But he didn’t get much help from his pass catchers.
Facing a swarming Tampa Bay defense that pounced on the absence of injured left tackle Eric Fisher, Mahomes found himself under pressure early and often. It resulted in some bad passes.
It also resulted in some amazing plays by Mahomes that Chiefs receivers didn’t convert.
Kelce with a big early drop
The first of note arrived early in the second quarter. Facing third-and-8 while trailing 7-3 deep in Kansas City territory, Mahomes almost immediately felt pressure from both sides and up the middle on a shotgun snap.
But before defensive lineman Anthony Nelson could sack him, Mahomes unleashed a 20-yard laser that hit All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce in the hands. And he dropped it.
— The Holy Roller (@TheHolyRoller49) February 8, 2021
Instead of securing a first down past the 30-yard line, the Chiefs punted back to the Bucs, who scored a touchdown six plays later.
Late hope dashed by Williams drop
Early in the fourth quarter, Mahomes found himself under pressure yet again. This time, the Chiefs were trailing 31-9 and forced to attempt a desperation fourth-and-9 play in the red zone.
Mahomes scrambled backward to escape pressure more than 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage before turning back upfield to find running back Darrel Williams in a tight window in the end zone. Pass rusher William Gholston tripped Mahomes up. But not before he uncorked a side-armed rope that threaded the Bucs defense and hit Williams in the hands at the goal line — while Mahomes was falling down.
And like Kelce, Williams dropped it.
— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) February 8, 2021
The Kelce drop helped dig a deep early hole for the Chiefs. The Williams drop put an end to Kansas City’s last, desperate hope of repeating as Super Bowl champions.
They were both costly mistakes that added to a stunningly inept performance from the NFL’s most dangerous offense.
Super Bowl LV from Yahoo Sports: