4. Another solid performance from Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith
Much has been discussed about the Chiefs' offensive tackle play this season. Namely, Jawaan Taylor, who received a four-year, 80-million-dollar contract and then proceeded to lead the league in penalties with 20. What has been even worse though is according to PFF, he is the 45th-rated offensive lineman in pass blocking after finishing top-five in that category a year ago when he played for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It was the Jaguars wild-card round game in the 2022 season against the Los Angeles Chargers where Taylor made a name for himself. In that game, he completely blanketed 49ers Nick Bosa’s brother, Joey Bosa. He frustrated Joey Bosa to the point where it resulted in multiple personal fouls called against Joey Bosa. Taylor surely hopes to make Nick Bosa react the same.
While both Taylor and right tackle Donovan Smith struggled for much of the regular season, similar to the rest of the Chiefs offense, they seem to have hit their stride when it matters most. Through three postseason games, the two of them have allowed only 10 total pressures combined and neither has given up a sack.
Mahomes has been able to operate a clean pocket throughout the playoffs and that could very well be the best reason for all the success. This goes hand in hand with feeding the big three, but they are equally as important. They will have their hands full with Bosa and company.