JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Riverside, RI
Wasn't the Kansas City Chiefs' winning touchdown the Jags' play that they copied, where wide receiver Jamal Agnew goes in motion, then stops and goes right back to a wide-open corner of the end zone? Sure looked like it.
You're referencing the winning touchdown in the Kansas City Chiefs' 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII Sunday. Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes with three seconds remaining in the first overtime period to clinch the victory. The play indeed was strikingly similar to a play the Chiefs used to win Super Bowl LVII last season, which was one then-Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy said later the Chiefs had seen the Jaguars use in a 2022 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. On the play, a wide receiver (Agnew versus the Eagles, Hardman on Sunday) starts to go in motion, stops suddenly at the snap of the ball, then wheels in the other direction. The idea is that the defender following the receiver in motion before the snap won't be able to react and cover the receiver, therefore leaving the receiver wide open for a comparatively easy touchdown. The circumstance must be right. The defense must be right. But it's a very effective play call – and for the Chiefs, a Super Bowl-winning one.
Bill from Hammock, Fl
Zone, I don't believe I heard anything about this, but wanted your opinion. Why wouldn't San Francisco defer the ball in overtime? Due to the new overtime rules, they would get a chance to score despite whatever the Chiefs do. This would allow them to know exactly what they need to do. For example, they went for a field goal in the red zone. Had they known the Chiefs scored a touchdown, they would have gone for it. What am I missing?
My gut is you're correct. This was the first overtime game under the league's current postseason overtime rules, which mandate that both teams are assured of at least one possession. This is compared to the regular-season rule, which mandates that a team can end the game by scoring a touchdown on the first overtime possession. The 49ers won the overtime toss Sunday and took the ball, scoring a field goal on that first overtime possession. The Chiefs then won with a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Had the Chiefs not scored there, the 49ers would have won. Had the Chiefs kicked a field goal, the 49ers would have gotten possession with a chance to win with a score. It seems at this point that the team with the ball second indeed has the advantage for the reason you cite – that they know exactly what they must do to either tie or win the game. But remember: There was no precedent here. It's possible that after a few more postseason overtime games under this rule a scenario or two will arise that make taking the ball first make more sense.
Brendan from Yulee, FL
When are we going to stop seeing our players leave in free agency and win Super Bowls? This is quite frustrating, the number of ex-Jaguars that are halfway decent that end up winning it all with different teams.
NFL players switch teams via free agency every offseason. Not all of these players are "core" players or even very good players, and many are "halfway" decent." Some are going to play for Super Bowl champions. I suppose that's frustrating to some observers, but in an NFL in which every team has roster churn every offseason, it's pretty much inevitable.
Don from Marshall, NC
I watched Andy Reid when he was a kid in the punt, pass and kick contest. We were laughing at the fact he was twice the size of others his age. He won, I think. Now look at him at the helm of a football dynasty. He is a pretty cool dude who has done things his way. Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs! Go Jaguars!
When it comes to Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid's long and storied career, Don remains "all in."
Tony from Johns Creek, GA
O, until Mahomes wins seven Super Bowls (two teams) and holds most of the significant passing records, he is not even close to GOAT Brady. People have short memories.
Longtime, loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I'm not big on the idea of a single "greatest of all time" NFL quarterback. From this view, quarterbacks such as Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Mahomes, Terry Bradshaw, John Unitas, Otto Graham, Mahomes, John Elway and Dan Marino are all in the conversation with Brady. The team nature of the sport and the changing of the game across eras make comparisons difficult if not impossible. For people who believe Brady far away the "GOAT" – and most people understandable do – yeah … Mahomes absolutely has some work to still to do to surpass Brady. Mahomes has played on three Super Bowl champions. Brady played on seven. Even considering Mahomes' greatness, four Super Bowl victories is a lot.
BOB from Bobsville
After watching the Super Bowl, it has become clear it is the players. Coaches can get the most out of their players through leadership and scheme, but you don't win a Super Bowl without the dogs. Yes, Mahomes is unbelievable, but his general managers also provides the supporting cast he needs despite multiple players with high cap numbers. The Chiefs' defense gave the offense the chance to win the game with a lot of really good/great players – including probably the best corners in the game – as well as solid or better defensive line and linebackers. In the cap era, being able to do this comes down to the general manager being able to draft well, attract key free agents and do this all within the Cap. Bottom line: You can't win without the players, and getting the players is what the GM does.
It feels a little off to say "Yes, Mahomes is unbelievable, but …" Any conversation about the Chiefs must include Mahomes as focus and never stray far from his impact. I would put tight end Travis Kelce's reliability and defensive tackle Chris Jones' consistent disruption next on reasons this team is dominant. The NFL is about big plays in big moments, and those three elite players matter very much at critical times. You're right, though: Once a team has a few such impact players, it's about making sure you have capable – often rotating – parts around those players. Those players must be able to contribute, though without the impact playmakers it's tough for those players to get into the biggest games.
Brian from ROUND ROCK
This team could go a long way with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback and Trent Baalke at general manager. Just sayin. Step to me, bro!
Chris from Tampa, FL
I'm surprised you posted my silly fan rants. I know that Dwight Freeney was really good, it's just not my job as a fan to admit it.
Insider tip: If you send emails to a forum in which emails are posted as questions and answered, those emails might get posted. I'll review our rules, but that's the process for now.
Bradford from Orange Park, FL
Will try to steer clear of my soapbox here. Would really appreciate your knowledgeable, professional perspective on should Kelce be getting away with screaming in Andy Reid's face, nearly knocking him over in a fit of rage sans a fine and suspension? Can you imagine if, say, Antonio Brown, had done that what the reaction would be? Any other player who was actually emboldened enough to do this would be cut. And Kelce cracks jokes about it in the postgame press conference. Unbelievable.
It wouldn't be appropriate for the league to fine or suspend. It's a team issue; not a league issue. I agree that the reaction might have been different had it been a different player. This one's really about Reid. One of the most ancient truisms in the NFL is coaches must handle different players different ways. If Reid handles Kelce differently than he handles another player, perhaps that is a privilege afforded a future Hall of Fame player who has helped him earn three Super Bowl rings.
Jason North Pole, AK
It's hard to argue that Dwight Freeney's numbers aren't inflated by playing with the lead his entire career, but man was that spin move nasty. There are very few pass rushers that I feared more as a Jags fan.
Jon from Jax Beach
All you did was prove my point. Of course quarterbacks are the most important. You also stated examples of young quarterback without monster contracts except Mahomes. I laughed.
You laughed? You're saying I'm funny? What do you mean I'm funny? What do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What? Funny how?