2019-20 Dynasty/Fantasy Review of the Super Bowl: KC 31, SF 20
The Chiefs won a very entertaining Super Bowl, and now for the next few days to eight months everyone can draw sweeping conclusions for the future from this win.
Last year, we left the Super Bowl with…
“Who will ever stop the Patriots?” (today, we see that the Patriots decline/end of the dynasty has happened).
“The Rams are the team of the future and Sean McVay will rule the coaching ranks!” (the Rams missed the playoffs and are closer to being the worst team in the NFC West than the best).
“Wade Phillips is such a savvy defensive coordinator to have for young McVay – he’s a master, holding the Pats to 13 points in the Super Bowl!” (Phillips was fired from the Rams’ staff a few weeks ago).
“Tom Brady will never age!” (he’s aged…and is possibly a Raider soon).
“Todd Gurley will have his touches managed to maximize him for the long term” (they couldn’t give him the ball enough this past season).
“Why do they keep advertising this stupid TV Show with people singing in weird mascot costumes?” (a year later, I watched the Fox Sports The Masked Singer sponsored halftime show/analysis…and The Masked Singer is supposedly a top viewed TV show in America. Why? I have no idea…but I’m pretty sure the end of the world as we know it has to be very near.)
This year’s Super Bowl will lead to many (wrong) conclusions about the future as well, but there is one reality that is factual and clear to takeaway from this game outcome – if you have an elite of the elite QB…you’re the team to bet on/have faith in for winning more NFL football games and titles than not. As the scales/rules/coaching plans have tipped to the passing games being the easiest/most efficient ways for an offense to function that it’s ever been -- the past seven seasons the winning QBs have been: Mahomes, Brady, Foles, Brady, P. Manning, Brady, R. Wilson. A bunch of Mt. Rushmore of quarterback’s candidates and Nick Foles (but I love Foles and always believed his career potential was robbed the media/fans and thus lemming coaches).
Patrick Mahomes won this Super Bowl. Not Andy Reid or Eric Bieniemy or Steve Spagnuolo or Damien Williams or Tyreek Hill…Mahomes made this possible. For the most part, if any of the coaches or single player involved in this game for the Chiefs had to miss this game for whatever reason the Vegas line would have barely moved and the outcome would’ve been about the same, BUT had Mahomes missed the game – the Chiefs lose by 20+.
The Chiefs were down two or more scores in every playoff game, and the sheer force of Mahomes brought them back every time. The 49ers were better coached, more balanced, better run game, better defense…and they could not stop Mahomes when it mattered. The quarterback is everything in the NFL, and the group is getting better as a whole…but the top of the heap/elite of the elite QBs will rule the league for the foreseeable future as passing games evolve, wide receiver talent is flooding into the NFL, young kids don’t want to be running backs any more, and the rules/penalties favor the passing game.
The only team that could’ve really taken the Chiefs down, whipped them – Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. Mahomes and Lamar are the definitive favorites for the next Super Bowl. Sorry about your luck for the next year or two+ future (my opinion): Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, both LA teams, Miami, Minnesota, New England, both NY teams, Oakland, Philly, San Fran, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington. A few good QBs/teams in here but not the ‘wow’ factor ones…unless everything breaks their way. These teams just cannot compete with the elite QB-led teams.
The teams with some near-future hope if the QBs develop, the coaching plan/system is decent, and the schedule helps launch them: Arizona, Cincy? (Burrow), Cleveland, Dallas (yep…50-50 to be here), Green Bay (but that window is about to close, if it hasn’t already), Houston, New Orleans (window closing fast too), Pittsburgh (window may have closed), Seattle…and, of course, Baltimore and KC.
If you take out the aging QBs from the list, you have ARI-CIN-CLE-DAL-HOU-SEA as the real threats for a QB-led uprising to takedown KC or BAL in the near future.
If you then disqualify extraordinarily awful organizations/owners from that winnowed down list, then we have ARI-HOU-SEA remaining as threat to challenge Mahomes and Lamar…and Arizona shaky to be there.
