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

BaseballJones

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FO has looked at the data and found little to no connection between rush rate/rushing success and play-action effectiveness.
That's super interesting. Counter-intuitive. I mean if you suck at running, and everyone knows you suck at running, pretending you're going to run isn't very likely to get them to "bite". If you're great at running, and everyone knows you're great at running, pretending to run seems much more likely to get the defense to buy it.

That's kind of the idea with ANY fake in ANY sport or endeavor. If your army feints an attack to the left, it's only going to be respected if the enemy really thinks that it's a legitimate threat (i.e., that you can do real damage by attacking to the left). If they're not convinced your attack to the left will cause them any problems, they're not likely to take it seriously and so a fake is pointless.

So I don't really understand how there is no connection, even if that's what the data says.
 

rodderick

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That's super interesting. Counter-intuitive. I mean if you suck at running, and everyone knows you suck at running, pretending you're going to run isn't very likely to get them to "bite". If you're great at running, and everyone knows you're great at running, pretending to run seems much more likely to get the defense to buy it.

That's kind of the idea with ANY fake in ANY sport or endeavor. If your army feints an attack to the left, it's only going to be respected if the enemy really thinks that it's a legitimate threat (i.e., that you can do real damage by attacking to the left). If they're not convinced your attack to the left will cause them any problems, they're not likely to take it seriously and so a fake is pointless.

So I don't really understand how there is no connection, even if that's what the data says.
I think players just react to movement in general. At some point, instinct kicks in and your brain can't really process "they haven't run the ball in 15 plays, just drop back into coverage, don't bite" in the fraction of a second the decision to commit to a single step forward takes. Maybe if there's a specific formation a team runs PA from 90% of the time a player can condition his brain to ignore the threat of the run before hand.

But obviously I'm talking out of my ass here, don't really know the reason either.
 

moretsyndrome

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That is interesting. I wonder if it just comes down to execution - how well the QB/RB "sell" the fake may be a more important factor in play-action success than the actual threat of the run based on previous rushing success.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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If kc gets pressure on the qb like they did today, it will be a bloodbath.

I think Kc may have the advantage in every facet of the game.

Tom isTom, but he’s going to have to be near perfect to win. Arians is not going to make a good enough game plan.
Steve Spagnuolo has experience stonewalling Tom Brady in a Super Bowl with an other-worldly and record-setting offense, which is to me is a significant X factor.
 

Mooch

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Steve Spagnuolo has experience stonewalling Tom Brady in a Super Bowl with an other-worldly and record-setting offense, which is to me is a significant X factor.
Since 2007, Spags has been a HC or Defensive Coordinator for 10 seasons. Here are his team's defensive ranks in terms of points and yards allowed:

2008 Giants: 5/5
2009 Rams: 27/27
2010 Rams: 19/10
2011 Rams: 22/26
2012 Saints: 32/31
2015 Giants: 32/30
2016 Giants: 19/10
2017 Giants: 31/27
2019 Chiefs: 17/7
2020 Chiefs: 16/10

Spagnuolo has put together one good defense in his whole career.
 

pvg44

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Since 2007, Spags has been a HC or Defensive Coordinator for 10 seasons. Here are his team's defensive ranks in terms of points and yards allowed:

2008 Giants: 5/5
2009 Rams: 27/27
2010 Rams: 19/10
2011 Rams: 22/26
2012 Saints: 32/31
2015 Giants: 32/30
2016 Giants: 19/10
2017 Giants: 31/27
2019 Chiefs: 17/7
2020 Chiefs: 16/10

Spagnuolo has put together one good defense in his whole career.
Which offense do you think is better -- Tampa Bay or Buffalo? Spagnuolo is good at putting together specific schemes for specific games. KC effectively stopped Buffalo twice this year, and Tampa Bay as well (except for the prevent defense that softened in the 4th quarter).
 

rodderick

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Which offense do you think is better -- Tampa Bay or Buffalo? Spagnuolo is good at putting together specific schemes for specific games. KC effectively stopped Buffalo twice this year, and Tampa Bay as well (except for the prevent defense that softened in the 4th quarter).
I mean, it's all about matchups. And those two offenses were about as close as you can possibly be production wise this season. Also, the Chiefs had the ball up 3 with 4 minutes to go against the Bucs, they punt and they could very likely lose the game there. It's not like they were up 42-10 and gave up 2 TDs in the fourth quarter.
 

