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Four Lessons From the Final Four, Volume II: Chiefs & Bucs

| January 20th, 2021


Chiefs

“Always Be Adding Weapons”

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No one has embraced the modern NFL more than Andy Reid. He’s never content with the offensive firepower on his roster.

Tyreek Hill was not on most teams’ draft boards. The heinous crimes he committed in college were considered a bridge too far. What did Reid do? He drafted Hill. He took the risk because he recognized Hill’s speed would be indefensible in the NFL. You can rightfully criticize this decision but do you think Reid cares now? Do Chiefs fans?

After winning the Super Bowl in 2019 on the back of his offense, did Reid concentrate his off-season efforts on the defense? Don’t be silly. He used the team’s first round pick on a running back and added Le’Veon Bell mid-season. Reid had spent the previous three seasons stockpiling speed on the outside. Now he’s doing the same in the backfield.

Is Patrick Mahomes going to play in the AFC Championship Game? It would be shocking if he doesn’t but concussion protocols in the NFL are draped in mystery. Yet nobody would rule the Chiefs out of that game without Mahomes. The reason is the roster of weapons assembled by Reid.


Buccaneers 

“Turnovers Leave a Bad Taste”

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Bruce Arians got as much production out of the quarterback position in 2019 as any other coach. Jameis Winston threw for over 5,000 yards. He threw 30 touchdown passes. But Arians did not even consider bringing him back to Tampa and no other team so much as floated the opportunity for Winston to compete for their starting job. Why? Because Winston added 30 interceptions to his tally and Tampa’s turnover differential in 2019 was -13. They missed the playoffs.

Arians got Tom Brady. 30 interceptions became 12. The turnover differential dropped from -13 to +8. The Bucs found themselves in New Orleans with a date in the NFC title game on the line.

Brady’s stat line: 0 interceptions.

Drew Brees: 3 interceptions.

Bucs 30, Saints 20.

In a league where the victory margins are this small, turnovers are deadly. For the Bucs, they have been decisive.

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