Tom Brady/the Patriots used to be a fixture for the Super Bowl…all good things, eventually, come to an end. Now it’s Mahomes-Lamar time. If you think running QBs are a risk (however you want to define that), then Kansas City, Arizona, Seattle (the baseball player/mobile QBs that are run and slide, not run as a weapon guys…and also they are elite passers) are really the teams with best hope for the next few Super Bowls.
Who mattered more in this game…Mahomes or Nick Bosa/the SF D-Line? Mahomes. The answer to the question of Joe Burrow vs. Chase Young for the NFL Draft? It shouldn’t even be a debate. Arizona GM Steve Keim deserves a special award for smartest decision of 2019 – ditching Josh Rosen and drafting Kyler Murray…it’s the only real chance Arizona could ever have is rolling with Kyler. At the time, last NFL Draft, 90% of the analysts caterwauled about how unfair it was to trade away Rosen after just one season, and how he needed another year, etc. Where are those analysts now?
The current NFL is about elite QB play trumps almost everything (defense, coaching, home field, weather, etc.) – Mahomes makes players better around him, hides blocking issues, allows for a different defensive game plan for his team, and makes his coaches look brilliant. Ditto Lamar Jackson and just a rare few other QB talents in the NFL. It’s a sobering outlook for 25+ other teams ahead the next few seasons to try and win a Super Bowl.
Many conclusions from this season/Super Bowl will be thrown around and many of them will prove to be wrong/caught up in the moment. The thing that did prove itself again – the ‘best in class’ quarterbacks are the most likely teams to win a Super Bowl in the current era. And it’s not changing anytime soon. Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs – you might win 1-3 more Super Bowls the next five seasons with the ‘Mahomes edge’ (unless Andy Reid finds a way to out-conservative himself and become the next Mike McCarthy/Pete Carroll types who possess an elite QB and can only win one Super Bowl in a decade with them). Mahomes is simply the best player in the game…he might go on to be the best player in the history of the sport/position, which makes KC the Super Bowl favorites again next season.
…and Kliff Kingsbury couldn’t win college games above a .500 clip with Mahomes in his final two years of college play. Maybe, Arizona has no chance ahead either. Sorry, Kyler. It’s very likely a KC vs. Baltimore fight-for-the-top-spot future ahead…with everyone well off in the distance.
As for notes from the game/players itself (in no particular order)…
-- With all that Patrick Mahomes (26-42 for 286 yards, 2 TD/2 INT, 9-29-1) love aside, I thought Mahomes looked pretty shaky the first 2+ quarters. I’ve never seen him short arm the ball like that in his two NFL seasons.
It might have been/was some due to the 49ers front line pressure, but there might have been some jitters of the moment being so big. Whatever it was, he shook it off and won the game/MVP. It’s another feather in the cap for the Mahomes’ argument – the 49ers threw everything at him, he didn’t play his best game, the 49ers won the line of scrimmage a bunch and forced a couple of picks, and SF had a 10-point lead into the 4th-quarter…and the Chiefs still won by double-digits and scoring 31 points. That’s considered a bad game for Mahomes?
-- This game, for my interest level, was over by the first 49ers’ series.
As I wrote in my preview piece for the game and spoke more of on the Bet The Close podcast released Saturday pregame – I had one real bet in this game…the Deebo Samuel (3-53-0, 5-39-0/9) over on 0.5 carries prop bet.
I won by the second play of the drive…and then he got another a few plays later. I told you it was guaranteed money. I hope some of you prospered off it…paid the big money line, but for the obvious net return.
I lost a little bet on Tyreek Hill (9-105-0/16) getting a carry (he didn’t) but negated that loss with a win on Tyreek ‘over’ 4.5 catches.
Chris Bilello (Skol), host of the Bet The Close podcast, led me to a smart prop bet too…Kyle Juszczyk (3-39-1/3) ‘over’ 9.5 yards. Juszczyk is an underrated weapon that you knew Shanahan would not let go to waste.
