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

jon abbey

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Now that GOAT is so firmly settled, it is time to ask.

Is there any other sport in which there is such a huge gap between the greatest of all time and the field of players that have an argument for second best?
I am behind but Michael Phelps for one.
 

ifmanis5

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Usually you watch a Chiefs game and you say 'wow, they were so much faster than the other team.' Not tonight. Mahomes was under pressure all night and that totally derailed everything.
 

Ale Xander

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That's the kind of hard-hitting analysis I hope to see other people paying for when they put up that paywall.
 

bosockboy

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The GOAT discussion will shift to overall sports GOAT. I think it’s safe to say Brady has eclipsed Jordan, Gretzky, Ruth, et al....the GOAT of sports.
 

Kliq

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What a complete ass-kicking this was. With the exception of kick return coverage, Tampa dominated in every phase of the game. They stopped the run and did a masterful performance preventing any big plays from taking place. Huge stroke of luck of course thanks to the injuries on KC's offensive line, but still nobody really thought this KC offense could be held out of the endzone, and they did just that. On offense Tampa got almost everything they wanted, through the air or on the ground. I think they took their foot off the gas a little bit in the second half because they were smartly trying to control the clock, but they ruthlessly took care of business.

Mahomes had a very impressive physical performance, and did a spectacular job getting some throws away...but he didn't play great. He didn't have a lot of time to throw, but I think he got rattled in the second half when Tampa was up by two scores; where Mahomes tried to constantly buy time to make the big play downfield, which never materialized. He had a good thing going in the first half by running and taking some yards and first downs with his legs, which Tampa was willing to concede. In the second half it felt like he was trying too hard to make the big play; doubling back and running 10 or 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage and searching for the deep boom to Hill that was never there. We all know during the regular season he got away with some really risky throws, tonight on the biggest stage he wasn't getting that same benefit.

The brilliance of late-career Brady is that he has warded off natural physical decline by remaining the most mentally prepared, cerebral player the game and perhaps team sports has ever seen. Mahomes, for all his physical talent, is just not there yet and there isn't anything wrong with that. Tom has been in the league for 150 years. I honestly believe that 43 year old Brady would have fared better than Mahomes tonight if Tom was on KC. He wouldn't have bought 10 seconds of time to throw with his legs; but he would have adjusted to the constant pressure, recognized blitzes, and found quick passes instead of focusing on the big play.

I will hand it to Arians, I did not expect Tampa to be the better prepared team for this game. Right from the get-go, Tampa looked like the poised, confident team while KC felt like an inexperienced, frightened team that was terrified of the big stage, and not the dominant defending champs. KC was pretty much licked after the end of the first half, with the quick TD drive by Brady and Mathieu picking up the personal foul. KC was undisciplined and felt mentally defeated, while Tampa remained sharp and focused while also remaining loose and confident. A huge part of that is Brady, and the scene of Brady ordering substitutes back to the sideline at the end of the first half because he knew he had the matchup with Brown that he could get an easy TD with is a classic. But Arians, and the entire Tampa coaching staff, especially Bowles, should take a ton of pride in how the team, top-to-bottom, conducted themselves in a championship setting.

Kansas City will be fine, Mahomes will continue to be great. Winning a Super Bowl is really, really hard. They still have plenty of talent to come back and contend for the foreseeable future, but even the best players need to lose and be humbled to continue on their path to greatness.
 

DieHardSoxFan1

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The cap is going to start getting tough for KC. This one will hurt for them.
Travis Kelce turns 32 next fall. Maybe he’ll remain productive into his mid-30’s, like Tony Gonzalez was, but he’s not a young player in the thick of his prime years. When he inevitably loses steam, that offense will not be the same.
 

Silverdude2167

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What Brady has done is far more impressive. Playing QB is a ton harder than SG.
I mean I agree with what Brady has done is more impressive, but not the second part.