SoxJox

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For folks that like this sort of thing, 2021 Super Bowl rosters sorted by college teams, conferences: Michigan, LSU lead the way

It's interesting how many players come from FCS or lower conferences.

Here's a table of the schools represented by three or more players based on the official Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers rosters:
[TH]SCHOOL[/TH] [TH]PLAYERS[/TH]
LSU 7
Michigan 7
Clemson 4
Iowa 4
Penn State 4
South Carolina 4
Florida Atlantic 3
Michigan State 3
Minnesota 3
Mississippi State 3
Pittsburgh 3
Texas A&M 3
Washington 3



And here's a table breaking it down by conference. Please note that Notre Dame is considered an independent, even though it played the 2020 season in the ACC:
[TH]CONFERENCE[/TH] [TH]PLAYERS[/TH]
SEC 32
FCS or lower 30
Big Ten 22
ACC 14
Pac-12 11
Conference USA 10
MAC 8
AAC 5
Big 12 5
Independent 5
Mountain West 4
Sun Belt 3
 

Mooch

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Which offense do you think is better -- Tampa Bay or Buffalo? Spagnuolo is good at putting together specific schemes for specific games. KC effectively stopped Buffalo twice this year, and Tampa Bay as well (except for the prevent defense that softened in the 4th quarter).
Is he really? The Raiders hung 71 points on his defense this season.

Honestly, Spags isn't that great.
 

pvg44

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My point is that the KC defense did a pretty good job against two very good offenses across 3 games this season. Offensively they had ~500 yards against TB through 3 quarters (and Hardman dropped a sure TD that would've made it 34-10 in the 4th). For whatever reason they only rushed 3 and gave Brady the middle of the field (and he took it) in the 4th which made the game seem a lot closer than it was.
 

Mooch

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My point is that the KC defense did a pretty good job against two very good offenses across 3 games this season. Offensively they had ~500 yards against TB through 3 quarters (and Hardman dropped a sure TD that would've made it 34-10 in the 4th). For whatever reason they only rushed 3 and gave Brady the middle of the field (and he took it) in the 4th which made the game seem a lot closer than it was.
They were 22nd in Defensive DVOA this season. For every offense they did a good job against, they were worse than average against more of them.
 

rodderick

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They were 22nd in Defensive DVOA this season. For every offense they did a good job against, they were worse than average against more of them.
They also played TB in their worst stretch of the season right before their bye. I still think the Chiefs are solid favorites, but I don't know if that first game is any indication that they'll shut the Bucs down.
 

pvg44

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Yes, but they also played the Bucs, Bills, Saints, and Ravens all on the road (and beat them). They played twice against the Raiders and Charges, two pretty decent offenses. I'm not saying they have a lock down defense, but for the most part (Carolina was a disaster) -- and when they were up against elite offensive teams -- they held their opponents in check. For the Super Bowl, the question is more how Tampa Bay's D will plan because they got lit up when they played two months ago.
 

rodderick

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Yes, but they also played the Bucs, Bills, Saints, and Ravens all on the road (and beat them). They played twice against the Raiders and Charges, two pretty decent offenses. I'm not saying they have a lock down defense, but for the most part (Carolina was a disaster) -- and when they were up against elite offensive teams -- they held their opponents in check. For the Super Bowl, the question is more how Tampa Bay's D will plan because they got lit up when they played two months ago.
They sure as hell didn't hold the Raiders in check. The Chargers also did anything they wanted on offense in Week 17, but I guess you could discount that game. The Saints scored 29 points, the Bucs had 420 yards of offense, I mean...
 

