Oy vey. What a night for the Kansas City Chiefs. In what could have been a back-to-back Super Bowl championship and potentially the start of a dynasty, turned into a comedy of errors. Super Bowl LV was truly a perfect storm of misfortune for the Patrick Mahomes and Co.
Let’s walk through everything that went wrong. Look away, Chiefs Nation.
The obvious injury concerns for the Chiefs were on the offensive line. They played Super Bowl LV without three Pro Bowlers in LT Eric Fisher, LG Kelechi Osemele, and RT Mitchell Schwartz. The Buccaneers took full advantage of this, hounding Patrick Mahomes all game.
Speaking of Mahomes, the Chiefs superstar was clearly hobbled due to a toe injury that will require offseason surgery. It must have been aggravated at some point, because Mahomes was limping badly between plays. Not great.
The Kansas City Chiefs were crushed by penalties in this one, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. They are normally one of the better coached teams in the league, but they played like an inexperienced expansion team tonight. 11 penalties for 120 yards, many of them key drive extenders, compared to four penalties for 39 yards for the Bucs.
Sometimes, when teams get hit with a lot of penalties on defense, they still end up putting up a good performance. They get called for holding, pass interference, etc. a few times, but that just means they got away with said penalties on every other play. The physicality doesn’t stop.
Not tonight. Tom Brady and the Bucs were finding plenty of space in the passing and running game. When they didn’t, well, there was probably a penalty called. No level of Kansas City’s defense played well.
The Stars Didn’t Shine
Patrick Mahomes wasn’t himself, but his supporting cast didn’t do much to help him out. Travis Kelce had a good statistical game, but I think he’d be the first to admit he didn’t play his best game. He failed to come down with multiple catchable balls, a trend that seemed to spread throughout the Chiefs’ receiving ranks.
Tyreek Hill also had a good game on paper, but he wasn’t the big play threat the Chiefs needed him to be. You have to give credit to the Bucs secondary for bottling him up. Hill left a lot on the field, though.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was very efficient across just 11 touches, which produced 87 yards. KC was playing behind for much of the game, unfortunately, so he didn’t get a lot of love from Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy. He could have had a big game.
If you thought Mecole Hardman and Darrel Williams would combine for 13 targets tonight, you’re a liar. Mahomes’s first option was rarely open, and, apparently, his second or third option wasn’t either. This led to guys like Hardman and Williams getting more attention. Those 13 targets produced four catches for 14 yards.
All in all, the Kansas City Chiefs skill position players didn’t do enough to elevate a diminished Patrick Mahomes.
Anything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Kansas City Chiefs tonight. These kinds of back-breaking Super Bowl losses usually have vast ripple effects on the franchises that suffer through them. Time will tell how it affects them in the long term.