Brady is only able to compete now because playing QB doesn't require you to maintain your physical gifts to directly compete each play.

The key for Brady is a clean pocket...give him time and he will kill you probably for the next few years.
 

Kliq

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Evans and Godwin combined for 3 catches, 40 yards.
Evans does deserve a lot of credit on the final drive of the half for TB, he beat his man twice and drew two huge DPI calls that set up the touchdown.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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I came into this game hoping that I wouldn't feel sorry for Tom by the fourth quarter.

By the fourth quarter, watching him Fran Tarkenton around out there, I felt sorry for Patrick Mahomes.

Brady literally changed my paradigm.
 

Preacher

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I mean I agree with what Brady has done is more impressive, but not the second part.

Brady is only able to compete now because playing QB doesn't require you to maintain your physical gifts to directly compete each play.

The key for Brady is a clean pocket...give him time and he will kill you probably for the next few years.
You can say that but look what happened to Peyton Manning. Or a number of other QBs. At some point, whatever physical gifts you need to compete as an NFL QB leave you.
 

Silverdude2167

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You can say that but look what happened to Peyton Manning. Or a number of other QBs. At some point, whatever physical gifts you need to compete as an NFL QB leave you.
100% but the statement was playing QB is harder than playing SG...Playing QB you can hide the deterioration of your gifts a bit...playing SG you really can't.
 

DeadlySplitter

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A huge part of that is Brady, and the scene of Brady ordering substitutes back to the sideline at the end of the first half because he knew he had the matchup with Brown that he could get an easy TD with is a classic.
Thank you for this post just for this, I thought Tom was complaining about a timeout situation or forgot he had a timeout left (Romo was going on about spiking it??), but this makes more sense.
 

Preacher

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100% but the statement was playing QB is harder than playing SG...Playing QB you can hide the deterioration of your gifts a bit...playing SG you really can't.
I think QB is the most important position in the 4 major sports. No one else has as much influence on their particular game as a QB. So you can, as a SG, take plays off, you can sit out minutes while your team is still out running offensive sets. It’s hard to take drives off as a QB but SGs do it routinely.
 

CaptainLaddie

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The GOAT discussion will shift to overall sports GOAT. I think it’s safe to say Brady has eclipsed Jordan, Gretzky, Ruth, et al....the GOAT of sports.
Phelps has a say here.

Ruth is difficult because he hit 714 homers... and also won 94 games with an ERA+ of 122. When guys played matters and all, but that's still kind of insane. It's like if Brady also played cornerback and had 15 INTs or something.

I think Brady is the guy, but Ruth's case is insanely good.
 

Ale Xander

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Brady/Leftwich/Arians smarter than Reid/Bienemy. Hey Andy, maybe you need to help your backup tackles?

Screenshot_2021-02-08 Next Gen Stats ( NextGenStats) Twitter.png
 

SMU_Sox

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So I was thinking. Why didn't the Chiefs do more 6OL or 12 personnel or more max protect sets? The problem was they didn't have the horses to do it. They also needed to be in 11 because they had to pass a lot because they were behind. So basically once they got behind they couldn't do much to help their OL. CEH is awful in pass pro. Kelce isn't good in pass pro even chipping. They didn't have anyone who could help slow down TB's pass rushers. And you can't do 6OL sets when you only basically have 4 OL playing 5 spots.

Once the Chiefs went down they couldn't make adjustments because they didn't have the people or the players with those sets of skills to make the adjustments you'd want to make.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Kelce isn't good in pass pro even chipping..
I thought Kelce was the GOAT TE? can't even pass pro? boo hoo!

sorry, but Gronk >>> Kelce is a nice storyline out of this one.