pvg44

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OK, fine. Yes, the Chiefs defense are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. Buffalo came in hot as hell and the predicted scores were 41-38 or whatever, but outside of a fumbled punt at the 3 yard line, they scored 17, just like they did in week 5. Does the fact that the Chiefs jumped out to 17-20 point leads on all these teams (regular season) have any impact on anything?
 

snowmanny

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Where do the Chiefs rank amongst Brady Super Bowl opponents? Somewhere in the top 3 I'd imagine. I'd probably rank something like:

1. '01 Rams
2. '14 Seahawks
3. '20 Chiefs
4. '17 Eagles
5. '04 Eagles
6. '18 Rams
7. '16 Falcons
8. '07 Giants
9. '03 Panthers
10 '11 Giants

Hardest one for me to rank was the '17 Eagles. At the time I was overvaluing Wentz, but that was a really really good team with or without him. Chiefs are a terrifying opponent but so were the Rams and the Seahawks....Mahomes is as good as anyone but those other two teams had HOF QBs and very tough defenses.

Now tell me where I am totally off base.
 

rodderick

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OK, fine. Yes, the Chiefs defense are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. Buffalo came in hot as hell and the predicted scores were 41-38 or whatever, but outside of a fumbled punt at the 3 yard line, they scored 17, just like they did in week 5. Does the fact that the Chiefs jumped out to 17-20 point leads on all these teams (regular season) have any impact on anything?
Yeah, they defended Buffalo well, all I'm saying is that they weren't really all that great this season. You want to extrapolate their performance against the Bills for some reason when they looked all year like the 16th ranked defense by DVOA that they were. They aren't terrible, just decidedly "meh".
 

pvg44

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I apologize, because apparently I am not making my point clearly. I extrapolate their performance against the good -- playoff -- teams they faced. Buffalo's offense is every bit as good as Tampa's -- even more so because Allen can run -- and they held them. Tampa was moribund for 3 quarters and it was only when KC went to prevent that TB scored points; they got 150 of those 420 yards on the two 4th quarter drives. What I am saying (or trying to) is that although their defense is meh overall, it is decidely better than that against better offenses in particular games. One thing I saw this past Sunday was a secondary significantly better than at any point in the regular season. Thornhill looks like the rangy safety he was before his acl tear last year, and Sneed is a legit shut down CB. He had a broken collarbone and was out for more than half the season. If KC's secondary can cover Tampa's receivers for that extra second, the d-line can get to Brady. The job of KC's defense is not to shut teams out, it's to hold them to 3 when they have to.
 

rodderick

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I apologize, because apparently I am not making my point clearly. I extrapolate their performance against the good -- playoff -- teams they faced. Buffalo's offense is every bit as good as Tampa's -- even more so because Allen can run -- and they held them. Tampa was moribund for 3 quarters and it was only when KC went to prevent that TB scored points; they got 150 of those 420 yards on the two 4th quarter drives. What I am saying (or trying to) is that although their defense is meh overall, it is decidely better than that against better offenses in particular games. One thing I saw this past Sunday was a secondary significantly better than at any point in the regular season. Thornhill looks like the rangy safety he was before his acl tear last year, and Sneed is a legit shut down CB. He had a broken collarbone and was out for more than half the season. If KC's secondary can cover Tampa's receivers for that extra second, the d-line can get to Brady. The job of KC's defense is not to shut teams out, it's to hold them to 3 when they have to.
Yeah, I'm just not convinced of that, especially not when you listed the Raiders as a team they held in check when they scored 71 points on the Chiefs in two games. I don't know why we're just discounting 4th quarter drives in a game they won by 3 either. But it's a fruitless discussion.
 

BaseballJones

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I posted this earlier in the thread but I'll repeat it:

Offensive Ranks
TB: #3 points, #7 yards (avg: 5.0)
KC: #6 points, #1 yards (avg: 3.5)

Defensive Ranks
TB: #8 points, #6 yards (avg. 7.0)
KC: #10 points, #16 yards (avg. 13.0)

Tampa's offense is elite. Their defense is high level.
KC's offense is elite. Their defense is a little better than average.