Back to Deebo Samuel…everyone on football betting analysis had his ‘over’ on the yards (lost) and catches (won barely) prop, and that didn’t really work out like people expected. It’s another reminder, as I also noted in the preview for this game – this 49ers’ offense is not geared up to make passing game or running game stars, consistently…and Deebo was ‘under’ the various Super Bowl receiving prop lines in most of his last 5-8 games, if you looked by comparison. Deebo is great, but this offense isn’t geared to make him a star.
If he wasn’t such a running game star, Deebo might not be a WR2 candidate next season. Good player, but a wobbly FF-situation right now. When Jalen Hurd can go in 2020…it makes this FF-situation even more muddy for the receivers, and WRs in the running game.
Remember when Dante Pettis was the WR to want from this offense to start the summer last season?
-- Another interesting tidbit from this game…
When everyone rushes/leaps to conclusions on how teams need to be built the KC or SF way…because KC won this game (I guess we should all forget about the Ravens regular season and the Patriots being the model for all now…) and the 49ers reached it from a 4 win season the prior campaign – do you think anyone in the mainstream football media will notice the starting RBs for this game were Damien Williams vs. Raheem Mostert?
Two undrafted free agent running backs led the way at the Super Bowl…as Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones, among others, watched the game on TV. Will the media ridicule teams for wasting money on running backs? Nope. They’ll all say free-agent-to-be Derrick Henry must be signed to a deal at all costs. Christian McCaffrey as well…gotta get it done early. The Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Devonta Freeman, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell recent mega deals (for RBs) yielded no playoff wins this season. I should add it yielded no playoff appearances either.
…as Seattle continues to build its offense around Chris Carson and deemphasizes Russell Wilson (which is why I think they’ll never win a Super Bowl or see it again under Pete Carroll).
…I can’t wait for the delight of the fans whose team gets Melvin Gordon at a ‘discount’ this offseason.
Teams should deploy money elsewhere and scout for the next Mostert or Damien Williams. Alex Barnes is just waiting for a call. However, the XFL is going to start sucking some of this overlooked talent away…so, NFL teams are even more likely to overinvest in the RB instead of trusting scouts to find solid, cheap RB prospects.
-- To finish off the RB talk…
LeSean McCoy was inactive the entire playoffs…that’s how critical he wound up to be.
Did anyone else cringe when Darwin Thompson came in for a goal line carry? I was like, “You don’t use him all season and now he’s taking a critical goal line carry in the Super Bowl?” He scored a TD, all was well.
Anyone remember that Jerick McKinnon was the highly paid answer for Kyle Shanahan a few years ago? We think Kyle Shanahan is a genius but it took the injuries of HIGHLY paid Jerick McKinnon, the abject bust of the absolute NFL Draft desire of Kyle’s heart (Joe Williams/Utah), and the fumbles and injury of Matt Breida, and the overpay and injuries for Tevin Coleman to finally FORCE Shanahan to HAVE TO use Raheem Mostert…and THEN Mostert became a savior. Mostert wasn’t ‘on purpose’.
There’s a lot of Mostert’s out there on practice squads, as backups, headed to the XFL who get totally screwed by the draft process if they didn’t go to Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, etc., and are not ‘anointed’ by the draft analysts right away. Many players should sue scouts for being so horrible at their jobs.
…oh, look – the top RB prospects for 2020 are from Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State. How convenient!
If you think Mostert is the 49ers’ RB to have for fantasy 2020…you’re fooling yourself. He will be part of an RBBC you don’t want to guess week-to-week…a la New England, a la Philly…and, maybe, a la Kansas City after watching this season.
…UDFA RBs run to the Super Bowl while most of the league chases ‘franchise’ RBs. Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey sure have built some winners with their teams. Nice stats and highlight runs from them though. Cool…cool-cool-cool.
-- This is a good breakpoint to shift gears into analysis of the halftime show…
As with just about every halftime show, the event is not built for me. I watch it for the spectacle and to write about it, but I’d rather do a million other things besides watching this part of the game.