As far as Reid not adjusting well in-game tonight... you have to wonder how his son's situation played into the final prep this weekend.

what will be forgotten KC should have still scored 2 TDs... one went off of Hill's facemask in the 1st quarter that cost 4 points in a 0-0 game, one went off of Robinson's facemask in the 4th (albeit in almost garbage time). If they get those TDs, it's a closer game and maybe Mahomes has one more amazing drive. Really between getting a ref crew not tolerating their handsy defense, an offsides penalty adding 4 points for the Bucs, this was like a bottom 5% (3%) percentile from such a talented KC team... 9(!) points and losing by 22. And of course it comes in a Super Bowl, because football.

Ultimately I think the Tampa DL mismatch was just that extreme (see AFCCG, 2015) and little else matters.
 
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Silverdude2167

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So I was thinking. Why didn't the Chiefs do more 6OL or 12 personnel or more max protect sets? The problem was they didn't have the horses to do it. They also needed to be in 11 because they had to pass a lot because they were behind. So basically once they got behind they couldn't do much to help their OL. CEH is awful in pass pro. Kelce isn't good in pass pro even chipping. They didn't have anyone who could help slow down TB's pass rushers. And you can't do 6OL sets when you only basically have 4 OL playing 5 spots.

Once the Chiefs went down they couldn't make adjustments because they didn't have the people or the players with those sets of skills to make the adjustments you'd want to make.
This is a game that should end any conversation about Kelce being in Gronks league. The guy is a WR, if he was a real TE he would have stayed in to block to help with the protections.
 

SMU_Sox

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Brady/Leftwich/Arians smarter than Reid/Bienemy. Hey Andy, maybe you need to help your backup tackles?

View attachment 38571
I came here to post my response to this above - but basically I don't think they had the guys to help slow down the pass rush because they didn't have enough NFL caliber guys on the OL including their 6th OL and KC's RBs and TE/Kelce isn't a good pass blocker even with chipping - it's just not their skill-set. Usually Mahomes can scramble but you can't scramble on every snap... and it's hard to scramble when 4/4 rushers win their reps!
 

SMU_Sox

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I thought Kelce was the GOAT TE? can't even pass pro? boo hoo!

sorry, but Gronk >>> Kelce is a nice storyline out of this one.
This is a game that should end any conversation about Kelce being in Gronks league. The guy is a WR, if he was a real TE he would have stayed in to block to help with the protections.
1) y'all are preaching to the choir
2) I still think Kelce and his big WR types are game-changers BUT they aren't as big of game changers as a complete unicorn like Gronk.
3) If they don't go QB and Pitts is there at 15 they better take Pitts even though he is not a blocker TE - I value him as a WR btw. That's a draft side note.
 

Ale Xander

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1) y'all are preaching to the choir
2) I still think Kelce and his big WR types are game-changers BUT they aren't as big of game changers as a complete unicorn like Gronk.
3) If they don't go QB and Pitts is there at 15 they better take Pitts even though he is not a blocker TE - I value him as a WR btw. That's a draft side note.
Do you take Pitts over Devonta if both are available?
 

SMU_Sox

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Do you take Pitts over Devonta if both are available?
Every. Single. Time. DeVonta's build and athletic traits limit his ceiling in the NFL. Guy played at like 165-170 pounds, 175 tops at 6'1"... doesn't even weigh-in at the senior bowl. He will still be a top 20 guy on my board for all the little that matters but Pitts is a blue-chip caliber guy and top 5-6-7 easy. My report on Pitts.

Quick edit: Waddle > Smith as well.
 

SMU_Sox

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I mean Brady stands in the pocket and nothing else, a weird comparison to make.

