Mahomes Credits Bucs Defense For ‘Worst I’ve Been Beaten In Long Time’
Patrick Mahomes has been breaking records ever since he entered the NFL. He led his 14-2 Kansas City Chiefs to a second Super Bowl in as many years. After winning the 2018 NFL MVP, Mahomes helped the Chiefs capture their first championship in over forty years last season. Mahomes had lost just one of his past 26 games as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense dominated the 25-year-old in Super Bowl LV. The Chiefs were held to three field goals on their way to a 31-9 defeat. It was the first time that Mahomes’ team failed to score a touchdown in a game that he started since high school. The loss was his first as a starter with the Chiefs by more than eight points. It was also the first time that his team did not score double-digit points.
“They were the better team today,” Mahomes said. “They beat us pretty good, the worst I think I’ve been beaten in a long time.”
Mahomes was pressured 29 times, which set a Super Bowl record. Even more impressive than that is the fact that the Bucs only sent extra pass-rushers on two of those plays. On the other 27 plays, the Buccaneers’ defensive line dominated a Chiefs offensive line that was missing four starters from the group Kansas City planned on having before the start of the season. Mahomes was sacked three times and was constantly scrambling away from Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Ndamukong Suh.
Shaquil Barrett generated a season-high 8 pressures and one sack on 41 pass rushes (19.5% pressure rate).
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) February 8, 2021
“They took away our deep stuff,” Mahomes said. “They took away the sidelines and they did a good job of calling to the football and making tackles. We weren’t executing early, had a few miscues. Guys weren’t on the same page. Credit to them. They played a heck of a game defensively and offensively to beat us.”
Linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David flew from sideline to sideline to make tackles all night. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles called an excellent defensive game script, which prevented the Chiefs offense from finding a rhythm.
Mahomes seemed to be shellshocked the entire night. He was often forced to scramble around the pocket and actually did an admirable job making something out of nothing on a few plays. He converted 26-of-49 passes for 270 yards and two interceptions. He failed to throw a touchdown and his QBR of 49.9 was the second worst of his NFL career.
“I just think we weren’t on the same page as an offense,” Mahomes said. “I wasn’t getting the ball out on time. The receivers were running routes not exactly where I thought they were going to be at. The offensive line, they were good sometimes and sometimes they let guys through. When you play a good defense like that, you’ve got to be on the same page as an offense, and we weren’t today and that’s why we played so bad.”
“They were just better than us.”
It didn’t help the Chiefs cause that Mahomes was dealing with a toe injury that will likely require offseason surgery. That being said, Mahomes did not blame the loss on the injury.
“I can’t say the toe was a problem when I played two weeks ago and I played well on it,” he said. “Anytime you play football, you have to battle through injuries. We’ll look at it tomorrow and we’ll make a final decision on if we’re going to have to have surgery on it or not.”
The Chiefs have been one of the best teams in football since Mahomes was drafted as the No. 10 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. They lost in the 2018 AFC Championship in overtime and then won the Super Bowl the following year. This blowout loss seemed to come out of nowhere after Kansas City had not lost since Week 17, when they rested most of their starters. The Chiefs will have to regroup for the first time since Mahomes became the team’s leader. That said, odds on next year’s Super Bowl list Kansas City as the early favorites. Don’t count Mahomes out for long. He will surely be back with a vengeance next season.