Well, Damn. Mahomes Is Human After All

Illustration for article titled Well, Damn. Mahomes Is Human After All
Photo: Patrick Smith (Getty Images)

When I play Monopoly, I often deploy a strategy I call a “Slow Motion Ass Whooping”.

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Broke or not, I snatch up every single property I land on during my first few times around the board. From railroads to Baltic Avenue, from the Electric Company to Marvin Gardens, I’m on a suicide mission to put a dent in your pockets—$200 Income Tax be damned. And if I go to jail? So be it, as long as your ass doesn’t get to own Park Place.

It generally throws people off because typically they prefer to be selective during the early rounds of the game. Meanwhile, I’m out here snatching up every dish on the menu like it’s Valentine’s Day. This reckless abandon typically begins to pay off once they realize they can’t put any houses or hotels anywhere because I own so much property, and that rent they owe me starts to multiply.

It begins a slow, tedious process in which they gradually run out of money while I continue building my empire at an equally arduous pace. Knowing they have absolutely no chance to win, I’m basically trying to force them to grovel and quit. But even in the face of inescapable bankruptcy, their pride won’t allow them to. So a game that could’ve been over in 20 minutes ends up taking as long as four hours.

And I spend the entire time talking shit and laughing to the bank.

It’s one of the most humiliating defeats you can ever experience and that’s exactly what the Bucs did to the Chiefs on Sunday.

For the past three seasons, Patrick Mahomes has played the role of MacGyver. There hasn’t been a single obstacle that the Chiefs have faced that ever stood a chance against his otherworldly ingenuity. Dude has been out here making 80-inch flat screens out of mangos and aluminum foil with his eyes closed. He’s always had the answer and has always emerged victorious.

But when I heard he’d be short both starting tackles during the Super Bowl—which just so happened to be a rematch with the greatest quarterback who’s ever lived—I knew he was in big trouble. The Chiefs’ right tackle would be moving to left tackle, their right guard would be playing at right tackle and backup Stefan Wisniewski would be making his first start.

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The Bucs defensive line feasted on quarterbacks all year—especially during the playoffs—and true to form, Mahomes spent the entire night running for his life from the likes of

Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett. Dude was noticeably limping by the second quarter, and do you think that stopped that pack of bloodthirsty brutes from continuing to sack his ass? Hell nah.

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From the jump, the Bucs positioned themselves as the aggressors. They played their safeties deep and disrupted the Chiefs’ rhythm, deviating between flushing Mahomes out of the pocket and stripping Tyreek Hill—who destroyed them with 269 yards in Week 12—of his superpowers.

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Travis Kelce also had his most quiet 100-yard night in recent memory as the Chiefs’ unstoppable 1st-ranked offense finally met its match in Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and his dark army of mercenaries.

There was also an absurd amount of penalties, with the Chiefs getting called for just about everything outside of sneezing while breaking Super Bowl records in the process.

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But the underlying theme of the night was the shocking realization that Mahomes is human after all. He might be a transcendent athlete who’s faster than a locomotive or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but he’s also not the infallible savior he was purported to be.

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Hell, even Jesus had his disciples.

For the past three seasons, Mahomes has unleashed his athleticism and box office playmaking ability to conceal a growing list of close calls and deficiencies. When the defense or special teams fell apart, he threw on his cape and answered the call. And when the offense hasn’t done its job, he’s miraculously pulled touchdowns out of thin air. But at the worst possible time, he was finally unable to deliver and proved that one man alone can’t be a balm for an entire organization.

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The Chiefs have some soul searching to do this offseason. Their special teams is a mess, a lot of miscues were inexcusable, the coaching staff has plenty to answer for and this roster has more than its share of concerns. And until all of the above are addressed, Mahomes will always be enough until he isn’t.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

DISCUSSION

renaissancenerd
RenaissanceNerd

The Bucs also set a new record for QB pressures (29) that had stood since Jim Kelly got whooped back in the day; that’s just brutal, and actually surprised Mahones made as many completions as he did. He’s a pretty spectacular athlete, but think this pretty clearly shows that even the best QBs can’t carry a team and that a good O-line really matters.

For comparison, Brady had 4 pressures, which was the least he’s ever had in his 10 Superbowl appearances. When the most successful QB in the game has that much time, and you are letting your QB get beat up while giving up an insane amount of yardage to penalties, kind of a foregone conclusion who is going to win.