Switch O-Lines tonight and do you make the same statement?
No. KC's OL was the primary reason for their loss. Brady would have faired no better. That was too much pressure coming from all the gaps and it was too consistent. Mahomes even made ridiculous throws under duress and his team found multiple ways to waste his efforts. He was Superman and his team let him down. He took an absolute beating and gave it his all. Some of his throws before he hit the turf while in midair were... I don't know how to describe them other than Mahomes might be our first contact with an alien species.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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No. KC's OL was the primary reason for their loss. Brady would have faired no better. That was too much pressure coming from all the gaps and it was too consistent. Mahomes even made ridiculous throws under duress and his team found multiple ways to waste his efforts. He was Superman and his team let him down. He took an absolute beating and gave it his all. Some of his throws before he hit the turf while in midair were... I don't know how to describe them other than Mahomes might be our first contact with an alien species.
I've seen your work on this and other sites, and respect you immensely. But I feel if Brady had KC's o-line tonight, he would have thrown 30 check downs/hot reads and lost by merely a touchdown. We've seen it before. In The Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned. Or the 2015 AFC Championship Brian Stork Head Bob Game. Don't tell me any QB was under more pressure than Brady was in those two. And he kept it close, without the scrambling ability of Mahomes, who got swallowed up tonight.

My other point: Over the course of a 19 game season, the young buck, the next anointed GOAT, wore down physically. Generational talent? Yes. Only turf toe? I get it. But I saw a struggling athlete at the end of that game, while Tom looked like he could go another four quarters. The optics of it - one 43 year old man looking bored on the sideline, while his 25 year old counterpart looks like he needs a walker - were striking.

I mean Brady stands in the pocket and nothing else
He does so much more than that. His pocket mobility is still top third in the league, and if you're mad at him for not running around like a maniac and slinging circus throws, it's because he's done enough work before the snap that he doesn't have to.

I'm in awe of what this dude is doing.
 

rodderick

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No. KC's OL was the primary reason for their loss. Brady would have faired no better. That was too much pressure coming from all the gaps and it was too consistent. Mahomes even made ridiculous throws under duress and his team found multiple ways to waste his efforts. He was Superman and his team let him down. He took an absolute beating and gave it his all. Some of his throws before he hit the turf while in midair were... I don't know how to describe them other than Mahomes might be our first contact with an alien species.
This seems way too hyperbolic. He had like 100 yards and was 0-for on third down when the game was even halfway in doubt. I mean, the OL was trash and Mahomes was far from KC's biggest problem, but that wasn't an impressive performance in my view, no matter how many horizontal incompletions he threw.
 

SMU_Sox

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Hyperbolic? 29 pressures. Most of all time in super bowl history. 29/49 means he was under pressure 59% of the time. That’s appalling.

He kept a ton of plays alive. He had a bunch of drops and passes off hands.

Brady put up 14 points against the Giants in 2007. 17 in 2011. The Broncos limited him to under 20 in 2015. He didn’t check down his way to 30+ points. Mahomes put up 9. Ok so maybe Brady puts up 15 points. In no universe does Brady put up 32. Y’all are not realizing that this was one of the worst offensive line performances and I am not being hyperbolic. No way Brady could have put up more than 20 points with that kind of pressure and against this defense (top to bottom this is a very good defense).

Edit: I would say Mahomes had a bad day but an impressive performance. You can’t perform well when everyone around you is crumbling. And another thing: how many sacks does any other QB take on 29 pressures? Mahomes took 3. And the vast majority of these the pressure was there right away.
 

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Euclis20

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Late in the game this definitely reminded me of the 2015 AFC title championship. Brady was unreal in defeat that day, but he had Gronk at the height of his powers (8 catches for 144 yards). Mahomes had no such help. Either his receivers weren't getting open, or the ball was literally bouncing off of their faces. Mahomes made the same bad scrambling decisions that many mobile QBs do (holding the ball and running backwards instead of stepping up into the pocket and getting rid of the ball quickly when edge rushers get pressure), but man, his receivers were useless. Everybody will talk forever about the Bucs' weapons, but the two best receivers on the field play for KC. It may be damning with faint praise, but Mahomes was by far KC's best offensive player today. Kelce's numbers look fine (10 catches for 133 yards) but more than half of that came in the 4th quarter when the game was essentially over. Ditto Hill, who was sitting on 2 catches for 13 yards until the closing seconds of the third quarter.
 
