TODAY'S PAPER
26° Good Morning
26° Good Morning
SportsFootballSuper Bowl

Super Bowl LIV: Synopsis of Chiefs' progression this season

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs passes

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs passes in the second half against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020. Credit: Getty Images/Tom Pennington

3 Reasons the Chiefs are Here 

THEY HAVE THE BEST QB

The Ravens' Lamar Jackson may be the MVP, but Patrick Mahomes has been the most electric player over the past two seasons. He is 27-8, playoffs included, with 87 touchdown passes as a starting quarterback. The Chiefs have great speed and weapons everywhere but Mahomes makes it go. They believe that they can win any game Mahomes plays. He led them back from a 24-0 deficit against the Texans in the divisional round and a 10-0 deficit against the Titans in the AFC Championship Game. He threw eight touchdown passes and peeled off that incredible TD run that looks more remarkable every time it’s replayed. Mahomes has thrown 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions in four career playoff games.

THEY PLAY DEFENSE, TOO

The Chiefs revamped the defense after falling to the Patriots in last year’s AFC Championship Game, bringing in ex-Giants coach Steve Spagnuolo as coordinator, signing safety Tyrann Mathieu and acquiring end Frank Clark. They had some hiccups, but they continued to get better and work together and turned it around late. They held four of their last five opponents to 16 points or less. In the playoffs, they stumbled early against the Texans but then held them to seven points over the final 30-plus minutes. In the AFC Championship, they shut down Derrick Henry, holding him to 69 yards.

LAST YEAR'S DISAPPOINTMENT

The Chiefs were crushed last year by their overtime loss at home to New England when they were seconds away from advancing to the Super Bowl. A neutral-zone infraction by Dee Ford negated an interception that would have iced the game in regulation. Ford is now with the 49ers. The pain remained in Kansas City. “They had a taste of getting to the championship game and losing it and that’s not a very good feeling,” Andy Reid said. 

New York Sports