Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu

How Tyrann Mathieu helped the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Tyrann Mathieu
By Keeganbergsieker March 9, 2020 2 Comment
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The Kansas City Chiefs revamped their entire defense in 2019, starting with a new leader in safety Tyrann Mathieu to help them reach the Super Bowl.

Tyrann Mathieu was a massive contributor to the Kansas City Chiefs 2019 Super Bowl run. However, it was more than what he did on the field, Mathieu was a tremendous leader for the Chiefs during this past season. Tyrann Mathieu hit free agency in 2019 after suffering injuries that made him miss 15 games between 2013 and 2016. Mathieu spent five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and one season with the Houston Texans.

After these setbacks, Tyrann Mathieu looked for a new beginning, a fresh start. In March of 2019, the Chiefs signed Mathieu to a three year, $42 million contract. The Kansas City Chiefs were looking to replace star safety Eric Berry who fought through numerous injuries and was on a non-friendly deal for Kansas City. The Chiefs had one of the worst defenses in 2018, which stopped them from reaching the Super Bowl the previous year. Kansas City fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, replacing him with former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The Kansas City Chiefs looked to restructure their defense, and it started with bringing in Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu came into Kansas City, knowing they were looking to restart on the defensive side of the ball. However, Tyrann did more than that. He was a leader on and off the field, he got the defensive mind right, and quickly became a fan favorite. By the end of the first quarter of the season, the Kansas City defense still had not found its rhythm just yet.

The mid-season change in the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense

In Week 7, the Chiefs traveled to Denver to take on the Broncos, in that game star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was injured when his knee got dislocated on the field, Mahomes did not return that game, and the defense played their game of the year by sacking Joe Flacco eight times. With Mahomes Missing the next two games, Mathieu and the defense knew they would have to step up. It wasn’t till after the road loss to the Titans that Mathieu and his squad found their groove. In the game vs. the Tennessee Titans, it was Mahome’s first game back and helped the offense put up 32 points, but the defense fell apart late, allowing Adam Humphries to score a late game-winning touchdown.

The Chiefs defense hit the reset button late in the season, knowing they had to finish the year strong if they wanted to finish on top. The Chiefs finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak allowing just 69 points down the stretch. During that stretch, Mathieu had 33 tackles, three interceptions, and five pass deflections. Kansas City earned the number two seed in the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye. The Chiefs knew they had the offense to reach the Super Bowl.

Playoff production and leadership

The offense was never the issue. The question had been, can the defense step up and help this team win a title? In the divisional round of the playoffs, the Chiefs played the Houston Texans, which went down as not only one of the most historic games in Chiefs playoff history, but one of the craziest and historic games in NFL playoff history. The Kansas City Chiefs came in as favorites, but then disaster struck as the Chiefs found themselves down 24-0 early. The Chiefs would go on a historic run and never look back- it was a 51-7 run. Mathieu had three tackles and two pass deflections.

After the Baltimore Ravens were upset by the Titans, the Chiefs would take on the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship in Kansas City. Mathieu and company would have a big task to bring the Lamar Hunt trophy home to Kansas City. They would have to stop the NFL’s leading rusher, Derrick Henry, who at the time was running over everyone. Early in that game, the Chiefs found themselves down double digits once again, 10-0, but the Chiefs defense shutdown Derrick Henry only allowing him to rush for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Mathieu was a significant contributor to stopping Henry finishing with nine tackles and a pass deflection. Tyrann finally snagged a considerable career accomplishment winning an AFC title and reaching the Super Bowl. Mathieu stated he just couldn’t stop smiling at the Lamar Hunt trophy. Mathieu knew how much the AFC title meant to Kansas City and the rest of his team. He had helped change the culture of this team and help turn this defense into a top ten defense in the NFL.

Super Bowl leadership

Kansas City would take on the NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers. It was the league’s best offense vs. the league’s best defense. The 49ers offense had a hot rushing attack at the time, something the Chiefs defense struggled with early in the year. The Super Bowl was a close game the entire way. Then the Chiefs started to struggle, and the 49ers would go up 20-10 with around six minutes to go.

Kansas City needed to score, and the defense needed to make a few stops. Mahomes took the offense down the field and got the Chiefs back within three with a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. Kansas City’s defense needed to step up now more than ever. The defense did precisely that, and the Chiefs would go down and score a game leading touchdown. Mathieu and the defense would have to stop the 49ers offense to secure a title. Jimmy Garoppolo led the NFL with most fourth-quarter comebacks this past season. Kansas City’s defense stood tall as they forced a turnover on downs. The offense would move down the field to score another touchdown, winning their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. Mathieu finished with six tackles and, most importantly, his first Super Bowl title.

Tyrann Mathieu was, no doubt, one of the most prominent leaders for Kansas City in 2019. Mathieu got the recognition he deserved by winning multiple awards. He won defensive player of the month in December, first-team All-Pro, and the Derrick Thomas MVP award. Yet somehow wouldn’t make the Pro Bowl. There’s a reason Tyrann Mathieu was nicknamed “The Landlord” this past season. Mathieu was very versatile this past season taking 406 snaps at safety, 457 snaps at slot cornerback, 139 snaps at outside linebacker,42 snaps at inside linebacker, and 18 snaps at perimeter cornerback. Mathieu finished with 75 tackles 63 were solo tackles, four interceptions, 12 pass deflections, and two sacks. Tyrann Mathieu was the biggest difference for the Chiefs this year. His leadership, attitude, and production helped the Chiefs turn around their defense.

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2 Comments

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Pam Johnson

March 10, 2020

This was a well written article with correct facts, so enjoyable to read, honey badger is so well loved in kc, And a force to be reckoned with.

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Remington Hahn

March 9, 2020

awesome article i really enjoyed this awesome work the honey badger is a Force ?

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