The story of the season was the story of the first half of the Super Bowl for the Kansas City Chiefs offense.
Over the last few games, the Chiefs offense has found its footing with a revitalized tight end in Travis Kelce, a burgeoning wide receiver in Rashee Rice, and a punishing running back in Isiah Pacheco. Together, the unit surrounding Patrick Mahomes has become a solid offensive core once again for a team chasing a repeat Super Bowl bid.
That was good news for a team that struggled all season to find its offensive chemistry. Before this postseason run, the Chiefs offense was more synonymous with sputtering than smothering. The wide receivers dropped passes left and right. Play calling was questionable from the coaching staff and even Mahomes and Kelce looked off.
Penalties and miscues and turnovers were the name of the game and Chiefs Kingdom had a hard time believing this roster could make a deep postseason rn.
The Chiefs looked pretty pathetic on offense in the first half against the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.
Fortunately the Chiefs caught fire in the playoffs so far, and the offense came together to put up enough points to get past the Miami Dolphins at home and the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens on the road. Suddenly the Chiefs were "back" with a defense that was better than ever.
Unfortunately, something happened between the AFC Championship game and Super Bowl LVIII. Maybe there was too much rest. Maybe the Chiefs are missing Joe Thuney more than expected. Maybe it's not good to ask Clyde Edwards-Helaire to take the handoff on an important drive that's stalling. Who knows?
What is clear is that the Chiefs offense had a tough time rolling in the first half of the Super Bowl. Even after being gifted a quick turnover thanks to a forced fumble by Leo Chenal, the Chiefs gave the ball right back after a quick 3-and-out. That would become the name of the game in a first half marked by fumbles and stalled drives, especially for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs only managed 7 first downs in the first half on five drives. Three of those ended in punts while another was lost via an Isiah Pacheco fumble. If not for a single 53-yard pass from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman, the Chiefs would have had just over 100 yards total in the first half.
Even worse was the fact that the Chiefs allowed emotions to get the best of them at multiple moments, from a frustrating penalty on L'Jarius Sneed to Travis Kelce yelling and shoving Andy Reid in a rather shocking sideline interaction. Yeah, it got that bad.
The Niners weren't much better but they at least put 10 points on the board, while the Chiefs managed to finally carve out a drive long enough before halftime to potentially score. Yet even there they failed in the red zone again and settled for a chip shot from Harrison Butker to at least put three points on the board.
The good news for the Chiefs if that they get the ball back after halftime but they need to shake off considerable rust (and frustrations) to make something positive happen.