This year we got Shakira and Jennifer Lopez…two artists that are not on my Spotify playlist, ever. The number of their songs I could name/recognize is equal to my interest in that Top Gun sequel…zero.
We got Shakira as the opening act…a musician whose best vocal feature is gyrating her hips. You’ve never heard…”That guy is the sexiest, best-looking writer in the football business.” Who cares, when it comes to writing ability? “Best hip shaker in the music business” has the same importance to musical talent, for me. Hey, she makes bank…so, what do I know? If it means anything, I’m shaking my hips right now as I type this if it makes the article more appealing. No? Nothing? OK…
I feel like if Shakira pulled her hair back, put on thick framed glasses, and stood there and sung her songs…people would throw salad ingredients at her to a chorus of boos. That was my level of appreciation for her act/art.
And then after Shakira, I felt I walked into a Jazzercise class at the local Curves (are either of those still a thing?) by mistake…but nope, it was just Jennifer Lopez in a bad body leotard moving around…on a pole occasionally. Sometimes she was performing in that odd leotard/bodysuit, sometimes in a bad Frederick’s of Hollywood (is that still a thing?) like outfit. Shocker…Jennifer Lopez started her set with a song talking about herself.
I’ve heard people say the halftime show was too sexy/sexualized…if so, I need to recheck the definition of sexy. To me, it was just sad.
All in all…I did not enjoy the halftime show for one bit. But I know it is not meant for me, I think…I hope.
I’d summarize my experience of the halftime show as – I watched approximately 13-22 commercials on women’s empowerment by halftime…where women were football coaches, football players, kick boxers, CEOs, superheroes, etc. Some of it truly inspiring real-life stories and some of it was just shameless commercialized pandering. And then, all of a sudden, for 30 minutes two women who cannot sing all that well shook their hips and asses in our collective faces. Shouldn’t we be outraged at this dichotomy? Would they have expected Bruce Springsteen to come out in daisy dukes and perform Born to Run?
Back to the game…
-- Let’s talk about the coaches in this game…
I will not engage in any ‘Well, Kyle Shanahan did this wrong or should’ve done that…’ talk. I mean, there’s a thousand little things that happen in a game. He took a 4-12 team from the season prior to the #1 seed and to the Super Bowl and was winning it, playing the perfect style to counteract Mahomes, for 53+ minutes. He won most of the game…just not the end.
In a season where everything was a penalty, they barely called any here, and I don’t believe there was one holding call on the Chiefs against that 49ers front. Are you kidding me? Is that Shanahan’s fault? Is he a bad coach now?
Shanahan is still, arguably, the best young coach in the game…two Super Bowl appearances the past four seasons – one as O-C (ATL) and another here. But let’s not assume he’s a given ahead either…that Kyle is a great coach. He’s effectively the coach and the GM of the team…and his three years of drafts have been pretty terrible collectively BUT he was able to draft Nick Bosa #2 last year, a pick anyone would have made. I’m not sure Shanahan is a great identifier of talent…great coach, but possibly a weak shadow GM.
Big kudos to Shanahan for managing this three bad/weaker drafts + decent QB (handed to him by Belichick) + UDFA RB-led team to the Super Bowl. It’s not really a team that’s ‘set’ for the future. It’s good but it’s not bursting with young talent…it’s a decent roster with a good, young head coach in a league with a lot of bad coaches and organizations. There’s hope but I wouldn’t assume it for sure.
Andy Reid is now seen as a Hall of Famer…a quality regular season coach but known as a failure in big games/end of seasons – and he lands Patrick Mahomes, and St. Patrick carries the team to a title and Reid is now seen as a genius. Years/a couple decades of disappointment and then one year winning a title…and the football community erases the past and embraces the recency to deify Reid. OK, if you want to. Not me.
The Chiefs were down in every playoff game…so, whatever their coaching plans were – they were terrible, or they wouldn’t have been getting blown out in games in the first 5-15 minutes and then having to roar back to epic wins. But we’ll make history into what we want it to be.
Chiefs O-C Eric Bieniemy will be a failure as a head coach someday. I’ve seen his press conferences and play calling for two years, BUT this victory will get him a gig next year. God Bless whatever teams falls for it.
