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Super Bowl Preview: It Comes Down to QB, Take the Chiefs

| January 30th, 2020


If I’ve learned anything as a Bears fan these past few years, it’s the importance of choosing Patrick Mahomes.

The most important position in football, and arguably all of sports, is quarterback. A great one can lift an average team to considerable heights, while a bad one can bog down an otherwise elite squad in mediocrity.

Neither the San Francisco 49ers nor the Kansas City Chiefs have a bad quarterback, but only one team has a great one, and Patrick Mahomes gives the Chiefs the edge in Sunday’s Super Bowl match-up.

I expect the game to be a close one. The Niners are a very good team, with a dominant defense and strong run game. They should be able to limit some of the explosiveness of Kansas City’s offense. They breezed through their first two playoff games en route to the Super Bowl, however both the Vikings and Packers were better on paper than they ever were on the field.

In comparison the Chiefs had a more tumultuous path, going down 24-0 to Houston before scoring 28 unanswered points in the second quarter, and never looking back. And while it’s probably true the Chiefs caught a break in getting to play the Titans at home instead of traveling to Baltimore like initially predicted, you have to respect how they were able to completely neutralize Derrick Henry and the Titans’ versatile offense in ways that neither the Patriots or the Ravens could.

Kansas City’s defense isn’t as good as San Francisco’s, but they can get the job done, and I think they will benefit from a mistake or two by Garoppolo. The moment will get to him. He’s not a bad quarterback, by any means, but he’s not a star. He’s not Mahomes.

Mahomes is extraordinary. Gunslinger. Escape artist. Pleasure to watch. It’s possible he has an off day, because even the best do. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Take the Chiefs.

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Three Things the Bears Can Learn From the Denver Broncos

| February 1st, 2016

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GET TO THE QUARTERBACK

Wrote extensively about this earlier in the week so no reason to repeat. Here is a passage from that short piece:

And pass rush, despite what people will have you believe, is not necessarily a quantifiable statistic. Sacks are great but pressuring a quarterback into a poorly timed throw can often be far better. Sustained pressure throughout a game is a recipe for success but intense pressure in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, is a recipe for championships.

Pass rushers, much like quarterbacks, must raise their games in the pivotal moments.

The postseason is a collection of pivotal moments. The Super Bowl is a hundred of them.

MORE THAN ONE WAY TO PLAY QB POSITION

There is an inane phrase repeated, many times in Chicago, about a quarterback being a “guy that can win you the Super Bowl”. Let’s take a look at Peyton Manning’s 2015. He completed less than 60% of his passes in a league where you could complete 60% of your passes. His touchdown-interception ratio of 9-17 will be the worst such differential attached to a Super Bowl starting quarterback in history. He has the mobility of Stonehenge. And, let’s not forget, he seems completely unable to throw the ball outside the numbers or down the field. 2015’s version of Peyton Manning checks none of the boxes for a “guy that can win you the Super Bowl.”

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