thread. This is probably more appropriate for the Conference Championship thread.
Because the NFL likes scoring and flashy plays and the refs get confused...

Now if it were something crazy like an eligible lineman catching a pass that is a rule that would need to be changed.
 

yecul

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KC wins and it will be easy even if the score is relatively close.

I think the KC D is soft enough in general, but can get pressure and that will impact Brady. The KC O is simply too good to stop and TB will miss enough opportunities and/or give up enough turnovers to seal their fate.

34-27 with TB pulling close in the last 5m, but game largely in hand start to finish.

In order for this to flip TB needs to clamp down on the big plays (tough), get pressure on PM (not easy), and generate some TOs. On offense they cannot give the ball up and need to be effective in the run game to keep away. Special teams edge will also help. I can see a path to victory or highly competitive game. I dont think that's most likely.
 

Mystic Merlin

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If not engaged with a defender the lineman can go up to one yard last the LOS before he is considered to be an ineligible man downfield. So, on the play in question, number 77 gets the closest to being beyond one yard downfield from the LOS, which in this case is the goal line, but, man, that is a pretty close call to expect the officials to throw the flag. The game moves fast, and my anecdotal memory is that OL aren’t called for that unless they are 2 or more yards past the LOS, akin to how a delay of game is almost never called to the millisecond. It just won’t be obvious to the officials given how many moving parts there are on every play.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I agree that you need to be physical. You can bump Kelce, as there are LBs behind you that will cover him. Just knocking him off his route can have a significant impact.

Bump Hill at your own risk. If you were to put a CB tight on him at the line for a bump, he will make that CB look pretty silly. He will try to side-step the bump, but even if you are able to bump him, you are screwed, as he will blow right by the CB before the CB can even get turned around. You could cover over the top with a safety, but that leaves other guys open. It is a dangerous game to play.

When I was coaching a team that we played occasionally would stack 3 WRs on one side, right behind each other. We sent our outside LB out there lined up tight to the line, and told him once the ball is snapped, run straight ahead and try to hit as many of them as you can. He was a big kid, so hitting the first one drove him back into the others. It worked awesome...once. They adjusted pretty quickly by having each of them take a quick side-step at the snap. The next time he tried to hit them, he ended up on his face about 10 yards behind the LOS. He missed every single one of them.
Agreed. You'd need over the top coverage or drop into a zone after the bump.

If you had the right OLB you also might try a bump and then drop into short coverage, or even pass rush.

Lots of ways, and you can't do them all game of course....but the theme would be like SB 36 a bit, really be physical and break up timing. The rules have changed a lot since then and KC isn't as driven by one guy as that team was by Faulk but I just don't think TB has the secondary to play it all straight-up. They need to disrupt timing and patterns imo
 

BaseballJones

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In his first year post-Celtics, Ray Allen won a championship with the Heat.
In his first year post-Red Sox, Mookie Betts won a championship with the Dodgers.
In his first year post-Patriots, Tom Brady has made it to the Super Bowl. Would be pretty crazy if he wins it all.
 

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I think this is where the fact that his coach is Arians and not BB really shows up. BB would most likely have an excellent game plan and have the team playing disciplined football. Arians i is unlikely to do either.
 

rodderick

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I think this is where the fact that his coach is Arians and not BB really shows up. BB would most likely have an excellent game plan and have the team playing disciplined football. Arians i is unlikely to do either.
They've been pretty disciplined in the playoffs. Really don't think coaching has let them down too much, aside from the questionable insistence on running the ball and the lack of play action.
 

E5 Yaz

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In his first year post-Celtics, Ray Allen won a championship with the Heat.
In his first year post-Red Sox, Mookie Betts won a championship with the Dodgers.
In his first year post-Patriots, Tom Brady has made it to the Super Bowl. Would be pretty crazy if he wins it all.
Don't forget Ray Bourque
 

BaseballJones

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Don't forget Ray Bourque
I thought about him but I think he was moved to Colorado in the 1999-00 season, so his "first" year with Colorado was that year. It wasn't til the 2000-01 season that the Avs and Borque won, so really his second season with them.

But we can count it because his "first" season was only half a season.
 

terrynever

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I think so. And the Reid/Arians mismatch is the biggest in the Super Bowl, bigger than Kelce/Brate.

I'm rooting hard for the Bucs. I think KC -3.5 is the bet though.
Reid is proof it all comes down to the QB. He was pretty smart in Philly but Donovan McNabb, a good QB, was not dedicated to his conditioning the way, say, Tom Brady always has been, at least as a pro. Reid is a genius now with timely offensive calls like the little shovel pass to Kelce for a TD yesterday, but the genius really is Patrick Mahomes.

Remember when Belichick mocked Reid as the Eagles slowly marched down the field in the Super Bowl loss to NE? McNabb was throwing up on the field. Gassed. Fitness freak Terrell Owens went nuts over this scene in the off-season.

The Brady-Belichick argument is revisited with Mahomes-Reid.
 

BaseballJones

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Quick poll: if Brady or Mahomes actually got diagnosed with Covid within 7 days before the SB, would the NFL make them sit? What if they were just a close contact to someone who tested positive? At what point would the NFL actually make Brady or Mahomes miss the Super Bowl?
 

wilked

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Quick poll: if Brady or Mahomes actually got diagnosed with Covid within 7 days before the SB, would the NFL make them sit? What if they were just a close contact to someone who tested positive? At what point would the NFL actually make Brady or Mahomes miss the Super Bowl?
If you get photos of Brady doing this leading up to the SB, he’ll get made an example of. Short of that, they’ll make sure he plays
 

BusRaker

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I have a feeling Tompa Bay is going to win the line battle on both sides of the ball. Fournette has a big game catching out of the backfield with good wide receiver blocking allowing them to limit Mahomes' damage with possession
 

coremiller

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I have a feeling Tompa Bay is going to win the line battle on both sides of the ball. Fournette has a big game catching out of the backfield with good wide receiver blocking allowing them to limit Mahomes' damage with possession
SF won the line battles in last year's Super Bowl and lost anyway. One of Mahomes' best abilities is his ability to buy time and make accurate throws under pressure.

SF last year is really the poster child for how to beat the Chiefs, except for the "don't allow Mahomes to hit multiple deep shots in the fourth quarter" part. They did nearly everything right for 3.5 quarters -- with nine minutes left in the game, the Chiefs had 10 points and only 222 total yards. Then Mahomes hit Hill on a ludicrous throw on 3rd and 15 and it all fell apart.

Yes I am still bitter.
 

rodderick

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I think this is kind of a crazy stat that indicates the Bucs offense could be a lot better were it not for the insistence on running Fournette up the middle for 2 yards on every first down.

38314
 

Harry Hooper

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I think they ran Jones (to poor effect) on 1st down more than Fournette last Sunday.
 

Willie Clay's Big Play

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I’m sure this is a dumb question, but it won’t be the first or last here. Does the Bucs stubbornness in running on 1st down create any benefit towards their PA numbers? I’ll hang up and listen.

edit: punctuation. Extra dumb question.
 

BaseballJones

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In theory the more predictable you are running the ball up the middle, the less predictable (and thus more effective) you are using play action in a situation where they fully expect you to run.