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SMU_Sox

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One last note: we on this board have rightfully poopooed the notion that the secret blueprint to beating Brady is to get consistent pressure, interior preferred, with 4 guys while dropping 7 back in coverage and doubling his two best receiving options. We poopooed it because that’s the way to beat any QB. If you can take away his two best options while getting consistent pressure with just 4 any QB will have a bad day in the office. That’s what happened tonight to Mahomes. He got Brady blueprinted. They got pressure with 4 from the edges and the interior... they dropped back 7 and doubled Hill. The only thing they didn’t quite get right was I don’t think they doubled Kelce much but I’m about to crash and will rewatch this on game pass to see.

Edit: the core of the Brady blueprint is getting pressure with 4 and using your secondary in the best way possible to slow him down whether it was to have a DB take Gronk, flooding the middle against Welker and doubling/bracketing Moss, using a corner against White, etc. so in that sense they did bullshit Brady blueprint Mahomes and bonus points for JPP being one of the guys to do it to him while Brady himself benefited.
 
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SMU_Sox

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I know @E5 Yaz and @Cellar-Door will probably be nodding and agreeing here but this has to be said: Todd Bowles is a good DC and he deserves a second shot as a head coach. I am not sure how the hall of fame works but if it has a small section for each super bowl this defensive game-plan needs to be in there. Yes KC had a dog shit OL but holding Mahomes to under 100 yards until late in the game and limiting this offense to 9 points is just brilliant. The execution of course was also impeccable. TB was a top defensive unit this year but this was perhaps their best performance. Anyone else finding it hard to sleep from the game excitement?
 

RedOctober3829

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I know @E5 Yaz and @Cellar-Door will probably be nodding and agreeing here but this has to be said: Todd Bowles is a good DC and he deserves a second shot as a head coach. I am not sure how the hall of fame works but if it has a small section for each super bowl this defensive game-plan needs to be in there. Yes KC had a dog shit OL but holding Mahomes to under 100 yards until late in the game and limiting this offense to 9 points is just brilliant. The execution of course was also impeccable. TB was a top defensive unit this year but this was perhaps their best performance. Anyone else finding it hard to sleep from the game excitement?
It was a virtuoso performance on both sides of the ball from Tampa. Bowles used what the pats did to Mahomes in the 2018 AFCCG except the Pats didn’t have the horses up front to get after Mahomes like he did. JPP and Barrett were absolutely awesome. Bowles was aggressive blitzing when he needed to, but rushing with 4 worked so well he didn’t need to send extra guys that much. But when he did, it hit.

Offensively, once they got their running game going everything flowed. They had KC on their heels.
 

rodderick

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Hyperbolic? 29 pressures. Most of all time in super bowl history. 29/49 means he was under pressure 59% of the time. That’s appalling.

He kept a ton of plays alive. He had a bunch of drops and passes off hands.

Brady put up 14 points against the Giants in 2007. 17 in 2011. The Broncos limited him to under 20 in 2015. He didn’t check down his way to 30+ points. Mahomes put up 9. Ok so maybe Brady puts up 15 points. In no universe does Brady put up 32. Y’all are not realizing that this was one of the worst offensive line performances and I am not being hyperbolic. No way Brady could have put up more than 20 points with that kind of pressure and against this defense (top to bottom this is a very good defense).

Edit: I would say Mahomes had a bad day but an impressive performance. You can’t perform well when everyone around you is crumbling. And another thing: how many sacks does any other QB take on 29 pressures? Mahomes took 3. And the vast majority of these the pressure was there right away.
Yes, hyperbolic. He played poorly. Circumstances explain why he played poorly, but he did. He also contributed to some of those pressures, he just doesn't ever step up against an edge rush and it cost him.

Who is saying Brady would have put up more points? It's just that if he had the exact game Mahomes had yesterday nobody would be talking about how amazing he looked throwing incompletions. It wasn't a heroic performance, he got ran. It happens to everybody, let's just call it what it was. The kid battled, but that was a bad game.
 

