Here we are, the season is done, and we have our Super Bowl champions.
What I Saw
Kansas City Chiefs: 31 – San Francisco 49ers: 20
There was only one game on everybody’s mind this week and what a fascinating contest it was. For three quarters the 49ers looked like the better team and maintained a lead, but in the end Patrick Mahomes found something of his normal form and was able to help the Chiefs offence stage another comeback to clinch the game with a score that in truth slightly flatters the Chiefs.
The marquee matchup of this game was the 49ers defence against the vaunted Chiefs offence, but through pass rush and coverage the 49ers were able to make Mahomes have one of his worst games in a Chiefs’ uniform. However, the Chiefs were clearly expecting the 49ers game plan to an extent as they ran the ball well with Damian Williams who amassed over one hundred yards, sealing the game with a thirty-eight yard touchdown as the Chiefs ran out the clock. However, it was only in the fourth quarter when the quick strike resurfaced for the Chiefs that the offence truly came alive when Andy Reid ran a play that Mahomes had been asking to try again. The third-year quarterback was able to connect Tyreek Hill for a forty-four yard play, which was the first big chunk pass of the game. Within a minute on the game clock the Chiefs scored their first touchdown since the first quarter and began the twenty-one-point swing that took place in the final seven minutes that also included a thirty-eight yard pass to Sammy Watkins to setup the second touchdown before Williams sealed the game with the aforementioned run.
As for the 49ers, they came up with the right game plan and so nearly executed it well enough to win the game. They generated over three hundred and fifty yards of offence and into the fourth quarter they looked like the more likely team to win. There were a couple of occasions where they came away with field goals, which would have frustrated Kyle Shanahan, and Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t execute to the level they were both hoping. In this game Mahomes actually threw the same number of interceptions as Garoppolo but we left this game with some questioning whether the 49ers QB is a true franchise quarterback. This might be a little unfair as Mahomes is an exceptional talent and this is now the second Super Bowl where Shanahan was coordinating the offence and his team couldn’t hold a lead. The question I do think is worth looking at is how much the 49ers tried to run the ball given that they only had twenty-two carries in this game at well over six yards a carry. This is actually less carries than the Chiefs, which you would not have expected going into the game. However, there is much to love about the 49ers offence, whose one receiving touchdown was to a fullback and who also accounted for the 49ers longest receiving play.
In the end, despite history seeming to favour the more well-rounded team with the better defence in the Super Bowl, it was Andy Reid with Patrick Mahomes and that offence who found enough to win the game whilst their defence did enough to get the win. I’m sure the 49ers will be really hurting after this loss, but both teams are relatively young so whilst they will be different next season, both look in good shape to have a run at the Super Bowl next year. Given the quality of this game I think we could all live with that.
What I Heard
I have to report that Dan was not that impressed with the half time show, but I enjoyed it. Although it is interesting to compare some of the complaints about the risqué nature of some of it to what was happening during Janet Jackson’s performance before her legendary wardrobe malfunction.
The reason I started there, apart form the play on words, is that the NFL media has covered the win and almost already moved on to off-season news.
I’m not ready to go there quite yet, although I will have to seek out the Mic’d Up segments which are always entertaining if not informative.
What I Think
I was surprised by how much I was supporting the Chiefs and Andy Reid getting that Super Bowl win in this game, and that now ends the argument that Reid can’t win the big one and likely cements his place in the Hall of Fame.
Given how many games he has won for so long, and the innovation he has show throughout his career I think there was a pretty good case for him getting in anyway. This season we had two teams in the Super Bowl that apart from division rivals, noone would particularly object to see winning. I thought it was a lovely touch for the Eagles to show their support for their former coach, and it does also demonstrate some of how well Reid is liked around the league.
What I Know
I will be taking some time off for a couple of weeks, but I will try to follow something of the pattern of last year’s off-season and do a couple of off-season posts either on the next step of the year-round football news cycle or what I’ve dug into.
I would love to have the time to dig into the coaching tape of this game at some point, and later in the year I very well might but things have been very difficult this season for reasons outside of football so I am ready for a break.
There may be some changes in process and posts next season, I evaluate the blog every year but there may be some factors that could affect my writing time so we shall have to see how things shake out. Rest assured though, that The Wrong Football will be back in some form for our seventh regular season at the start of September.
What I Hope
That everyone has a productive off-season and fills the time spent on football reading books, pursuing other hobbies or relaxing. We only have so much time gifted to us so make sure you use it wisely.
And now, for the last time this season over to Dan’s Dad:
The 2019 Trivia Contest
‘They Think It’s All Over…
Kenneth Wolstenholme’s famous Wembley commentary in 1966 is no less relevant now than it was then.
The Superbowl was acknowledged as one of the best and a comeback worthy of Lazarus! It rounds off a season in which the un-predictable became a regular feature but with some teams coming to the fore that were not always the usual suspects. One big event in 2019-20 was, of course the Pats failing to win playoff game with the inevitable Brady-fest which followed it. That could be an interesting story to play out on the way to next season.
For one last time this term we move to the quartet of questions for the final week. We begin with Dan in the lead by 33 to 30 and this week its 3 points per correct answer.
We started in Tampa and asked: The Bucs played in only one tie game in the 20th century. Who was it against?
Well the guesses were the Lions or the Falcons, but unfortunately for Dan and Gee the team was actually the Packers.
This happened on October 12, 1980. Packers kicker Tom Birney missed a 36 yard field goal attempt as time expired, ending the game in a 14-14 tie. The two teams finished the 1980 season tied for last place in the NFC Central at 5-10-1.
It’s the ‘tied for last place’ that did it for me, devious to the end.
Right next was Tennessee and the simple question was: Which player started at quarterback for the first game of the 2005 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh?
Both correctly identified Steve McNair so it’s 3 points each.
On now to DC where I threw in this, the Washington Redskin franchise began in 1932 in the NFL. What was the team’s name in that season?
This one threw me too, but the backstory is more than interesting.
We got some interesting fantasy team names but the answer is Boston Braves.
The franchise was named the Boston Braves for their first season, then changed their name to the Boston Redskins for four seasons before moving to D.C. Their first season in 1932 brought them a 4-4-2 season record, for a fourth place finish of eight teams. The Chicago Bears won the title in the season for going 7-1-6, although the runner-up Green Bay Packers went 10-3-1.
Also with a Washington and a Superbowl element I finished with: Which famous football czar ended his career in Washington as coach.
Czar was perhaps a bit of a giveaway, but both successfully went for Vince Lombardi – 3 points each.
For the record Daniel Snyder wasn’t the first Redskins owner to spend a lot of money to bring in a veteran coach and players and try to win an instant championship but Lombardi was too good to overlook.
Which brings us to the final scores and we end with Gee on 36 against Dan’s 39.. So congratulations and commiserations in equal measure to the pair who have been tormented for another season which I’d say was probably my most devious yet. On well – Onwards and Upwards.’
I would like to send my congratulations to Dan on a well-earned trivia victory and thank Dan’s Dad for his efforts all year as well as congratulate him again on keeping the blog in Vikings’ purple and gold. I’m sure he’s already working on more sneaky or downright evil questions to ask us for next season.
This blog wouldn’t be the same without either Dan or his Dad, and I am very grateful for their involvement and all the effort they put in.
Until next time, live long and prosper!