49ers D-C Robert Saleh…if there is any one thing that was the opposite of an ‘MVP’ (the LVP?) -- it was Saleh for the 49ers. The second half of the season, with all their defensive talent, as soon as the schedule turned non-patsy (like it was early in the season), this defense gave up a ton of points. They fell apart here when they needed to rise up. I think Saleh might be replaced this week if the media hadn’t made him into a ‘hot’ coaching candidate because he pumps his fist a lot on the sidelines. How do you fire the media’s beloved coach? Robert Saleh is the Shakira of defensive coordinating…the thing he’s known for (sideline exuberance) has nothing to do with whether he is a good coach or not. No different than shaking hips has to do with beautiful music/singing.
49ers GM John Lynch…who is arguably the most empty-suit exec in the league…man, I wish they would have given us more camera cutaways to him! Fox thought we were always wondering what the empty suit was thinking/feeling…I guess? Lynch down on the sidelines near the end of the game…priceless. Yes, he is so integral to things. He’s another reason I’m not totally sold on the 49ers…whatever things he has his hands on would scare me. Kyle runs most of it, so SF should be OK.
-- The one unit on the field this game, the one that people felt the ‘least’ about all season was the one that really played a very good/great game (and good/great all 2nd-half of the season) – the KC Chiefs defense. Yet, why isn’t Steve Spagnuolo getting any head coaching considerations?
Let me give you some advice, Steve – go spend more time in the gym, shave your head, and try and look like a model…and pump your fists after good defensive plays and hug players vigorously -- that is what makes for a great defensive coordinator, so says the media.
Why didn’t they do any cutaways to see Robert Saleh as Mahomes was carving them apart late? No fist pumps to fix the defense happening? He was hopefully punching himself in the stomach.
The Chiefs were led in tackles, in this game, by DB Bashaud Breeland (7 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 PD) – nobody wanted this guy for two years. KC got him and it worked. That’s some good coaching…taking some overlooked talents like Breeland and mixing them in/making them Super Bowl champs. Hoping Nick Bosa gets a sack so you can pump your fists…is not a plan, it’s being a fan. Spagnuolo > Saleh.
-- Speaking of the Chiefs defense…I’d argue that DT Chris Jones (1 tackle, 3 PDs) was a possible MVP of this game. He batted down three passes and at crucial times in the game. He’ll never get a Super Bowl commercial or any commercial because of it.
-- Patrick Mahomes couldn’t have had any less interest in throwing to Mecole Hardman (1-2-0/1) this game or season.
Drafted to be the Tyreek Hill replacement/insurance policy (remember when it looked like Tyreek would be suspended from football in the preseason?), Hardman worked with the best QB in the game in a high powered offense and with so much attention on Tyreek-Kelce-Watkins…and yet Hardman, with all his speed, had 1 catch for 2 yards here, which is like what most of his season has been.
In a year when rookie WRs were blasting off right away…Hardman never got any better in the best passing game environment in the league. Not a good sign ahead. He was never a strong WR talent, in my scouting, just really fast. Hardman is a slower John Ross, potentially.
-- Well, that does it! Another Super Bowl…another season in the books. Now, it’s seven+ months of study to prep for the 2020 season. Training camps open in about 5 months!
Football never sleeps, but February is a bit of a slumber period.
In February, on FFM and CFM we will be using that time to…
-- NFL Draft Scouting reports, rankings, and NFL Combine coverage…all to build the analysis for the 2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft properly.
-- I will be studying and reporting on all the new coaching hires (even the retread hires). I will be preparing reports and predictions for free agency.
Our first Dynasty and Best Ball 2020 valuations/rankings will be out around mid-month.
A couple days a week, I will do a ‘news check/commentary’ on all things NFL…including the chatter from the NFL Combine.
It’s a slower football news period, but I’m working full-time to be the best prepared for 2020. Hope you enjoyed 2019…it’s time for a six+ month study and analysis period for the 2020 season.
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