BaseballJones

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Late in the game this definitely reminded me of the 2015 AFC title championship. Brady was unreal in defeat that day, but he had Gronk at the height of his powers (8 catches for 144 yards). Mahomes had no such help. Either his receivers weren't getting open, or the ball was literally bouncing off of their faces. Mahomes made the same bad scrambling decisions that many mobile QBs do (holding the ball and running backwards instead of stepping up into the pocket and getting rid of the ball quickly when edge rushers get pressure), but man, his receivers were useless. Everybody will talk forever about the Bucs' weapons, but the two best receivers on the field play for KC. It may be damning with faint praise, but Mahomes was by far KC's best offensive player today. Kelce's numbers look fine (10 catches for 133 yards) but more than half of that came in the 4th quarter when the game was essentially over. Ditto Hill, who was sitting on 2 catches for 13 yards until the closing seconds of the third quarter.
I thought of this game as well. Brady was under siege that game, got absolutely pounded, and still managed to get 18 points. Obviously that wouldn't have been enough to win this game either. But to your point about KC's receivers disappearing... Kelce had 10 receptions for 133 yards (very similar numbers to Gronk), though he had a couple of drops that could have been pretty impactful, so even this wasn't a great game by him. But still...he put up a stat line very similar to Gronk's in that game.

The key was that Tyreek Hill did NOTHING last night. 7 receptions for 73 yards, and none of them mattered.

By the way...Mahomes with 49 pass attempts last night. I posted this in the Tompa thread on Jan 27:

Aaron Rodgers has thrown 45 + passes in 3 playoff games. He's 0-3 in those games.
Peyton Manning has thrown 45+ passes in 6 playoff games. He's 1-5 in those games.
Joe Montana has thrown 45+ passes in 2 playoff games. He's 0-2 in those games.
Russell Wilson has thrown 45+ passes in 1 playoff game. He's 0-1 in that game.
Drew Brees has thrown 45+ passes in 3 playoff games. He's 0-3 in those games.
Dan Fouts has thrown 45+ passes in 3 playoff games. He's 1-2 in those games.
John Elway has thrown 45+ passes in 1 playoff game. He's 0-1 in that game.
Dan Marino has thrown 45+ passes in 6 playoff games. He's 1-5 in those games.
Jim Kelly has thrown 45+ passes in 3 playoff games. He's 0-3 in those games.
Steve Young has thrown 45+ passes in 2 playoff games. He's 0-2 in those games.

These 10 HOF (or eventual HOF) QBs have thrown 45+ passes in 30 playoff games. They're a combined 3-27 (.100) in those games.
Tom Brady has thrown 45+ passes in 12 playoff games. He's 7-5 (.583) in those games.


Mahomes had 49 passes and lost (first time in his career he's thrown 45+ passes in a playoff game). He's 0-1 in those games. That bumps those numbers to 3-28 (0.097) in those 31 games. Compare that to Brady's 7-5 (.583) in such games. Incredible.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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My other point: Over the course of a 19 game season, the young buck, the next anointed GOAT, wore down physically. Generational talent? Yes. Only turf toe? I get it. But I saw a struggling athlete at the end of that game, while Tom looked like he could go another four quarters. The optics of it - one 43 year old man looking bored on the sideline, while his 25 year old counterpart looks like he needs a walker - were striking.
One guy being better doesn't have to diminish the other, and for me and most of us here our TB hagiography and witness to his long career shows bias. But I wonder if TB had a concussion 21 days ago and a toe injury that likely requires surgery if he'd be a world beater with a KC OL that let four guys past them to destroy their QB during every pass play in the 2nd half.

I don't think being injured or not being injured is a moral choice either of those guys were willingly making, so it's weird to dunk on Mahomes for looking gimpier out there than a guy who was fortunate enough to not be hurt.