Coaching edge goes to KC in a huge way. Playoff experience goes to KC in a huge way except at the QB position, which is an enormous exception. Brown should be back for Tampa. Watkins and Bell should be back for KC. Fisher being out is the main injury concern for either team. And it's a BIIIIIG one.

KC is, and should be, favored. I think they play this game 10 times, KC wins 7 of them. But Tampa absolutely has a legit chance here. And it doesn't take every break going their way for it to result in a Bucs win. They have the firepower to stay with KC if both teams are playing "their game".
 

pvg44

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Yeah, I'm just not convinced of that, especially not when you listed the Raiders as a team they held in check when they scored 71 points on the Chiefs in two games. I don't know why we're just discounting 4th quarter drives in a game they won by 3 either. But it's a fruitless discussion.
Agree 100%
 

RedOctober3829

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If Tampa Bay doesn't have either of its starting safeties, Mahomes and Kelcie will destroy that defensive backfield
I would think Winfield will be ready considering he came pretty close to playing on Sunday and now has 2 weeks to rehab the injury. If Barrett and JPP perform close to what they did against GB, Mahomes won't have the time to find those guys down the field. The odds of that happening are pretty small as Mahomes is way more mobile than Rodgers is. But, some of the sacks the 2 ends got to the QB before AR was even ready to throw the ball.
 

Mooch

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Where do the Chiefs rank amongst Brady Super Bowl opponents? Somewhere in the top 3 I'd imagine. I'd probably rank something like:

1. '01 Rams
2. '14 Seahawks
3. '20 Chiefs
4. '17 Eagles
5. '04 Eagles
6. '18 Rams
7. '16 Falcons
8. '07 Giants
9. '03 Panthers
10 '11 Giants

Hardest one for me to rank was the '17 Eagles. At the time I was overvaluing Wentz, but that was a really really good team with or without him. Chiefs are a terrifying opponent but so were the Rams and the Seahawks....Mahomes is as good as anyone but those other two teams had HOF QBs and very tough defenses.

Now tell me where I am totally off base.
According to the final regular season DVOA, this year's Chiefs fall in the bottom half of Brady SB opponents. Of course, as history tells us, that's not always a good thing...

2001 Rams - Ranked #1 overall, 39.6%, #1 Offense, #3 Defense. Clearly the toughest team the Pats faced.
2014 Seahawks - Ranked #1 overall, 31.3, #5 offense, #1 Defense.
2004 Eagles - Ranked #4 overall, 24.0, #6 offense, #13 defense
2018 Rams - Ranked #2 overall, 23.7, #2 offense, #19 defense
2017 Eagles - Ranked #5 overall, 23.5, #8 offense, #5 defense
2016 Falcons - Ranked #3 overall, 19.6, #1 offense, #27 defense
2020 Chiefs - Ranked #6 overall, 19.5, #2 offense, #22 Defense
2011 Giants - Ranked #12 overall, 9.0, #7 offense, #20 defense
2007 Giants - Ranked #16 overall, -0.6, #19 offense, #14 defense.
2003 Panthers - Ranked #18 overall, -5.8, #20 offense, #14 defense
 

rodderick

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According to the final regular season DVOA, this year's Chiefs fall in the bottom half of Brady SB opponents. Of course, as history tells us, that's not always a good thing...

