After the seemingly slow start, Super Bowl 51 ended historically while giving the Chiefs some encouragement.
As if Tom Brady had not secured himself a spot in the Hall of Fame already, he led a historic comeback to win the championship. The first half for the Patriots produced just three points. Brady finished that half with a lackluster 184 yards passing in a single interception.
The second-half turnaround was dramatic. In all Brady completed passes for two touchdowns and take his total yardage on the game to 466. On the day, Brady attempted 62 passes. In the first ever overtime Superbowl, the Patriots scored 31 points in the second half and overtime.
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For Kansas City, there are several takeaways from watching Super Bowl 51 that can help the Chiefs in the future.
Linebacker Deion Jones played a pivotal role in Atlanta’s defense and a strong showing in the first half of the Super Bowl. Jones is a prototype nickel linebacker with speed and coverage skills more akin to a safety while being able to play the run like a linebacker. He was very highly ranked by Rogue Analytics prior to the 2016 draft.
Jones makes plays in both the passing game and the running game. His style of play and position within the defense, particularly on third down, or something the Chiefs could use in 2017. A player of his type would be able to step in a roll that Daniel Sorensen played most often down the stretch for the Chiefs.
Secondly, the Falcons made the critical mistake of taking their foot off of the gas in the second half. The Falcons defense lost some intensity and the offensive play-calling tightened. This scenario is reminiscent of Andy Reid’s play-calling down the stretch of 2016 season. If Reid can learn and adapt what he saw in Super Bowl 51, the Chiefs should come out more consistently aggressive than 2017.
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