Hey hey hey. Back again, and it pains me to know that this was our second to last weekend of the NFL season. Life without football is always rough, so I’m trying to hold on as long as I can.
The Super Bowl matchup is decided, and as much as I wanted to see the Titans make a miracle run, I’m not disappointed with the Chiefs making it for the AFC. Andy Reid will certainly be in his element down in Miami. You know it’ll be Hawaiian shirts exclusively. I wonder if the Chiefs make branded Hawaiian shirts? If not, they are missing out on a massive opportunity. The Super Bowl has two red teams in the game this year, so that color scheme might not be great, but I think the matchup will be.
But before all that, let’s talk about the two games we witnessed on Sunday.
Our AFC Championship game didn’t have the outcome I was hoping for. Like most of America, I was really pulling for the Titans in this one. With playoff victories against the defending champs and this year’s Super Bowl favorite, how could you root against the Titans and the run they were having?
After watching Tennessee’s first two playoff games, I really thought that Derrick Henry was going to will his way to a Super Bowl. Tannehill wasn’t much help in the first two games, so I figured the Chiefs would come with a plan to make him throw it more than 14 times. For the Titans, there best bet was to get a lead early, and then just run the ball until Derrick Henry’s legs fell off. With this plan in mind, I thought they were in great shape to win when they took that 17-7 lead in the first half.
Fortunately for Chiefs Kingdom, they have Pat Mahomes on their team. Mr. Ketchup himself. And I think it’s pretty clear now that he’s the best QB in the NFL. There might have been some debate even though he had the 50 TDs last year. People want to throw Brady and Rodgers in the conversation still. But I think it’s obvious that Kermit is on a new level. The Titans had come with such great defensive schemes during the first two weeks of the playoffs, but even still, there was no way they were going to bottle up this offense. Kansas City just has too many weapons on the field. Between Watkins, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, one of those three guys is getting HIS. You’re not containing all of them. And as we saw on Sunday, the Titans had a plan to shutdown Kelce, which they did, but as a result they had no answer for Watkins and Cheetah.
Along with the gunslinging, Mahomes also reminded us that he’s got a little bit of Lamar in him. That rushing touchdown he had to end the first half was pretty nifty, and I think it was at the point I realized, “yeah the Titans aren’t stopping this offense.”
You could tell that panic mode really set in for Vrabel and the Titans early in the second half. They didn’t know how to act once they lost the lead. But credit to the Chiefs, they had a great game plan for Derrick Henry, and once the Titans resorted to the pass, I knew it was over for them.
As an expert NFL analyst, I’d say it’s never a good idea to let a guy named Ryan Tannehill throw more than 15 passes. Yet there they were, as soon as the run stopped working for the Titans, Vrabel thought that Tan Man could actually clutch this one. To their credit, the Titans kept battling, even when things got out of reach in the fourth, Tannehill was still out there slinging it, working til the end.
As for the Chiefs, they are back in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, and it should be the first big test for the legacy of Patrick Mahomes. As we know, expert analysts only evaluate a player based on their record in championship games, so an 0-1 start for Mahomes would make him a worse QB than Baker Mayfield. I don’t see Baker losing any Super Bowls anytime soon.
I want to start this NFC Championship recap with a little bit of a rant. Bear with me.
As Sports Media outlets, can we stop giving credit to the QB whenever a team wins a game? I’ve compared Jimmy G to 2015 Peyton Manning many times on my blog, and the reason is because he hasn’t done jack shit in these playoffs, yet people want to give him all the recognition .
I was talking with my buddy the other day, and he dislikes Jimmy G as much as I do, and we were just discussing how stupid it is that the narrative in football is to always give credit to the quarterback. Jimmy G threw eight passes for 77 yards. But according to ESPN, he’s the reason the Niners are headed to the Super Bowl. Not Raheem Mostert, not George Kittle, not their insane defense, but this dude who came in and just handed the ball off gets to be the cover of every social media post after the game. Sportscenter posted a graphic on Twitter, basically saying that the Niners have had quite the rise after going 4-12 a year ago. And guess which player was in the photo that they tweeted? It wasn’t Nick Bosa. I’ll tell you that.
Anyways, back to Sunday’s game.
Going into this NFC Championship matchup, I had a feeling it could get ugly. The Niners smacked Green Bay earlier in the season, and Aaron Rodgers is even worse in the playoffs, so you could kinda tell he was spending his pregame thinking about which players he would blame the loss on. The “eliteness” of Aaron Rodgers is certainly something that can be debated, and I think after Sunday’s game he showed that he’s not able to step up in big moments. Give Kirk Cousins this Packers roster, and I think they’d look like the ’72 Dolphins.
But back to the game, the Niners were just running the ball down Green Bay’s throat, and the Packers had no answer for it. Raheem Mostert had a Derrick Henry stat line with 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns. And this is what I mean when I say players other than the QB deserve way more recognition. Raheem was absolutely feasting on this Packers defense, yet because he’s not the QB, we can’t give him props for the win?
That’s all I’ll say about the offense, because the Niners defense is the biggest reason that this team is headed to the Super Bowl. And as much as Richard Sherman wants to make this about himself, their ENTIRE defense deserves a lot of credit for this season. Whether it’s the guys upfront, their linebackers, or their secondary, the Niners make it a nightmare for other teams to play against. A trio of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner is more than enough to give any QB a nightmare. And if Kirk Cousins got scared last week, we knew Rodgers would.
Looking ahead to next week, this Super Bowl should be a fun one. And it’s certainly a battle for style with these two coaches. Andy Reid will be decked out in his Hawaiian shirts, going full vacation mode. Hell, he might throw a pair of Tevas on. Meanwhile, we know that Shanahan will continue to go full Hurley on us. The dude’s name is fuckin Kyle. I wouldn’t be surprised if he skated to the stadium on gameday.
One last thing I’ll talk about is how both teams have had some trash talk in recent games. There’s always that one guy who likes to run his mouth. For the Niners, we all knew that guy would be Richard Sherman, as we saw after the Minnesota game with his “look how great I am, I’m not going to credit my teammates” speech. For the Chiefs, they now also have a guy that America can root against.
Frank Clark had a nice postgame rant after his win on Sunday, yelling about how the Chiefs were able to “send Derrick Henry’s ass home early” When it comes to these post game rants, I would tell Frank Clark to act like he’s been there before, but it turns out he hasn’t, so do your thing I guess.
As always, I want to thank you all for giving my reactions a read. I’m sad that I’ll only have the chance to react to one more game, but it should be a great matchup.