2001 Rams - Ranked #1 overall, 39.6%, #1 Offense, #3 Defense. Clearly the toughest team the Pats faced.
2014 Seahawks - Ranked #1 overall, 31.3, #5 offense, #1 Defense.
2004 Eagles - Ranked #4 overall, 24.0, #6 offense, #13 defense
2018 Rams - Ranked #2 overall, 23.7, #2 offense, #19 defense
2017 Eagles - Ranked #5 overall, 23.5, #8 offense, #5 defense
2016 Falcons - Ranked #3 overall, 19.6, #1 offense, #27 defense
2020 Chiefs - Ranked #6 overall, 19.5, #2 offense, #22 Defense
2011 Giants - Ranked #12 overall, 9.0, #7 offense, #20 defense
2007 Giants - Ranked #16 overall, -0.6, #19 offense, #14 defense.
2003 Panthers - Ranked #18 overall, -5.8, #20 offense, #14 defense
That Falcons team is a pretty good comp to this year's Chiefs, I think. Difference is Reid will never stop throwing the ball and tighten up with a lead. If Tampa is down big early, it's over.
 

BigSoxFan

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If Tampa Bay doesn't have either of its starting safeties, Mahomes and Kelcie will destroy that defensive backfield
I think destruction is happening even if they do. That combo is almost literally unguardable. The consistency of Kelce has been remarkable this year. Basically a lock for 8/80-100+ every game.
 

Mooch

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That Falcons team is a pretty good comp to this year's Chiefs, I think. Difference is Reid will never stop throwing the ball and tighten up with a lead. If Tampa is down big early, it's over.
LMAO. Didn't we just talk about the first matchup between TB and KC when they went up big and tightened up with a lead?
 

Mooch

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I don't know. I see a game where the Bucs can get pressure with their front four and use that 4-3 under with disguise: Mixing up where the extra rusher is coming from and showing single high safety pre-snap and rolling to cover 2 post-snap... Classic Todd Bowles stuff. The Bucs defense has a really nice array of pass rushers (White, Suh, Barrett, JPP, Gholston combined for 35.5 sacks and 85 QB hits this season, plus Vita Vea is back as well) that could really make that patchwork offensive line struggle. Plus, KC shouldn't be able to run the ball much at all - Tampa is #1 two years straight against the run. Mahomes/Kelce will get theirs but if you can limit Hill with safety help over the top, the Chiefs offense might struggle more than you think.

On the other side, that KC defense has struggled with slot receivers all year. I'd expect Godwin and Scotty Miller to run those classic Welker/Edelman routes and give the Chiefs some problems.

Honestly, the more I think about this game, the more I think that the Bucs should be the favorite instead of the Chiefs.
 

snowmanny

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I'm rooting for Tampa Bay, but if KC wins it would be the third straight SB victory for the AFC and put the AFC/AFL ahead in Super Bowl wins (at 28-27) for the first time since 1988, which was a few years into the 13 game NFC winning streak.
 

jsinger121

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Basically what the Steelers did in 2005 when they were the home team in the Super Bowl. They went on the road 3 straight weeks in white and won and chose to wear white again in the Super Bowl.
 

tims4wins

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The Steelers may have started it, but did the team wearing white not win from like 2004 all the way through... 2016? it was a huge run. The Pats wore white by choice in 2017 and lost. I think that’s when it ended?
 

Mystic Merlin

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The Steelers may have started it, but did the team wearing white not win from like 2004 all the way through... 2016? it was a huge run. The Pats wore white by choice in 2017 and lost. I think that’s when it ended?
Packers were the home team in their green/yellow home jerseys when they won SB 45 in 2011, but it was quite a run for the road jerseys otherwise.
 

tims4wins

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Packers were the home team in their green/yellow home jerseys when they won SB 45 in 2011, but it was quite a run for the road jerseys otherwise.
Right, good call on the Packers. I remember thinking it was a poor karmic choice by the Pats in 2017 to wear white as the home team.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I say that this game is decided by a final minute FG, something like 31-28, but I don't know who wins.
 

Mooch

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The Chiefs better hope that Kilgore didn’t have contact with the starters. That line is already paper thin.
 

Ale Xander

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What happens if they trace to the entire line? You can't play a game without an OL. Will they be forced to get an entire line from the scrap heap?
 

BaseballJones

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What happens if they trace to the entire line? You can't play a game without an OL. Will they be forced to get an entire line from the scrap heap?
Holy crap this is crazy stuff. They'd better be prepping a bunch of other guys just in case.